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 Gaithersburg, Maryland deal with 1 type of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These small pieces of plastic are one of the biggest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Gaithersburg, Maryland?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Gaithersburg, Maryland the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. Credit scores in Gaithersburg, Maryland are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies gather 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.
In the U.S., you have a legal right to view your credit report for free, once per year. This is a good opportunity to perform a financial check-up, and see if there are any errors on your report which need to be corrected. While some third-party companies will give you a free credit report through their website, you should be aware that many of them (without making this clear up-front) will begin charging a monthly fee afterwards, in exchange for continued access. If you just wanted the one free report, you can opt out of this, but you normally have to do so over the phone, and can't do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Gaithersburg, Maryland?
To improve your credit, there are various 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. 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 inexpensive purchases per week in Gaithersburg, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.
Because credit reports are meant to be used by potential lenders to assess 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 Gaithersburg, Maryland Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Gaithersburg, 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.