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 Chestnut Ridge, New York deal with 1 type of consumer credit almost every day: credit cards. These little pieces of plastic are one of the biggest sources of consumer debt in the United States.

Why can't I Get Credit in Chestnut Ridge, New York?

If you can't get credit in Chestnut Ridge, New York, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Chestnut Ridge, New York are compiled by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These companies compile all the available information about a person's finances, and then assign them a numerical score, which provides a quick assessment of the risk they represent to a lender. The exact formulas that these companies use to generate credit scores 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 hurting your credit, and to report any false information contained in your report. There are numerous 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 Chestnut Ridge, New York?

To make your credit score better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for errors and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. It also helps to show that you are willing to use credit, but can do so responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Chestnut Ridge you might consider getting a credit card, making a few small purchases each month on it, and then paying off the balance in full at the end of each month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to quickly establish a good credit rating.

Because credit reports are primarily meant to make it easier for potential lenders to assess your risk as a borrower, showing that you pay back your debts in a timely manner can go a long way in creating a good credit score.

How Can a Chestnut Ridge, New York Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Chestnut Ridge, New York can be very helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an attorney can make it much easier to navigate them.