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

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

The most likely reason as to why an Orange County, New York bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have poor credit. In Orange 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 individuals exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies are closely-guarded 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 Orange County, 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. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Orange County with no credit history can rapidly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the entire balance at the end of each billing cycle.

Because credit reports are primarily meant to make it easier for possible 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 Orange County, New York Lawyer Help?

An experienced Orange County, 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.