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 Laurel, 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 Laurel, Montana?
If you can't get credit in Laurel, Montana, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Laurel, Montana 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.
Under U.S. law, you have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view 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 clearly 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 Laurel, Montana?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not infallible, and sometimes make mistakes in compiling your credit report, including very serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will normally fix it. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Laurel might get a credit card, and use it for a few modest purchases each month, and then pay down the entire balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.
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 Laurel, Montana Lawyer Help?
A good Lawyer specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Laurel, Montana can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and a Lawyer can make the navigation of them much easier.