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. Most people in Clear Lake, Iowa probably deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards.

Why can't I Get Credit in Clear Lake, Iowa?

If you can't get credit in Clear Lake, Iowa, the most likely reason is that you have a poor credit score. In Clear Lake, Iowa, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies gather all the available financial information on a person (such as the amount of credit currently available to them, and its ratio to their debt) and use it to calculate a simple numerical score. This number gives would-be lenders an easy way to assess a person's risk as a borrower. It is not known to many people exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies are closely-guarded trade secrets.

Under U.S. law, you have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view 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 clearly 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 Clear Lake, Iowa?

To make your credit score better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for errors and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Clear Lake with no credit history can quickly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the whole balance at the end of each billing cycle.

Because credit reports are usually meant to make it easier for potential lenders to assess your risk as a borrower, showing that you pay back your debts in a timely manner can go a long way in creating a good credit score.

How Can a Clear Lake, Iowa Lawyer Help?

An experienced Clear Lake, Iowa attorney specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit score reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.