Broadly defined, consumer credit is any form of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Altoona, Pennsylvania 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 Altoona, Pennsylvania?
If you can't get credit in Altoona, Pennsylvania, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Altoona, Pennsylvania 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.
U.S. law states you are entitled to one credit report per year for free. This will allow you to see your credit score, and any factors that might be hurting it, which can help you improve it in the future. You should be aware, however, that various websites offering a "free" credit report will start charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very hard for you to cancel your membership, requiring you to do so over the phone rather than online. They also may only tell you about this fee in the fine print.a
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Altoona, Pennsylvania?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will normally fix it. 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 Altoona you may 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 every month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to rapidly establish a good credit rating.
Credit reports are meant to be a tool for lenders to easily determine a person's risk as a borrower. Therefore, showing that you are able to pay back your debts on time can be extremely effective in creating a good credit score.
How Can a Altoona, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
A good attorney specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Altoona, Pennsylvania can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt concerns. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and a attorney can make the navigation of them much easier.