Consumer credit is any type of credit extended to an ordinary consumer. Credit, broadly defined, is the provision of a resource (typically 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 Clearlake, California deal with at least one common type of consumer credit on a regular basis: credit cards. Credit card debt is one of the largest sources of individual debt in the U.S.
Why can't I Get Credit in Clearlake, California?
If you can't get credit in Clearlake, California, the most likely reason is that you have a poor credit score. Credit scores in Clearlake, California are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies collect all the available information about a person's finances, and then assign them a numerical score, which provides a quick assessment of the risk they represent to a lender. The exact formulas that these companies use to generate credit scores are closely-guarded trade secrets.
In the U.S., you have a legal right to view your credit report for free, once per year. This is a good opportunity to perform a financial check-up, and see if there are any errors on your report which need to be corrected. While some third-party companies will give you a free credit report through their website, you should be aware that many of them (without making this clear up-front) will begin charging a monthly fee afterwards, in exchange for continued access. If you just wanted the one free report, you can opt out of this, but you typically have to do so over the phone, and can't do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Clearlake, California?
To improve your credit rating, there are numerous 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, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Clearlake with no credit history can quickly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the whole balance at the end of each billing cycle.
Because credit reports are meant to be used by potential lenders to assess somebody's risk as a borrower, showing that you always (or close to it) pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to improve your credit score, and to keep it high.
How Can a Clearlake, California Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Clearlake, California can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and a lawyer can make the navigation of them much easier.