02/04/2011 04:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Clearing the Path to Better Credit

Earlier in the week I watched from the cozy nest of my living room as the snow piled up on the driveway and the walk outside my home. But thinking about all the shoveling in front me, I could hardly enjoy the view. Clearing away the snow always seems like such an ordeal. Maybe it's because as soon as I think I'm done, there's inevitably more snow on the way.

The reality of this inevitably used to tie me to that cozy nest. There were snow days where I didn't shovel at all. What was the point? It will all eventually melt away anyway! Of course, on those days I often paid the price - usually with a good fall and a sore backside. I've since changed my attitude. While I still don't enjoy shoveling, I get out and do it. And I do it even though I know that soon enough I'll need to get out and do it all over again.

If your attitude to your credit is anything like my old attitude was to snow removal, maybe it's time for a change in attitude. Think you've made too much of a mess of your credit that it's not worth doing anything at all? While it's true that doing nothing and letting time pass will eventually melt away your credit problems, there are a number of things you can do to speed up the process.

Start now by paying your bills on time. Consider using an online site to automatically make your payments in case you're too busy or forgetful. Maybe some of your credit cards have high balances? Start paying them down. Know what's on your credit report? Order your credit reports now from Experian, Trans Union & Equifax. When you get each report, review them with a highlighter and mark up anything that is not yours or that you disagree with. Dispute that information directly with the credit bureau.

If you're anything like the old me that skips a storm or two, the good news is that the snow eventually disappears. And so, too, will your bad credit. But why wait? It's time to get out there and start clearing the path to better credit.

I enjoyed this past year of your credit questions, please email me at . I wish you all a Happy Healthy Credit New Year!