Your bank could be checking out your Facebook page to decide whether or not to give you a loan.
Already, several online lenders have incorporated social media into their approval process.
They collect data from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and plug it into special formulas that calculate how likely we are to repay a loan. And, according to banking expert Brett King, the results are more accurate than traditional credit scores.
That’s because traditional scores only look at how we’ve handled money in the past, say, by paying all our bills on time, and not maxing out our credit cards. But social media banking experts say that birds of a feather really do flock together. And when they analyze our posts, and the posts of our friends. they can tell that we might not be responsible in the future, say, because we hit the casinos every weekend with our friends.
And that’s not all: In order to apply for a loan, a lot of lenders require all of our social media passwords. That means, they can log in to our account, and see everything we do online.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, consumer credit expert Michelle Dunn says that some lenders use the pressure of public embarrassment to collect overdue loans. In other words, if you borrow money and fail to pay, they can post default notices on your Facebook page, and tweet about your late payments to all your friends.
So, if you’re getting ready to apply for a loan, check out your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Does it look like you’re a good risk? If not, it might be time to do a little post-and-picture housecleaning, and maybe even “unfriend” a few people.