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 College Park, 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 College Park, Maryland?
If you're having trouble getting credit in College Park, Maryland the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. Credit scores in College Park, Maryland are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies collect all the available information about a person's finances, and then assign them a numerical score, which provides a quick assessment of the risk they represent to a lender. The exact formulas that these companies use to generate credit scores 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 hurting your credit, and to report any false information contained in your report. There are numerous 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 College Park, Maryland?
To make your credit score better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for errors and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. It also helps to show that you are willing to use credit, but can do so responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in College Park you might consider getting a credit card, making a few small purchases each month on it, and then paying off the balance in full at the end of each month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to quickly establish a good credit rating.
Because credit reports are generally meant to make it easier for potential lenders to assess your risk as a borrower, showing that you pay back your debts in a timely manner can go a long way in creating a good credit score.
How Can a College Park, Maryland Lawyer Help?
A good College Park, Maryland lawyer knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that might arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an error from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party attempting to maliciously harm your credit score.