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. Many people in West Fargo, North Dakota deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the largest sources of individual debt in the U.S.
Why can't I Get Credit in West Fargo, North Dakota?
If you are unable to get credit in West Fargo, North Dakota, it might be because you have a poor credit score. In West Fargo, North Dakota, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies compile 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 difficult by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in West Fargo, North Dakota?
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's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in West Fargo might get a credit card, and use it for a few affordable 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 primarily 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 West Fargo, North Dakota Lawyer Help?
A good West Fargo, North Dakota 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.