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 Sunnyvale, 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 Sunnyvale, California?
If you are unable to get credit in Sunnyvale, California, it may be because you have a bad credit score. In Sunnyvale, 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 are legally entitled to one free credit report per year. This allows you to perform a simple financial check-up, to see what's affecting your credit, and to report any incorrect information contained in your report. There are various 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 difficult by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Sunnyvale, California?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will usually fix it. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Sunnyvale may get a credit card, and use it for a few affordable 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.
Credit reports are primarily meant to be used by lenders to determine 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 keep a high credit score.
How Can a Sunnyvale, California Lawyer Help?
An experienced Sunnyvale, California lawyer specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit rating reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.