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Fixing Bad Credit With Zero Income

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Mark Cappel
UpdatedAug 20, 2009

I am a student and I'm 15k in debt. I would like to start paying off my debt but I can't find a job with my poor credit score.

I'm a student and due to a numerous events that were out of my control, I happen to be in debt over 15k. I would like to fix this. I tried to get jobs and no one seems to hire me. The only reason I can think of is because of my bad credit. I have a plan once I get a job to pay my credit card first then work on my over drawn account. So my question is how can I fix my bad credit with zero money? My parents are the ones paying for my school and I have nothing to my name. I have been told to get a job, but how can I get a job if I have poor credit? Do you have any solid advise?

I am glad that you are taking steps early on in your life to do what it takes to get your credit straightened out. Most young students do not realize the importance of a good credit score and come face to face with the realities only when it is too late. At this point I do not recommend that you take out loans to pay off your debt, that is not going to help your credit situation. Moreover, because of your bad credit, I don't think you will get a loan for a low interest rate. Pay off the highest interest debt first and then move down the list from highest APR to lowest APR until they are all paid off. The logic is that the card that charges you the highest interest eats up the most share of your hard earned income on just interest and fees.

While you are paying the debt off, also work on your credit. Building and maintaining a good credit score requires diligent effort and a long-term commitment to financially sound living. There are several steps you can take to help improve your credit rating.

You should obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You can request free copies of your reports by visiting

Once you obtained copies of your reports, you should carefully review them to make sure that all the accounts that are listed there, especially the listings appearing in the "derogatory" category, belong to you and are being reported accurately. Credit reports are notoriously inaccurate, with consumers frequently finding listings of derogatory accounts that never belonged to them or that were paid off years ago. If you find any inaccurate listings, you should dispute them with the appropriate credit bureau. The Federal Trade Commission provides a comprehensive guide to disputing items on your credit report, available at Clearing up inaccurate derogatory accounts may significantly improve your credit score, depending on the number of inaccurate listings you find on your reports.

If you do not already have a long, positive credit history, you should begin to build one. You can start by opening a few small credit card accounts, making charges on them, and paying off most, if not all, of the balances each month. By doing this, you will show yourself to be a responsible user of credit, and your credit score should improve with each month you continue to show a positive payment history. If you find that you cannot obtain a traditional credit card because of credit problems, a secured credit card, in which you deposit cash in an account as collateral for the credit line, can help build a positive credit history.

Although rebuilding your credit rating will take time and effort, you are already on the right track; the simple fact that you have reduced your total outstanding debt should have a positive impact on your credit rating. To learn more about credit and strategies to improve your credit score, I encourage you to visit the Credit Solutions and Resources page.

I wish you the best of luck for the future, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.