I made the typical mistake senior year of college and put all the utilities in my name for a place five people rented. I left to go into the Peace Corps and came back to two things in collection (and some ended friendships!) I have since paid them, but am really worried about my credit. My current score is a 603 and I am desperate to figure out a way to raise it. I am able to pay all my bills on time, but want to know how to best/quickly increase my credit score. I need advice on the following issues: 1. I have a high interest car loan with Credit Acceptance Corporation and want to know if this is helping my score or not. Does anyone know how to get out of these loans early since the amount financed is usually above the value of the car! 2. Do student loans lower your score? 3. One creditor is willing to remove the collection from my account. Who do I contact in order to have it reflect on my credit report? 4. Is it better to have my credit card closed or opened? I pay it regularly, but carry a balance. 5. Should I request to have my employment information put on my credit report? What about putting a statement on my account about being out of the country with the Peace Corps? Thanks so much for your time - I am really at a loss as to where to go from here. Thank God I found this site though.