Broadly defined, consumer credit is any form of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Winston, 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 Winston, Oregon?
If you can't get credit in Winston, Oregon, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Winston, Oregon are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities compile 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 assessment 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 clearly opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Winston, Oregon?
To improve your credit score, you can do a few fairly simple things. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Winston may get a credit card, and use it for a few modest purchases every month, and then pay down the whole balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.
Credit reports are usually meant to be used by lenders to determine 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 keep a high credit score.
How Can a Winston, Oregon Lawyer Help?
A good attorney specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Winston, Oregon can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt concerns. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and an attorney can make the navigation of them much easier.