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 Bethesda, Maryland 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 Bethesda, Maryland?
The most likely reason as to why a Bethesda, Maryland bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have poor credit. In Bethesda, 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 collect relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical algorithms to produce a numerical score. Very few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded trade secrets.
Under U.S. law, you have a right to see your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, see 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 Bethesda, Maryland?
To improve your credit rating, there are countless things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make errors like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your score. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Bethesda with no credit history can rapidly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the entire balance at the end of each billing cycle.
Credit reports are generally meant to be used by lenders to determine 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 keep a high credit score.
How Can a Bethesda, Maryland Lawyer Help?
An experienced Bethesda, Maryland 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.