i have a five or so old items on my credit report from when i was in college that went to collections. i paid all of them off completely over 4 years ago. i have read about ways to fight/remove other negative items from your report but nothing talks about an account that was paid off.
i have had a car loan and a new credit card since that i always pay on time. if i just had these items off my report i would have a much higher score.