One of the fastest ways to improve your credit score is to remove negative items on your consumer report that drag your ratings down the most. However, many people are confused about how to spot errors the bureaus are likely to respect and correct.

Learn how to dispute late payments, collection accounts, and public records and win a permanent removal. Know where the weaknesses lie and where to send your letters.


Personal-trainers help people get into shape by identifying weaknesses and developing exercise routines to target improvement in those areas.

Consumers seeking to improve their risk ratings may try the same approach. They identify the consumer credit reporting agency with the lowest score, and try to improve it. However, this approach is unlikely to work. The process works differently.


May people get confused when trying to separate consumer-reporting agencies, and the risk scores based upon their data. They are similar but different.

The score measures the probability of future default or delinquency for borrowing in general, and for specific loan types. Find out which matters most when buying a house or car.


Consumers are frequently confused by the often murky credit reporting agencies and the rating systems they produce and market. Things are not all that mysterious.

Once people understand that the industry exists to serve lenders first and consumers second, things become clearer. Learn the key definitions and the variations begin to make sense.


Understanding the meaning of your credit score is challenging enough. Now certain lenders may suggest that taking out a personal installment loan may prove to boost your ratings.

You may wonder whether you should believe or discount these claims. The best answer for each consumer depends on circumstances.