Broadly defined, consumer credit is any form of loan extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in West Linn, Oregon deal with at least one form of consumer credit every day: credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the biggest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in West Linn, Oregon?
If you can't get credit in West Linn, Oregon, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in West Linn, Oregon are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities collect all the available information about your finances, look at how much debt you have, if you've paid it back in a timely manner, and other factors, and calculate a numerical score. This number provides possible lenders with a quick estimate of how risky it is to lend money to a person. The exact formulas that these companies employ to create credit scores are 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 explicitly opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in West Linn, Oregon?
To improve your credit rating, there are countless things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make errors like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your score. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in West Linn, and want to rapidly build a good credit score, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it every 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 whole balance.
Because credit reports are meant to be used by possible lenders to determine 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 West Linn, Oregon Lawyer Help?
A good attorney who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in West Linn, Oregon can be extremely helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an lawyer can make it much easier to navigate them.