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 Elmsford, New York 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 Elmsford, New York?
If you can't get credit in Elmsford, New York, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Elmsford, New York are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities collect all the available information about your finances, look at how much debt you have, if you've paid it back in a timely manner, and other factors, and calculate a numerical score. This number provides possible lenders with a quick estimate of how risky it is to lend money to a person. The exact formulas that these companies employ to create credit scores are trade secrets.
Under federal law, you are legally entitled to see your credit report for free, once per year, which will let you view what factors are affecting your credit, and report any errors to the company. Many websites have been set up to give you easy access to this information. However, most of them require registration with a credit card, and will start charging you a monthly fee once your free trial period is up, unless you explicitly opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Elmsford, New York?
To make your credit rating better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for mistakes and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Elmsford may get a credit card, and use it for a few affordable 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 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 Elmsford, New York Lawyer Help?
A good Elmsford, New York 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.