Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Multnomah County, 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 Multnomah County, Oregon?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Multnomah County, Oregon the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. In Multnomah County, 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 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 numerous 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 hard by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Multnomah County, Oregon?
To improve your credit rating, there are numerous things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for errors and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make mistakes like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your rating. 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 Multnomah County 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.
Because credit reports are usually meant to make it easier for potential lenders to assess your risk as a borrower, showing that you pay back your debts in a timely manner can go a long way in creating a good credit score.
How Can a Multnomah County, Oregon Lawyer Help?
A good Multnomah County, Oregon lawyer knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that might arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an error from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party attempting to maliciously harm your credit score.