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 Columbia, Mississippi 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 Columbia, Mississippi?
If you are unable to get credit in Columbia, Mississippi, it might be because you have a poor credit score. Credit scores in Columbia, Mississippi are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities compile 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 potential lenders with a quick assessment 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.
In the U.S., you have a legal right to view your credit report for free, once per year. This is a good opportunity 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 normally have to do so over the phone, and can't do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Columbia, Mississippi?
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. Also, you should show that you are willing to use credit, but able to do so responsibly. For example, using a credit card for a few inexpensive purchases per week in Columbia, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.
Credit reports are a tool for lenders to assess how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you routinely pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.
How Can a Columbia, Mississippi Lawyer Help?
A good Lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Columbia, Mississippi can be very helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an Attorney can make it much easier to navigate them.