Even people with good credit go through credit issues. I had excellent credit a few years ago and then I relocated and I couldn't find stable employment. In the process, my credit had to suffer because I was no longer able to make timely payments anymore.
Once you start to pay something 30 days or more late it will affect your credit score. Sometimes when you get behind it's hard to catch up. Even if you are able to catch up your credit has already taken the plunge.
If you are not able to pay something for a few months then your credit score will drop severely. The company could offer you a debt settlement. This is when they say they will settle your account by taking a lower amount then what the balance due is. Once your credit score goes down it's time to find ways to repair it.
Get a secured credit card.
These types of credit cards reports your payment history to the credit bureau. If you pay it off every month, which should be easy, then they will report to the credit bureau that you are in good standing. This in turn, will boost your credit score. Make sure the credit card company is one that reports to the credit bureau. It's pointless to have a secured credit card that does not report to the credit bureau.
The APR is normally higher on these cards. This is because the lender has to take a higher risk since the card holder has a credit history of not paying on time or not paying at all. These cards for for people that need to rebuild their credit. After 6 months you should check your credit report and see if it made a positive impact. Which it should, as long as you are not incurring any new debt. Seeing your score go up can help you keep paying on time because your seeing your effects pay off.
All negative things on your credit stay there for 7 years. there's no way to erase it. All you can do is build new good credit. Create new habits by only charging what you can afford to pay off. There's no need to carry balances forward if you know you will not be able to pay them later.
Here's a link for a credit card company that offer secured credit cards:
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