Consumer credit is any form of loan given by some lending institution, usually a bank, to individuals for the purchase of consumer goods. Most people living in Ellensburg, Washington 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 Ellensburg, Washington?
If you are unable to get credit in Ellensburg, Washington, it may be because you have a bad credit score. Credit scores in Ellensburg, Washington 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 possible 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.
U.S. law states you are entitled to one credit report per year for free. This will allow you to see your credit score, and any factors that might be hurting it, which can help you improve it in the future. You should be aware, however, that various websites offering a "free" credit report will start charging you a monthly fee a month after you register, and then make it very hard for you to cancel your membership, requiring you to do so over the phone rather than online. They also may only tell you about this fee in the fine print.a
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Ellensburg, Washington?
To improve your credit score, you can do a few fairly simple things. First, you should check your credit report for mistakes, 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 Ellensburg, and want to rapidly build a good credit score, you can get a credit card, and make a few very small purchases with it every 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 whole balance.
Because credit reports are usually meant to make it easier for possible 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 Ellensburg, Washington Lawyer Help?
An experienced Ellensburg, Washington 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.