Credit score is 535. How can I improve?

I have about 10 accounts in collections (credit cards, utility and cell phone bills). It’s been about 2 years since I defaulted. Should I try and make settlements? Let it go and wait the 7 years (which I don’t want to do because I WANT to pay my debts when I can). I’m still unemployed but when I start work, how should I go about repaying?

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