Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in Canton, South Dakota deal with at least one common type of consumer credit on a regular basis: credit cards. Credit card debt is one of the largest sources of individual debt in the U.S.

Why can't I Get Credit in Canton, South Dakota?

The most likely explanation as to why a Canton, South Dakota bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. In Canton, South Dakota, 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.

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 many 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 Canton, South Dakota?

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. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Canton might get a credit card, and use it for a few affordable purchases each month, and then pay down the entire balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.

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 Canton, South Dakota Lawyer Help?

A good Canton, South Dakota lawyer knowledgeable in consumer finance issues can help you address the more complicated problems that might arise in this area, such as a credit bureau's refusal to remove an error from a credit report, identity theft, or a third party attempting to maliciously harm your credit score.