Not financially intelligent, how to grow my credit and when?

I’ve never been good with money. I was born and raised poor with very little financial intelligence.

That changed after kids. I went from dodging collection calls to actively repaying.

As of today, at 30, I have $10,000 in personal debt that I’ve been paying faithfully and on time for a year (I know this seems like so little, but it is a huge accomplishment for me)

I have paid off every single collection, and I monitor my credit monthly. My credit report is over 550 for the first time since I was 20. I’m embarrassed by how poor it is.

I negotiated my remaining debt to be as fool proof as possible, it will take a bit longer to pay off, but my income isn’t stretched to make the payments, whenever I have extra, I put extra in and when I can pick up casual work, I pick it up.

My question is, it will take me roughly another two years to fully pay off everything I owe. How should I rebuild from there?

Is it better to wait until it is completely paid and my credit utilization is 0? Or is it better to get something like a guaranteed credit card and go from there?

I’ve done research but there are so many conflicting answers and I’m not even sure how to grow my financial intelligence having never truly had an example or education in it.