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 Plattsburgh, New York probably deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards.
Why can't I Get Credit in Plattsburgh, New York?
The most likely reason as to why a Plattsburgh, New York bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have poor credit. In Plattsburgh, New York, private companies called "credit bureaus" compile 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 equations that calculate a numerical score. Precisely 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 affecting your credit, and to report any incorrect information contained in your report. There are countless 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 Plattsburgh, 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 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 Plattsburgh you may 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 every month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to rapidly establish a good credit rating.
Credit reports are primarily meant to be used by lenders to determine the risk of a prospective borrower. For this reason, how one handles debt is a major factor in one's credit score. Paying all of your debts in a timely manner is a good way to keep a high credit score.
How Can a Plattsburgh, New York Lawyer Help?
A good attorney specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Plattsburgh, New York can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt concerns. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and an attorney can make the navigation of them much easier.