Consumer credit is any form 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 Redwood City, 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 Redwood City, California?
If you are unable to get credit in Redwood City, California, it may be because you have a bad credit score. Credit scores in Redwood City, California are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities compile all the available information about your finances, look at how much debt you have, if you've paid it back in a timely manner, and other factors, and calculate a numerical score. This number provides possible lenders with a quick assessment of how risky it is to lend money to a person. The exact formulas that these companies employ to create credit scores are 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 various websites offering a "free" credit report will start charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very hard 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 Redwood City, 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 Redwood City, 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 Redwood City, California Lawyer Help?
A good Redwood City, 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.