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 Chatham, New Jersey 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 Chatham, New Jersey?

If you can't get credit in Chatham, New Jersey, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. In Chatham, New Jersey, 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.

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 Chatham, New Jersey?

To make your credit score better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for errors and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. It also helps to show that you are willing to use credit, but can do so responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Chatham you might consider getting a credit card, making a few small purchases each month on it, and then paying off the balance in full at the end of each month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to quickly establish a good credit rating.

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 Chatham, New Jersey Lawyer Help?

A good Chatham, New Jersey 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.