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. Many people in Annapolis, Maryland deal with 1 type of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These tiny pieces of plastic are one of the biggest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Annapolis, Maryland?
The most likely explanation as to why an Annapolis, Maryland bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. In Annapolis, Maryland, 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 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 Annapolis, Maryland?
To improve your credit, there are numerous things you can do. First of all, you should report any errors you see on your credit report to the credit bureau. These companies sometimes make mistakes, and some of them can seriously damage your credit score. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Annapolis might get a credit card, and use it for a few inexpensive purchases each month, and then pay down the entire balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.
Credit reports are generally 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 Annapolis, Maryland Lawyer Help?
An experienced Annapolis, Maryland 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.