Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Gresham, 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 Gresham, Oregon?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Gresham, Oregon the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. In Gresham, Oregon, credit reports are prepared by private companies that have access to a great deal of financial information about almost anyone who has a Social Security Number. These companies are called "credit bureaus." They gather relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical equations to generate a numerical score. Relatively few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded trade secrets.
Under federal law, you are legally entitled to view your credit report for free, once per year, which will let you see what factors are hurting 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 begin charging you a monthly fee once your free trial period is up, unless you explicitly opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Gresham, Oregon?
To improve your credit, there are many 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. 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 Gresham 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 primarily 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 Gresham, Oregon Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Gresham, Oregon 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.