Q: I want to buy a house, but I have bad credit. How can you help me?

A: Even if you have terrible credit, someone will lend you the cash to buy a house. It’s just that you might pay credit card interest rates of 10 to 15 percent on the mortgage. That’s going to hurt. Instead, you might want to pull a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com, to see if there are any errors or mistakes on your credit. If not, you’ll need to hunker down and start working on improving your credit history.

You can improve your credit simply by making each payment on time. If you have credit card debts that are overwhelming, you might want to think about filing for bankruptcy and having most of your debts discharged. Otherwise, it should take one to two years of on-time payments to help improve your credit score dramatically.

If you need assistance budgeting your resources, you can make a free appointment for counseling with the Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Atlanta (www.cccsinc.org).