Consumer credit is a type of loan extended to ordinary consumers to buy consumer goods. Credit, broadly defined, is the provision of money from one entity to another, where the lender does not expect to be immediately compensated. Instead, the parties agree on payment at a later date, or in periodic installments. Most people living in Riverside, Illinois deal with at least one form of consumer credit every day: credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.

Why can't I Get Credit in Riverside, Illinois?

If you're having trouble getting credit in Riverside, Illinois the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. In Riverside, Illinois, 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 gather relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical equations to generate a numerical score. Relatively few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-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 affirmatively 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 Riverside, Illinois?

To improve your credit rating, there are numerous things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for errors and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make mistakes like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your rating. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Riverside 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.

Credit reports are primarily meant to be used by lenders to assess 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 maintain a high credit score.

How Can a Riverside, Illinois Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Riverside, Illinois can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and a lawyer can make the navigation of them much easier.