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 Glen Head, 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 Glen Head, New York?
If you can't get credit in Glen Head, New York, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Glen Head, 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 U.S. law, you have a right to see your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, see 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 Glen Head, New York?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will usually fix it. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Glen Head, and want to rapidly build a good credit score, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it every month. Make sure you don't run up a balance that you can't immediately pay off in full, and at the end of each month, pay the whole balance.
Credit reports are a tool for lenders to determine how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you consistently pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.
How Can a Glen Head, New York Lawyer Help?
An experienced Glen Head, New York lawyer specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit rating reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.