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 Greenbelt, 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 Greenbelt, Maryland?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Greenbelt, Maryland the most likely reason is that you have no credit history, or a bad credit score. Credit scores in Greenbelt, Maryland are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies collect all the available information about a person's finances, and then give them a numerical score, which provides a quick determination 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 chance 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 typically have to do so over the phone, and can't do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Greenbelt, Maryland?
To improve your credit, there are numerous things you can do. First of all, you should report any mistakes you see on your credit report to the credit bureau. These companies sometimes make errors, and some of them can seriously damage your credit score. 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 Greenbelt you may 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 every month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to rapidly establish a good credit rating.
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 Greenbelt, Maryland Lawyer Help?
A good attorney specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Greenbelt, Maryland can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt concerns. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and an attorney can make the navigation of them much easier.