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 Bainbridge Island, Washington 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 Bainbridge Island, Washington?

If you're having trouble getting credit in Bainbridge Island, Washington the most likely explanation is that you have no credit history, or a poor credit score. In Bainbridge Island, Washington, credit reports are prepared by private companies that have access to a great deal of financial information about almost anyone who has a Social Security Number. These companies are called "credit bureaus." They gather relevant information, such as one's credit-to-debt ratio, and past-due payments, and use complex mathematical equations to generate a numerical score. Relatively few people know what these exact formulas are, since they are well-guarded 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 clearly 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 Bainbridge Island, Washington?

To improve your credit rating, there are numerous 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 Bainbridge Island, 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 Bainbridge Island, Washington Lawyer Help?

A good lawyer who practices consumer bankruptcy or other financial practice areas in Bainbridge Island, Washington 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.