Your credit score isn’t a report card. It’s your financial résumé.
For just about every job you might apply for, you need to submit a résumé.
Your résumé might be printed on a piece of paper. It might be your work history on a site such as LinkedIn. Or it might be the list of previous employers and job duties you fill out on a job application.
But no matter how you create it, your résumé shows where you’ve been, what you know, and gives an indication of where you’re heading.
Same with your financial résumé, also known as your Credit Report. And don’t get hung up on that word – “Report” – it’s not like a report card that determines whether you pass or fail. It’s a much longer view.
Your credit story is a journey. Sometimes it’s up. Sometimes it takes a hit. But it’s always evolving. And, if you follow some common-sense advice, you can be sure that it’s evolving in the right direction.
Remember, just like an employment résumé, your financial résumé is most importantly a quick view into where you are in your journey right now. When you apply for credit, move to a new apartment or home, buy a car and even, sometimes, when you apply for a job, your financial résumé is pulled up so that the person or company can make a more informed decision about you.
What’s the story that your financial résumé tells? What story do you want it to tell six months from now? In a year? In five years?
There are no shortcuts to updating a resume, financial or other. It takes focus and time. Here are some simple guidelines from Credit Karma that will almost certainly improve your financial résumé:
- Don’t miss a payment. Missing a payment is the fastest way to hurt your credit score.
- Keep your credit utilization under 30% or as close as you can get it. That means, if you have a $1,000 credit limit, don’t keep a balance of more than $300.
- Don’t apply for credit if you don’t absolutely need it. Hard inquiries have a negative impact on your credit report and score.
That’s just skimming the surface. Want to dive deeper? Check out our Five Steps to Quickly Improve Your Credit Score. (link)
Bottom line: Your financial résumé can open doors for you going forward. You just need to pay attention to it and work on making it tell the ideal story of your financial life.
LendingPoint is a personal loan provider specializing in NearPrime consumers. Typically, NearPrime consumers are people with credit scores in the 600s. If this is you, we’d love to talk to you about how we might be able to help you meet your financial goals. We offer loans from $2,000 to $25,000 with terms from 24 to 48 months, all with fixed payments and simple interest.