Broadly defined, consumer credit is any form of loan extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in Cranston, Rhode Island 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 Cranston, Rhode Island?
If you can't get credit in Cranston, Rhode Island, it could be because you have a bad credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. In Cranston, Rhode Island, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies compile all the available financial information on a person (such as the amount of credit currently available to them, and its ratio to their debt) and use it to calculate a simple numerical score. This number gives would-be lenders an easy way to assess a person's risk as a borrower. It is not known to many individuals exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies are closely-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 affecting your credit, and to report any incorrect information contained in your report. There are countless 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 difficult by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Cranston, Rhode Island?
To make your credit rating better, there are a few simple things you can do. First of all, you should check your report for mistakes and report them to the credit bureau to be corrected. 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 modest purchases per week in Cranston, then paying the entire amount at the end of the month.
Credit reports are a tool for lenders to determine how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you consistently pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.
How Can a Cranston, Rhode Island Lawyer Help?
A good Cranston, Rhode Island attorney knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that may arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an mistake from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party trying to maliciously harm your credit score.