Consumer credit is any form 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 Tuscaloosa, Alabama deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the biggest sources of individual debt in the U.S.
Why can't I Get Credit in Tuscaloosa, Alabama?
If you are unable to get credit in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, it may be because you have a bad credit score. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies gather all the available financial information on a person (such as the amount of credit currently available to them, and its ratio to their debt) and use it to calculate a simple numerical score. This number gives would-be lenders an easy way to assess a person's risk as a borrower. It is not known to many individuals exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies are closely-guarded trade secrets.
Under federal law, you are legally entitled to see your credit report for free, once per year, which will let you view what factors are affecting your credit, and report any errors to the company. Many websites have been set up to give you easy access to this information. However, most of them require registration with a credit card, and will start charging you a monthly fee once your free trial period is up, unless you clearly opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Tuscaloosa, Alabama?
To improve your credit, there are various things you can do. First of all, you should report any mistakes you see on your credit report to the credit bureau. These companies sometimes make errors, and some of them can seriously damage your credit score. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Tuscaloosa may get a credit card, and use it for a few modest purchases every month, and then pay down the whole balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.
Because credit reports are usually meant to make it easier for possible lenders to assess your risk as a borrower, showing that you pay back your debts in a timely manner can go a long way in creating a good credit score.
How Can a Tuscaloosa, Alabama Lawyer Help?
A good Tuscaloosa, Alabama attorney knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that may arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an mistake from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party trying to maliciously harm your credit score.