Consumer credit is any form of loan extended by some lending institution, usually a bank, to individuals for the purchase of consumer goods. Most people living in Bedford, Virginia deal with at least one form of consumer credit every day: credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the biggest sources of consumer debt in the United States.

Why can't I Get Credit in Bedford, Virginia?

If you can't get credit in Bedford, Virginia, the most likely explanation is that you have a bad credit score. In Bedford, Virginia, credit scores are created by private corporations called "credit bureaus." These companies compile all the available financial information on a person (such as the amount of credit currently available to them, and its ratio to their debt) and use it to calculate a simple numerical score. This number gives would-be lenders an easy way to assess a person's risk as a borrower. It is not known to many individuals exactly how your credit score is calculated, because the formulas used by these companies are closely-guarded trade secrets.

Under U.S. law, you have a right to see your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, see it more times than that, but you'll likely have to pay a credit bureau. You should be cautious, however. Many websites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but require a credit card number in order to register. If you do not affirmatively cancel your membership (which can usually only be done over the phone, and not online), they will start charging you a monthly fee.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Bedford, Virginia?

The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely 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 Bedford with no credit history can rapidly build up a good credit rating by getting a credit card, making a few small purchases with it, and then paying the entire balance at the end of each billing cycle.

Credit reports are primarily meant to be used by lenders to determine 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 keep a high credit score.

How Can a Bedford, Virginia Lawyer Help?

An experienced Bedford, Virginia lawyer specializing in consumer financial issues can help if you believe that your credit rating reflects false information, or if you think a third party has maliciously damaged it.