Get current on bills
Although credit repair is the ultimate goal for Angel, she needs to begin by getting her finances under control. The only way to do that is to create a budget. This will give her greater control over her undocumented spending habits. She will need to keep track of her spending and limit her impulse purchases on those high-interest credit cards. Once she knows where the money is going, she can attack the credit scores. The two largest factors in most credit scores are timeliness of payments and the amount of outstanding balances. Angel can take steps to improve both of these.

Angel has made a good start by setting up electronic bill payment through her bank. What she must do now is have an automatic payment made to each credit card account on a monthly basis. As long as this is a reasonable amount, and she can check by looking at past statements, she will cover the monthly minimum payment and reduce some of the outstanding balances. By setting up automatic payments she does not run the risk of missing payments again and will improve her scores. This strategy has the added benefit of taking the cash out of her account, which lowers the temptation to withdraw it from ATM machines.

Dealing with emergencies
While Angel feels she needs four cards to fall back on if she has a financial emergency, she would be well served to reduce her total level of debt. She should make extra payments to reduce the principal on the card with the highest interest rate first. Then she should work at them one at a time until the debt is reduced. Paying off the credit card debt will improve her debt-to-available-credit ratio, which will help her achieve better rates in the future. She should aim for outstanding balances of less than 25 percent of her credit limit.

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