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 Plainview, New York probably deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards.
Why can't I Get Credit in Plainview, New York?
The most likely explanation as to why a Plainview, New York bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. In Plainview, New York, private companies called "credit bureaus" collect a person's credit score using all available information about their finances, including their debt-to-credit ratio, records of evictions, and late payments. All of this information is fed into complex mathematical algorithms that calculate a numerical score. Exactly how these scores are calculated is known to very few people, since the formulas used are tightly-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 challenging by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Plainview, New York?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not infallible, and sometimes make mistakes in compiling your credit report, including very serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will typically fix it. It also helps to show that you are willing to use credit, but can do so responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Plainview you might consider getting a credit card, making a few small purchases each month on it, and then paying off the balance in full at the end of each month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to quickly establish a good credit rating.
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 Plainview, New York Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Plainview, 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.