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 Great Falls, Montana 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 Great Falls, Montana?
If you can't get credit in Great Falls, Montana, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Great Falls, Montana 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 potential 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.
U.S. law states you are entitled to one credit report per year for free. This will allow you to see your credit score, and any factors that might be hurting it, which can help you improve it in the future. You should be aware, however, that numerous websites offering a "free" credit report will begin charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very challenging for you to cancel your membership, requiring you to do so over the phone rather than online. They also sometimes only tell you about this fee in the fine print.a
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Great Falls, Montana?
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, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Great Falls 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 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 Great Falls, Montana Lawyer Help?
An experienced Great Falls, Montana attorney specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit score reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.