If you’re in college and studying full-time it can be pretty hard to balance school and work if you need the extra money. This is one of the top reasons that when young adults turn 18 and go to college, they apply for several credit cards to take care of themselves.

Once you’re closer to graduation, some of you might be hit with several account statements showing late payments and you’re getting non stop calls from debt collectors. We get it. We can struggle financially in college and hurt our credit score.

Even if you’re in the 500 club, you can work your way to increasing your score by working on your financial health.

Building a credit score takes patience and time but there are ways to work little by little to change your score.

Place all payments of your bills on auto payment. The consistency in paying on time will help you.
Use your credit cards less than 30% of the time
Check your credit reports consistently and file disputes if you see any inaccuracies.
Figure out how much money you owe and set aside your paycheck every month to pay that off
Always negotiate lower interest rates
Make payments on your credit cards twice a month
Ask for a credit limit increase from your bank