Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in Portsmouth, Rhode Island 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 Portsmouth, Rhode Island?

If you can't get credit in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. In Portsmouth, Rhode Island, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies gather 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 people exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies are closely-guarded trade secrets.

Under U.S. law, you have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view 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 Portsmouth, Rhode Island?

The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not infallible, and sometimes make mistakes in compiling your credit report, including very serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will normally 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 Portsmouth, 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.

Credit reports are a tool for lenders to assess how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you routinely pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.

How Can a Portsmouth, Rhode Island Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Portsmouth, Rhode Island can be very helpful in resolving consumer debt issues. These issues can be very complex, and an attorney can make it much easier to navigate them.