Trying to improve your credit can seem impossible when lenders are fearful and you’re strapped for excess cash.

But don’t give up hope.

“Focus on where you are right now and do what you can with what you have,” said Justine Rivero, a credit advisor with Creditkarma.com.

You can make progress—even on old, negative debt—and start to rebuild your credit and therefore, your future.

Here’s how to do it step-by-step:

Consider debt counseling.

You’ll have to close all your accounts, which will negatively impact your score in the short run, but by the time you’ve reached this…………… continues on Business Insider