How to improve my low credit score?

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      I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. When I was younger, I thought the answer was to have numerous credit cards. I of course was not responsible and ended up with a lot of debt. I had learned my lesson and paid off all my debt at least 8 years ago.
      I would like to re-establish my credit, but unfortunately, I get denied credit cards due to my low credit score. I have been told I need a higher credit score in order to be approved. Now that I am older, married, and have a family, I would like to someday own our own home. Before I can do that, I really need to fix my credit score.

      I am stuck in a catch 22. In order to raise my credit, I need to establish more good credit. But no one will give me a credit card due to my low score. All I have is a low score. My debt has been paid off for a very long time. I have a debit mastercard, but that does not help my credit score.

      What can I do to start building good credit so I can get a credit card and re-establish?

      I’ve tried researching online, but I get so many websites that are bogus. Any help would be appreciated. thank you.
      I have a steady job. I’ve been working at my current job for Five years (still there).

      I have no late bills

      I have no open credit cards as the old ones were canceled and paid off.
      they were all stopped since I didn’t pay them off for a long time and went to collections :/ if only I was smarter then and realized the consequences of how it would affect my adult life.

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