Consumer credit is any form of loan given by some lending institution, usually a bank, to individuals for the purchase of consumer goods. Many people in Elkins, West Virginia deal with consumer credit every day in the form of credit cards. In fact, credit cards are one of the biggest sources of individual debt in the U.S.
Why can't I Get Credit in Elkins, West Virginia?
If you're having trouble getting credit in Elkins, West Virginia the most likely reason is that you have no credit history, or a bad credit score. In Elkins, West Virginia, private companies called "credit bureaus" gather a person's credit score using all available information about their finances, including their debt-to-credit ratio, records of evictions, and late payments. All of this information is fed into complex mathematical equations that calculate a numerical score. Precisely how these scores are calculated is known to very few people, since the formulas used are tightly-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 affecting your credit, and to report any incorrect information contained in your report. There are various 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 Elkins, West Virginia?
The first thing you can do to improve your credit score is to check your report for errors. These companies are not perfect, and sometimes make errors in compiling your credit report, including extremely serious ones. If you find an error, you should report it to the credit bureau, and they will normally fix it. It will also help to show that you can use credit responsibly. For example, if you have little to no credit history in Elkins, 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.
Credit reports are a tool for lenders to determine how risky it is to loan money to someone. Therefore, showing that you consistently pay your debts in a timely manner is the best way to maintain a good score.
How Can a Elkins, West Virginia Lawyer Help?
A good attorney specializing in consumer bankruptcy or other consumer finance issues in Elkins, West Virginia can be instrumental in resolving consumer debt concerns. These issues can be complex and frustrating, and a attorney can make the navigation of them much easier.