Consumer credit is a form 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 instantly compensated. Instead, the parties agree on payment at a later date, or in periodic installments. Many people in Lancaster, Massachusetts 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 Lancaster, Massachusetts?
The most likely reason as to why a Lancaster, Massachusetts bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have poor credit. In Lancaster, Massachusetts, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies collect 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 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 challenging by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Lancaster, Massachusetts?
To make your credit rating better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for mistakes and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. Also, you should show that you are willing to use credit, but able to do so responsibly. For example, using a credit card for a few modest purchases per week in Lancaster, then paying the entire amount at the end of the month.
Because credit reports are meant to be used by possible lenders to determine somebody's risk as a borrower, showing that you always (or close to it) pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to improve your credit score, and to keep it high.
How Can a Lancaster, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
A good Lancaster, Massachusetts attorney knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that may arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an mistake from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party trying to maliciously harm your credit score.