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 Cortland, 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 Cortland, New York?

If you can't get credit in Cortland, New York, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Cortland, 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 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 affirmatively 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 Cortland, New York?

To improve your credit, there are many things you can do. First of all, you should report any errors you see on your credit report to the credit bureau. These companies sometimes make mistakes, and some of them can seriously damage your credit score. 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 Cortland, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.

Because credit reports are meant to be used by potential lenders to assess somebody's risk as a borrower, showing that you always (or close to it) pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to improve your credit score, and to keep it high.

How Can a Cortland, New York Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer in Cortland, New York can be extremely useful in helping you resolve any consumer credit issue, such as bankruptcy, or getting errors removed from your report if the credit bureau is being difficult.