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 Lincoln, Maine deal with 1 form of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These small pieces of plastic are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Lincoln, Maine?
If you can't get credit in Lincoln, Maine, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Lincoln, Maine are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies gather 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.
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 affecting your credit, and to report any incorrect information contained in your report. There are countless 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 hard by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Lincoln, Maine?
To improve your credit score, you can do a few fairly simple things. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Lincoln may get a credit card, and use it for a few modest purchases every month, and then pay down the whole balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.
Because credit reports are usually meant to make it easier for possible 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 Lincoln, Maine Lawyer Help?
An experienced Lincoln, Maine 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.