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. Most people in Columbia, Missouri probably deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards.

Why can't I Get Credit in Columbia, Missouri?

If you are unable to get credit in Columbia, Missouri, it might be because you have a poor credit score. In Columbia, Missouri, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies collect all the available financial information on a person (such as the amount of credit currently available to them, and its ratio to their debt) and use it to calculate a simple numerical score. This number gives would-be lenders an easy way to assess a person's risk as a borrower. It is not known to many people exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies 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 hurting your credit, and to report any false information contained in your report. There are many 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 challenging by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Columbia, Missouri?

To improve your credit rating, you can do a few relatively simple things. First, you should check your credit report for errors, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Columbia, 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 generally 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 Columbia, Missouri Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer in Columbia, Missouri can be extremely useful in helping you resolve any consumer credit issue, such as bankruptcy, or getting errors removed from your report if the credit bureau is being difficult.