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. Most individuals in Columbia, Illinois probably deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards.
Why can't I Get Credit in Columbia, Illinois?
If you are unable to get credit in Columbia, Illinois, it may be because you have a bad credit score. In Columbia, Illinois, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies compile 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 individuals exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies are closely-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 Columbia, Illinois?
To improve your credit, there are many things you can do. First of all, you should report any mistakes you see on your credit report to the credit bureau. These companies sometimes make errors, and some of them can seriously damage your credit score. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Columbia, and want to rapidly build a good credit score, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it every month. Make sure you don't run up a balance that you can't immediately pay off in full, and at the end of each month, pay the whole balance.
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 Columbia, Illinois Lawyer Help?
An experienced Columbia, Illinois 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.