You can’t avoid the thorns. Gardeners end a hard day’s work with dirty fingernails and sometimes the occasional scratch from a thorn or two. For gardeners, that’s a small amount of pain for the weeks and months of enjoyment they get out of their flowerbeds. You should also be aware that your credit report will have thorns as well — the occasional overdue credit item that needs to be taken care of. It might not be pleasant to work with creditors or to make sacrifices in your personal budget to pay off an overdue item — but the short-term “thorn” is a small price to pay for the long-term benefit of cleaner credit.