Broadly defined, consumer credit is any type of loan provided to individuals in order to buy consumer goods. Many people in El Paso County, Texas 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 El Paso County, Texas?
If you can't get credit in El Paso County, Texas, it could be because you have a poor credit score, or simply don't have any credit history. In El Paso County, Texas, private companies called "credit bureaus" collect 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 challenging by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in El Paso County, Texas?
To improve your credit rating, there are many things you can do. First, you should check your credit report for errors and report them to the credit bureau. These companies can make mistakes like anyone else, and sometimes these errors can damage your rating. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in El Paso County, 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.
Because credit reports are generally 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 El Paso County, Texas Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in El Paso County, Texas 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.