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. Most people in Niagara County, New York probably deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards.

Why can't I Get Credit in Niagara County, New York?

The most likely explanation as to why a Niagara County, New York bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. In Niagara County, New York, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies compile all the available financial information on a person (such as the amount of credit currently available to them, and its ratio to their debt) and use it to calculate a simple numerical score. This number gives would-be lenders an easy way to assess a person's risk as a borrower. It is not known to many people exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies 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 Niagara County, New York?

To improve your credit rating, you can do a few relatively simple things. First, you should check your credit report for errors, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Niagara County, and want to quickly build a positive credit rating, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it each 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 entire balance.

Credit reports are a tool for lenders to assess how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you routinely pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.

How Can a Niagara County, New York Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Niagara County, New York can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and a lawyer can make the navigation of them much easier.