Establishing some good credit will do more to improve your credit scores than paying off your old collections. However, you do need to pay off any judgements or leins, like income taxes.
You need at least 5 good tradelines (credit accounts). Let's assume you have a car payment and you are making those payments on time. Then that is one good tradeline. Maybe you have a student loan that you are making payments on. Then that would be another good tradeline. Good being that you are making these payments ontime every month.
Maybe you have a credit card for which you are making ontime payments. Then let's look at that credit card. Your balance needs to be no more than 35% of your credit limit. If it is, pay it down or you might even call and get the limit increased. You might also get another credit card and transfer a portion of the balance to the new card so that both cards have a balance no more than 35% of their limits.
Other types of credit that you might consider getting are retail store credit cards or gasoline credit cards. Just be sure to use well know companies that you are sure report to the credit bureaus.
The key is to make your payments ontime.
If you are in a position of having to establish new credit then it will take approximately six months for all of this to really kick in and begin to impact your credit scores in a positive manner.
Hope this helps. Stay your course and your scores will get better.
Spunds like you have a great deal of good things going for you!
If you forward me a some contact information, I could put you in touch with a couple of lenders that have access to a wide variey of programs.
Being a nurse opens up a whole other set of possibilities.
Please shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 440-487-2193 and I can get you the names & contact info for very good, honest mortgage brokers.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland
I can pull your credit if you like and see if we can qualify you today or if not I can help guide you in improving your credit and I can them provide you a timeframe in which you can buy. I'm not too far away if you would like to come in also or just give me a call directly.
Sr. Mortgage Consultant