Consumer credit is any form of credit extended to an ordinary consumer. Credit, broadly defined, is the provision of a resource (usually 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 Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, California?
If you can't get credit in Lafayette, California, the most likely explanation is that you have a bad credit score. In Lafayette, California, 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 compile relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical algorithms to produce a numerical score. Very few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-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 many websites offering a "free" credit report will start charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very difficult 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 Lafayette, California?
To improve your credit score, you can do a few fairly simple things. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. 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 modest purchases per week in Lafayette, then paying the entire amount at the end of the month.
Credit reports are a tool for lenders to determine how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you consistently pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.
How Can a Lafayette, California Lawyer Help?
A good Lafayette, California 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.