Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Berks County, Pennsylvania 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 Berks County, Pennsylvania?
If you can't get credit in Berks County, Pennsylvania, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Berks County, 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 potential 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 U.S. law, you have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view it more times than that, but you'll likely have to pay a credit bureau. You should be cautious, however. Many websites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but require a credit card number in order to register. If you do not clearly cancel your membership (which can usually only be done over the phone, and not online), they will start charging you a monthly fee.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Berks County, Pennsylvania?
To improve your credit rating, there are many 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. Also, you should show that you are willing to use credit, but able to do so responsibly. For example, using a credit card for a few inexpensive purchases per week in Berks County, then paying the entire balance at the end of the month.
Because credit reports are meant to be used by potential lenders to assess 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 Berks County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Berks County, Pennsylvania can be very helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an attorney can make it much easier to navigate them.