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 Palm Beach County, Florida deal with 1 form of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These tiny pieces of plastic are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.

Why can't I Get Credit in Palm Beach County, Florida?

If you're having trouble getting credit in Palm Beach County, Florida the most likely reason is that you have no credit history, or a bad credit score. Credit scores in Palm Beach County, Florida are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities gather 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 determination 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.

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 Palm Beach County, Florida?

To improve your credit rating, there are various 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 Palm Beach County 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.

Credit reports are generally 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 Palm Beach County, Florida Lawyer Help?

A good attorney specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Palm Beach County, Florida can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt concerns. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and an attorney can make the navigation of them much easier.