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 Sonoma, 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 Sonoma, California?

If you are unable to get credit in Sonoma, California, it may be because you have a bad credit score. In Sonoma, 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 collect 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 federal law, you are legally entitled to see your credit report for free, once per year, which will let you view what factors are affecting your credit, and report any errors to the company. Many websites have been set up to give you easy access to this information. However, most of them require registration with a credit card, and will start charging you a monthly fee once your free trial period is up, unless you explicitly opt out.

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

To improve your credit rating, there are countless things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make errors like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your score. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Sonoma with no credit history can rapidly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the entire balance at the end of each billing cycle.

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 Sonoma, California Lawyer Help?

A good attorney in Sonoma, California can be very useful in helping you resolve any consumer credit issue, such as bankruptcy, or getting mistakes removed from your report if the credit bureau is being difficult.