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 Highlands, 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 Highlands, New Jersey?
The most likely explanation as to why a Highlands, New Jersey bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. Credit scores in Highlands, 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 Highlands, 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. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Highlands 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.
Credit reports are meant to be a tool for lenders to easily assess a person's risk as a borrower. Therefore, showing that you are able to pay back your debts on time can be very effective in creating a good credit score.
How Can a Highlands, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
An experienced Highlands, 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.