If you have bad credit, loans may be challenging to secure. From financing a home to buying a car, many of life’s big spending decisions rely on one number: your credit score. Don’t let poor marks on your credit history impede your ability to move forward. Here are three tips to help you get back on track.

Exercise caution

Struggling to get credit loans can be frustrating, but beware of tempting offers from companies that advertise the ability to fix your negative credit history. A “quick fix” for a credit history riddled with a long list of problems simply isn’t likely. Instead, educate yourself on proper debt management practices.

Get secured

A secured card is a great place to start if you’re looking to improve your credit. You must fund your secured card’s limit, but establishing a solid payment history can eventually lead to an upgraded status with an unsecured card.

Get reported

Many companies offer prepaid credit cards for consumers with bad credit, but your activity may not be reported to the major U.S. credit bureaus. Make sure your responsible spending decisions are on record. As you search for a credit card, find out if your payment history will be tracked by consumer credit agencies.

Even if you’ve struggled with bad credit, loans can be available to you. You must be willing to accept more stringent terms and take the necessary steps toward building good credit.