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 Ringwood, New Jersey deal with 1 form of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These small pieces of plastic are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Ringwood, New Jersey?
The most likely reason as to why a Ringwood, New Jersey bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have poor credit. In Ringwood, New Jersey, credit reports are prepared by private companies that have access to a great deal of financial information about almost anyone who has a Social Security Number. These companies are called "credit bureaus." They collect relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical algorithms to produce a numerical score. Very few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-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 countless 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 hard by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Ringwood, New Jersey?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely 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 Ringwood may get a credit card, and use it for a few modest purchases every month, and then pay down the whole balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.
Credit reports are usually 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 Ringwood, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
A good attorney who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Ringwood, New Jersey can be extremely helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an lawyer can make it much easier to navigate them.