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 Buffalo, New York 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 Buffalo, New York?
If you can't get credit in Buffalo, New York, the most likely reason is that you have a poor credit score. In Buffalo, New York, 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 take relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical equations to generate a numerical score. Relatively few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded trade secrets.
Under U.S. law, you have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view it more times than that, but you'll likely have to pay a credit bureau. You should be cautious, however. Many websites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but require a credit card number in order to register. If you do not clearly cancel your membership (which can usually only be done over the phone, and not online), they will start charging you a monthly fee.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Buffalo, New York?
To improve your credit rating, there are many things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for errors and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make mistakes like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your rating. 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 inexpensive purchases per week in Buffalo, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.
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 Buffalo, New York Lawyer Help?
A good Buffalo, New York Lawyer knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that might arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an error from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party attempting to maliciously harm your credit score.