Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan provided to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in St. Clairsville, Ohio deal with at least one form of consumer credit every day: credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.

Why can't I Get Credit in St. Clairsville, Ohio?

If you can't get credit in St. Clairsville, Ohio, the most likely reason is that you have a poor credit score. In St. Clairsville, Ohio, 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 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 have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view 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 explicitly 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 St. Clairsville, Ohio?

To improve your credit, there are numerous things you can do. First of all, you should report any errors you see on your credit report to the credit bureau. These companies sometimes make mistakes, and some of them can seriously damage your credit score. Also, you should show that you are willing to use credit, but able to do so responsibly. For example, using a credit card for a few inexpensive purchases per week in St. Clairsville, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.

Credit reports are generally meant to be used by lenders to assess 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 maintain a high credit score.

How Can a St. Clairsville, Ohio Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in St. Clairsville, Ohio can be very helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an attorney can make it much easier to navigate them.