AS more and more people face foreclosures, layoffs, and repossession, maintaining a favorable credit score becomes increasingly difficult. Many adults have had to fall back on credit cards or payday loans just to support themselves and their families from day to day. If this sounds similar to your own financial situation, follow these useful tips for repairing your credit. Be careful about which collection accounts you pay off. With the current way the credit reporting system is structured, paying off a collection agency may actually lower your score because the date of last activity will be reset. A paid collection has no less of an impact on your score than an open collection. This resetting of the date of last activity also means the seven year reporting clock will restart. If you can wait out a collection agency, do it. When deciding to repair your credit, get a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and EquiFax. These reports will show you where you stand with each debtor you have worked with. Once you know what is wrong, you can start working to fix it. If you wish to contest a credit bureau’s decision, you should organize yourself. Submit your claim within the deadlines and make sure to follow up in case they do not react quickly. Hire a lawyer to help you through this process if you can afford it. You should actively contact the credit bureau regularly about your dispute. Whether you are faced with credit card debt, bankruptcy, or student loans, there is still hope that with patience and diligence, you can raise your credit score to a satisfactory rating. By following these basic guidelines, you can start the process of repairing your credit and making yourself less of a risk in the eyes of lenders.