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 Walla Walla, 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 Walla Walla, Washington?
If you are unable to get credit in Walla Walla, Washington, it might be because you have a poor credit score. In Walla Walla, 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 take 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 are legally entitled to one free credit report per year. This allows you to perform a simple financial check-up, to see what's hurting your credit, and to report any false information contained in your report. There are many websites that provide easy access to this information, but most of them require registration with a credit card. Once you view your free report, they will begin charging you a monthly fee unless you opt out. Some of them make this hard by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in Walla Walla, Washington?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not infallible, and sometimes make mistakes in compiling your credit report, including very serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will normally fix it. It's also good to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, someone with no credit history in Walla Walla might get a credit card, and use it for a few modest 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.
Credit reports are meant to be a tool for lenders to easily assess a person's risk as a borrower. Therefore, showing that you are able to pay back your debts on time can be very effective in creating a good credit score.
How Can a Walla Walla, Washington Lawyer Help?
An experienced Walla Walla, Washington 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.