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 West Hempstead, New York probably deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards.
Why can't I Get Credit in West Hempstead, New York?
If you can't get credit in West Hempstead, New York, the most likely explanation is that you have a bad credit score. In West Hempstead, New York, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies collect 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 federal law, you are legally entitled to see your credit report for free, once per year, which will let you view what factors are affecting your credit, and report any errors to the company. Many websites have been set up to give you easy access to this information. However, most of them require registration with a credit card, and will start charging you a monthly fee once your free trial period is up, unless you specifically opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in West Hempstead, New York?
To improve your credit score, you can do a few fairly simple things. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in West Hempstead 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.
Credit reports are generally 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 West Hempstead, New York Lawyer Help?
An experienced West Hempstead, 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.