Consumer credit is any type of loan provided by some lending institution, usually a bank, to individuals for the purchase of consumer goods. Most people living in Smithfield, 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 Smithfield, Virginia?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Smithfield, Virginia the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. Credit scores in Smithfield, Virginia are calculated by private companies known as "credit bureaus." These entities gather 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 determination 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 U.S. law, you have a right to view your own credit report once a year, for free (you can, of course, view 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 explicitly 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 Smithfield, Virginia?
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. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Smithfield might get a credit card, and use it for a few inexpensive purchases each month, and then pay down the entire balance at the end of the month. This is a good way to quickly obtain a good credit score.
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 Smithfield, Virginia Lawyer Help?
A good Smithfield, Virginia 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.