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Who are You on Paper?

To your friends, you are the funny guy or girl that everyone likes to invite to the party. To your parents, you are the one who can do no wrong. To your cat, you are “the one with the food.” However, who are you to lenders, creditors, and banks? Who are you on paper? We have put together a simple quiz that will help you discover more about yourself. Answer these questions honestly and you will have a better idea of how you appear “on paper.”

  • What is your credit score? – This three-digit number is one of the most important aspects of your financial picture. Whether you apply for a credit card or try to buy a home, this figure will have a significant impact on whether or not you succeed

While your credit score is one of the largest influences on how organizations view you, most firms realize that many details go into this score that make you YOU. Here are a few additional questions you should know the answer to—because creditors will do everything they can do to discover the answers.

  • What types of credit do you use? – Do you have a mortgage, car loan, revolving credit or short-term personal loans? Creditors want to know what kind of credit you have used in the past.
  •  How long have your accounts been open? – Lenders are interested in knowing whether your credit lines were just opened this year, or if you have had them for decades. A longer credit history is more favorable—but it is something you can certainly overcome.
  • Are you paying your bills on time each month? – Have you paid your bills on time, every time? If you have late payments, was this a recent occurrence or something that occurred long ago?

There are also important details about you that have less to do with your credit than you basic financial wellness. Ask yourself THESE questions too.

  • What is your recent job history? – Do you have a steady job? What is your pay rate like? Creditors want to know if you will be able to repay your obligations.
  • What does your savings look like? – If you have some money in savings, you will immediately seem like a smarter choice to offer credit than someone who does not.
  • Do you have any additional financial obligations? – A lender needs to know if you have other financial obligations to determine how likely you are to repay all your obligations.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that go into making you YOU on paper. While not every detail will be used by every creditor, understanding all of these details about yourself can help you see yourself in the same way that lenders will. Answer these questions and revisit them on a regular basis and you won’t be surprised by future decisions made by banks or creditors.