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 Los Altos, 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 Los Altos, California?

If you can't get credit in Los Altos, California, the most likely explanation is that you have a bad credit score. In Los Altos, 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.

Under U.S. law, you have a right to see your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, see 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 explicitly 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 Los Altos, California?

To improve your credit, there are numerous 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 Los Altos may get a credit card, and use it for a few inexpensive 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 meant to be used by possible lenders to determine 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 Los Altos, California Lawyer Help?

A good attorney who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Los Altos, 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.