Consumer credit is any type of credit extended to an ordinary consumer. Credit, broadly defined, is the provision of a resource (normally money) from one party to another, where the first party does not expect to be immediately compensated. Instead, the parties arrange for payment to come at a later date, or over time, in installments. Many people in Madison, Alabama deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the largest sources of individual debt in the U.S.
Why can't I Get Credit in Madison, Alabama?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Madison, Alabama the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. In Madison, Alabama, credit reports are prepared by private companies that have access to a great deal of financial information about almost anyone who has a Social Security Number. These companies are called "credit bureaus." They take relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical equations to generate a numerical score. Relatively few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded trade secrets.
Under U.S. law, you have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view it more times than that, but you'll likely have to pay a credit bureau. You should be cautious, however. Many websites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but require a credit card number in order to register. If you do not clearly cancel your membership (which can usually only be done over the phone, and not online), they will start charging you a monthly fee.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Madison, Alabama?
To improve your credit rating, there are many things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for errors and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make mistakes like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your rating. Also, you should show that you are willing to use credit, but able to do so responsibly. For example, using a credit card for a few inexpensive purchases per week in Madison, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.
Credit reports are meant to be a tool for lenders to easily assess a person's risk as a borrower. Therefore, showing that you are able to pay back your debts on time can be very effective in creating a good credit score.
How Can a Madison, Alabama Lawyer Help?
An experienced Madison, Alabama attorney specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit score reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.