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 Berrien County, Michigan 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 Berrien County, Michigan?
If you can't get credit in Berrien County, Michigan, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Berrien County, Michigan are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities gather all the available information about your finances, look at how much debt you have, if you've paid it back in a timely manner, and other factors, and calculate a numerical score. This number provides possible lenders with a quick determination of how risky it is to lend money to a person. The exact formulas that these companies employ to create credit scores are trade secrets.
Under U.S. law, you have a right to see your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, see 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 explicitly 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 Berrien County, Michigan?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will typically fix it. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Berrien County, and want to rapidly build a good credit score, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it every 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 whole balance.
Credit reports are a tool for lenders to determine how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you consistently pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.
How Can a Berrien County, Michigan Lawyer Help?
A good Attorney who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Berrien County, Michigan can be extremely helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an Lawyer can make it much easier to navigate them.