Broadly defined, consumer credit is any form of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Bethlehem, 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 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania?
If you can't get credit in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. Credit scores in Bethlehem, 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.
Under U.S. law, you have a right to see your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, see 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 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania?
To improve your credit rating, there are various 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. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Bethlehem with no credit history can rapidly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the entire balance at the end of each billing cycle.
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 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
A good attorney in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania can be very useful in helping you resolve any consumer credit issue, such as bankruptcy, or getting mistakes removed from your report if the credit bureau is being difficult.