Consumer credit is any type of loan given by some lending institution, usually a bank, to individuals for the purchase of consumer goods. Most people living in Portsmouth, Virginia deal with at least one form of consumer credit every day: credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the largest sources of consumer debt in the United States.
Why can't I Get Credit in Portsmouth, Virginia?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Portsmouth, Virginia the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. Credit scores in Portsmouth, Virginia are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities compile all the available information about your finances, look at how much debt you have, if you've paid it back in a timely manner, and other factors, and calculate a numerical score. This number provides potential lenders with a quick assessment of how risky it is to lend money to a person. The exact formulas that these companies employ to create credit scores are 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 Portsmouth, Virginia?
To improve your credit rating, you can do a few relatively simple things. First, you should check your credit report for errors, and report them to the credit bureau so they can be corrected. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Portsmouth, 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 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 Portsmouth, Virginia Lawyer Help?
An experienced Portsmouth, Virginia 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.