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 Hawthorne, New Jersey deal with 1 type of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These small pieces of plastic are one of the biggest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Hawthorne, New Jersey?
The most likely explanation as to why a Hawthorne, New Jersey bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. Credit scores in Hawthorne, New Jersey 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 Hawthorne, New Jersey?
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. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Hawthorne 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.
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 Hawthorne, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
An experienced Hawthorne, New Jersey 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.