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 West Richland, 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 West Richland, Washington?
If you are unable to get credit in West Richland, Washington, it might be because you have a poor credit score. In West Richland, 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 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 numerous 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 challenging by requiring that you cancel your membership by phone, rather than letting you do it online.
How Can I Improve My Credit Score in West Richland, 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 typically fix it. It also helps to show that you are willing to use credit, but can do so responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in West Richland you might consider getting a credit card, making a few small purchases each month on it, and then paying off the balance in full at the end of each month. This takes a bit of discipline, but it is a good way to quickly establish a good credit rating.
Credit reports are generally meant to be used by lenders to assess the risk of a prospective borrower. For this reason, how one handles debt is a major factor in one's credit score. Paying all of your debts in a timely manner is a good way to maintain a high credit score.
How Can a West Richland, Washington Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer in West Richland, Washington can be extremely useful in helping you resolve any consumer credit issue, such as bankruptcy, or getting errors removed from your report if the credit bureau is being difficult.