Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in Hot Springs, 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 Hot Springs, South Dakota?

The most likely explanation as to why a Hot Springs, South Dakota bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. In Hot Springs, South Dakota, private companies called "credit bureaus" gather 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.

In the U.S., you have a legal right to view your credit report for free, once per year. This is a good opportunity to perform a financial check-up, and see if there are any errors on your report which need to be corrected. While some third-party companies will give you a free credit report through their website, you should be aware that many of them (without making this clear up-front) will begin charging a monthly fee afterwards, in exchange for continued access. If you just wanted the one free report, you can opt out of this, but you normally have to do so over the phone, and can't do it online.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Hot Springs, South Dakota?

To improve your credit, there are various things you can do. First of all, you should report any errors you see on your credit report to the credit bureau. These companies sometimes make mistakes, and some of them can seriously damage your credit score. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Hot Springs might get a credit card, and use it for a few modest 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.

Credit reports are usually meant to be used by lenders to assess the risk of a prospective borrower. For this reason, how one handles debt is a major factor in one's credit score. Paying all of your debts in a timely manner is a good way to maintain a high credit score.

How Can a Hot Springs, South Dakota Lawyer Help?

An experienced Hot Springs, South Dakota 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.