Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Astoria, Oregon 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 Astoria, Oregon?

If you're having trouble getting credit in Astoria, Oregon the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. In Astoria, Oregon, 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 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 many 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 Astoria, Oregon?

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 usually fix it. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Astoria, and want to quickly build a positive credit rating, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it each month. Make sure you don't run up a balance that you can't immediately pay off in full, and at the end of each month, pay the entire balance.

Because credit reports are meant to be used by potential lenders to assess somebody's risk as a borrower, showing that you always (or close to it) pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to improve your credit score, and to keep it high.

How Can a Astoria, Oregon Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Astoria, Oregon 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.