Three recommendations that can help consumers improve their score

Obtaining one's credit report, knowing one's score, and understanding what it means are the three things consumers should do if they want to improve their credit, The Atlantic magazine says.

The source says consumers can get a copy of their credit reports for free, as credit bureaus like Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are required to release consumers' financial history once per year.

The source says finding out ones score for free is a bit more difficult, as credit scoring companies like FICO are under no obligation to release the information without a fee. However, consumers can now request their scores for free if they have recently been denied credit due to a low three digit number.

Finally, the magazine says consumers can find out more about how credit scores can be improved by visiting scoreinfo.com, an educational resource maintained by the company that originated the FICO score.

Should consumers still be unclear about how to raise their score, they may want to consider meeting with a credit repair business. One of the company's attorneys may be able to offer a credit solution.