NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Credit is crucial when it comes to renting an apartment, or in some cases, getting a job. 

If you have bad credit, there are some steps you can take now to rebuild your score. 

What lots of people don't realize: to build your credit, you need to get credit. But how can you get credit if you have bad credit? 

Step 1: Open a bank account. If you take out small loans and make on-time monthly payments, over time your score should improve.

Next, apply for what’s known as a secured credit card, which means that you’ve backed the card with cash.

The next one is risky. You can also ask a family member with good credit to add you to their credit card, but you better pay it off because if not, you’ll both take a hit to your credit score. 

If you have any outstanding debt in collection, try and negotiate a settlement and pay it off.

A credit repair company may sound tempting, but the experts say don't do it. 

Right now the ball is in your court with free weekly credit reports through April 2022. By law, the credit bureaus have 30 days to respond to a request. 

If you're using Credit Karma to check your score, consider using something else. The free credit service checks your scores but doesn't use all three credit agencies or your FICO score in their calculation. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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