Consumer credit is any type 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 Merced, 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 Merced, California?

If you are unable to get credit in Merced, California, it might be because you have a poor credit score. Credit scores in Merced, California are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies gather 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.

Under U.S. law, you are legally entitled to one free credit report per year. This allows you to perform a simple financial check-up, to see what's hurting your credit, and to report any false information contained in your report. There are numerous websites that provide easy access to this information, but most of them require registration with a credit card. Once you view your free report, they will begin charging you a monthly fee unless you opt out. Some of them make this hard by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Merced, California?

To improve your credit rating, you can do a few relatively simple things. First, you should check your credit report for errors, 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 inexpensive purchases per week in Merced, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.

Credit reports are usually meant to be used by lenders to assess 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 maintain a high credit score.

How Can a Merced, California Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Merced, California can be very helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an attorney can make it much easier to navigate them.