If you’re applying for a loan, know this: The friends you have on Facebook could mean the difference between getting approved for a loan and getting turned down. Most lenders make decisions based on credit scores, which look at the applicant’s payment history and predict how likely they are to repay the loan.
But millions of people don’t have credit scores or payment histories because they’ve never had a credit card or a car loan. That’s why some lenders have started looking at social connections, which experts say can be a good indicator of how creditworthy you are. For example, a company called Lend-o, now checks to see if any of your Facebook friends missed payments on their own Lend-o loan because studies show that people with similar financial habits tend to hang out together. And other loan companies now consider information they find on a loan applicant’s eBay account. Do you have a high seller rating? Or do your reviews say you’re flaky?
An increasing number of loan companies are also looking at the way you fill out the online application. For example, if you spend time reading about their loans on the company’s website, your approval chances jump. But if you use all caps or no caps when filling out an online application, you’re less likely to be approved because loan officers believe that shows laziness and a lack of attention to detail which could translate to missed payments. Just something to be aware of if you’re applying for a loan.