Trying to improve your credit after a giant problem can be very frustrating and time-consuming. Unfortunately many Americans have to deal with credit trauma such as divorce, tax evasion, bankruptcy, and civil lawsuits. Problems like these are credit score killers. If you're credit score has suffered greatly because of anything like the aforementioned situations you need to take action as soon as possible and consistently strive to raise your credit score.
If you have bad credit try to establish a better history by getting credit extended to you and repaying it in a timely fashion. The first step would be to find a loan that you without a doubt have no problem paying back without causing a strain on any other aspects of your life. Meet with your bank or a lender a couple months to a year after whatever major event caused your score to plummet. Get a small loan that can be paid back quickly and start establishing a new chapter in your credit history.
Before you even apply for your loan you should already have enough money saved up to repay the entire thing if necessary. Don't pay back your loan in one lump sum but definitely make more than just the minimum payments. Once your loan is repaid you will see your score start to rise. Now it is not going to be a gigantic leap but it is a good start. Taking out small loans and repaying them without any problems will show future lenders that you are getting back on track and you are being responsible and honoring your commitments. This is the first that in the extremely long process of repairing credit after a huge financial problem.
If you cannot qualify for any small loans there is still hope. There is something called secured credit. All secured credit is is a loan or line of credit that is given to you based on some type of collateral. Collateral can be any current assets you have such as a home or even money that is frozen in an account for the time it takes to repay the loan. You can use secured loans to help boost your credit score when other forms of credit are simply not available to you. Keep in mind the interest rates are usually a bit higher than average but seeing as how you won't have many options at this point it is something you'll just have two overcome.
The bottom line is is going to take lots of time for your score to rebound. During this time just focus on always making payments on time and never overextending yourself. Live well below your means and be patient.
I would suggest enrolling in a credit monitoring service to help keep an eye on any changes that may occur on your credit report. If you do not feel like paying for a monitoring service at least get a free copy of your credit report and score at least three times a year. Keeping an eye on your credit is very important. Should you find any errors or mistakes in your file you can immediately dispute them. Should the credit reporting agency find merit in your claim that it marks can be wiped from your report which will instantly boost your credit score.