Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan given to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in Knoxville, Tennessee 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 Knoxville, Tennessee?
If you can't get credit in Knoxville, Tennessee, the most likely reason is that you have a poor credit score. In Knoxville, Tennessee, 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.
Under federal law, you are legally entitled to view your credit report for free, once per year, which will let you see what factors are hurting your credit, and report any errors to the company. Many websites have been set up to give you easy access to this information. However, most of them require registration with a credit card, and will begin charging you a monthly fee once your free trial period is up, unless you clearly opt out.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Knoxville, Tennessee?
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. Also, it's good to show that you know how to use credit responsibly. For example, a person in Knoxville 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.
Because credit reports are usually meant to make it easier for potential lenders to assess your risk as a borrower, showing that you pay back your debts in a timely manner can go a long way in creating a good credit score.
How Can a Knoxville, Tennessee Lawyer Help?
A good Knoxville, Tennessee 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.