Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Most people living in Erie, 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 Erie, Pennsylvania?
If you can't get credit in Erie, Pennsylvania, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. In Erie, Pennsylvania, private companies called "credit bureaus" compile a person's credit score using all available information about their finances, including their debt-to-credit ratio, records of evictions, and late payments. All of this information is fed into complex mathematical algorithms that calculate a numerical score. Exactly how these scores are calculated is known to very few people, since the formulas used are tightly-guarded 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 many websites offering a "free" credit report will begin charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very difficult for you to cancel your membership, requiring you to do so over the phone rather than online. They also sometimes only tell you about this fee in the fine print.a
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Erie, Pennsylvania?
To make your credit score better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for errors and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Erie with no credit history can quickly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the whole balance at the end of each billing cycle.
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 Erie, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Erie, Pennsylvania can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and a lawyer can make the navigation of them much easier.