Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan provided to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in St. Marys, Pennsylvania deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the largest sources of individual debt in the U.S.
Why can't I Get Credit in St. Marys, Pennsylvania?
If you're having trouble getting credit in St. Marys, Pennsylvania the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. In St. Marys, Pennsylvania, credit reports are prepared by private companies that have access to a great deal of financial information about almost anyone who has a Social Security Number. These companies are called "credit bureaus." They gather relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical equations to generate a numerical score. Relatively few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded trade secrets.
Under U.S. law, you are legally entitled to one free credit report per year. This allows you to perform a simple financial check-up, to see what's hurting your credit, and to report any false information contained in your report. There are numerous websites that provide easy access to this information, but most of them require registration with a credit card. Once you view your free report, they will begin charging you a monthly fee unless you opt out. Some of them make this challenging by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in St. Marys, Pennsylvania?
To improve your credit rating, there are numerous 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. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in St. Marys, and want to quickly build a positive credit rating, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it each month. Make sure you don't run up a balance that you can't immediately pay off in full, and at the end of each month, pay the entire balance.
Because credit reports are generally meant to make it easier for potential lenders to assess your risk as a borrower, showing that you pay back your debts in a timely manner can go a long way in creating a good credit score.
How Can a St. Marys, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
An experienced St. Marys, Pennsylvania attorney specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit score reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.