Credit, broadly defined, is the provision of money on the assumption that payment for it will come later, or over time. Consumer credit is simply credit extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods or services. Many people in Medford, New Jersey deal with 1 form of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These little pieces of plastic are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Medford, New Jersey?
The most likely reason as to why a Medford, New Jersey bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have poor credit. In Medford, New Jersey, 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 individuals 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 affecting your credit, and to report any incorrect information contained in your report. There are various 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 Medford, New Jersey?
To improve your credit score, you can do a few fairly simple things. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. Also, you should show that you are willing to use credit, but able to do so responsibly. For example, using a credit card for a few modest purchases per week in Medford, then paying the entire amount at the end of the month.
Credit reports are primarily meant to be used by lenders to determine the risk of a prospective borrower. For this reason, how one handles debt is a major factor in one's credit score. Paying all of your debts in a timely manner is a good way to keep a high credit score.
How Can a Medford, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
An experienced Medford, New Jersey Lawyer specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit rating reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.