Consumer credit is any form 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 El Cerrito, California deal with at least one common form of consumer credit on a regular basis: credit cards. Credit card debt is one of the biggest sources of individual debt in the U.S.
Why can't I Get Credit in El Cerrito, California?
If you can't get credit in El Cerrito, California, the most likely explanation is that you have a bad credit score. In El Cerrito, California, private companies called "credit bureaus" collect a person's credit score using all available information about their finances, including their debt-to-credit ratio, records of evictions, and late payments. All of this information is fed into complex mathematical equations that calculate a numerical score. Precisely how these scores are calculated is known to very few people, since the formulas used are tightly-guarded trade secrets.
U.S. law states you are entitled to one credit report per year for free. This will allow you to see your credit score, and any factors that might be hurting it, which can help you improve it in the future. You should be aware, however, that numerous websites offering a "free" credit report will start charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very challenging for you to cancel your membership, requiring you to do so over the phone rather than online. They also may only tell you about this fee in the fine print.a
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in El Cerrito, California?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will typically fix it. It also helps to show that you are willing to use credit, but can do so responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in El Cerrito you may consider getting a credit card, making a few small purchases each month on it, and then paying off the balance in full at the end of every month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to rapidly establish a good credit rating.
Credit reports are generally meant to be used by lenders to determine the risk of a prospective borrower. For this reason, how one handles debt is a major factor in one's credit score. Paying all of your debts in a timely manner is a good way to keep a high credit score.
How Can a El Cerrito, California Lawyer Help?
A good attorney who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in El Cerrito, California can be extremely helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an lawyer can make it much easier to navigate them.