Broadly defined, consumer credit is any form of loan provided to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the biggest sources of individual debt in the U.S.

Why can't I Get Credit in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania?

If you're having trouble getting credit in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania the most likely reason is that you have no credit history, or a bad credit score. In Swarthmore, 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 compile relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical algorithms to produce a numerical score. Very few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded 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 explicitly 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 Swarthmore, 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 typically fix it. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Swarthmore, and want to rapidly build a good credit score, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it every 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 whole balance.

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 Swarthmore, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?

An experienced Swarthmore, Pennsylvania lawyer specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit rating reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.