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 West Orange, 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 West Orange, New Jersey?

The most likely reason as to why a West Orange, New Jersey bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have poor credit. In West Orange, 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.

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 many websites offering a "free" credit report will start charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very difficult for you to cancel your membership, requiring you to do so over the phone rather than online. They also may only tell you about this fee in the fine print.a

How Can I Improve My Credit Score in West Orange, 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 West Orange, then paying the entire amount at the end of the month.

Credit reports are meant to be a tool for lenders to easily determine a person's risk as a borrower. Therefore, showing that you are able to pay back your debts on time can be extremely effective in creating a good credit score.

How Can a West Orange, New Jersey Lawyer Help?

A good West Orange, New Jersey attorney knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that may arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an mistake from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party trying to maliciously harm your credit score.