Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan extended to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in Rapid City, 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 Rapid City, South Dakota?
The most likely explanation as to why a Rapid City, South Dakota bank won't give you a credit card or loan is that you have bad credit. In Rapid City, South Dakota, 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 take relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical equations to generate a numerical score. Relatively few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded trade secrets.
U.S. law states you are entitled to one credit report per year for free. This will allow you to see your credit score, and any factors that might be hurting it, which can help you improve it in the future. You should be aware, however, that many websites offering a "free" credit report will begin charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very difficult for you to cancel your membership, requiring you to do so over the phone rather than online. They also sometimes only tell you about this fee in the fine print.a
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Rapid City, South Dakota?
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 usually fix it. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Rapid City with no credit history can quickly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the whole balance at the end of each billing cycle.
Credit reports are primarily 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 Rapid City, South Dakota Lawyer Help?
An experienced Rapid City, 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.