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 Cumberland, Maryland deal with 1 type of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These little pieces of plastic are one of the biggest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Cumberland, Maryland?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Cumberland, Maryland the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. Credit scores in Cumberland, Maryland are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies compile 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 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 Cumberland, Maryland?
To improve your credit, there are many 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 will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Cumberland, and want to quickly build a positive credit rating, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it each month. Make sure you don't run up a balance that you can't immediately pay off in full, and at the end of each month, pay the entire balance.
Because credit reports are primarily 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 Cumberland, Maryland Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Cumberland, Maryland can be very helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an attorney can make it much easier to navigate them.