Credit, broadly defined, is the provision of money on the assumption that compensation for it will come later, or over time. Consumer credit is simply credit extended to individuals in order to purchase consumer goods or services. Most people living in Kirkwood, Missouri deal with at least one form of consumer credit every day: credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Kirkwood, Missouri?
If you can't get credit in Kirkwood, Missouri, the most likely reason is that you have a poor credit score. In Kirkwood, Missouri, private companies called "credit bureaus" collect a person's credit score using all available information about their finances, including their debt-to-credit ratio, records of evictions, and late payments. All of this information is fed into complex mathematical algorithms that calculate a numerical score. Exactly how these scores are calculated is known to very few people, since the formulas used are tightly-guarded trade secrets.
Under federal law, you are legally entitled to view your credit report for free, once per year, which will let you see what factors are hurting your credit, and report any errors to the company. Many websites have been set up to give you easy access to this information. However, most of them require registration with a credit card, and will begin charging you a monthly fee once your free trial period is up, unless you specifically opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Kirkwood, Missouri?
To improve your credit rating, there are numerous things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for errors and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make mistakes like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your rating. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Kirkwood with no credit history can quickly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the whole balance at the end of each billing cycle.
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 Kirkwood, Missouri Lawyer Help?
A good Kirkwood, Missouri lawyer knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that might arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an error from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party attempting to maliciously harm your credit score.