From the Wall Street Journal article Borrowers Hit Social-Media Hurdles:
… Lending companies—some of which are backed with venture funding from Google Ventures, the venture-capital arm of Google Inc., and Accel Partners, an early Facebook Inc. investor—are looking at potential problems such as whether applicants put the same job information on their loan application as they posted on LinkedIn, or if they shared on Facebook that they had been let go by an employer. A small business that draws negative reviews on eBay also could undermine its chances of getting more credit, lending companies say.
The practice is being used largely by startups that grant smaller loans, but the concept seems likely to spread. Fair Isaac Corp., which provides the credit scoring used in more than 90% of lenders decisions, says it is weighing possibilities for incorporating social media.
“There could come a time where certain social media could be predictive and we’re looking at that, but it isn’t yet,” said Anthony Sprauve, senior consumer-credit specialist at FICO. ….
It makes sense to analyze online customer reviews, BBB ratings, etc. when underwriting a BUSINESS loan. However, using ANY data on the web to determine a human being’s credit worthiness is just appalling.
I have a HUGE dislike for “social media” because not just because it is a giant waste of time, but it is so annoying to have to read what people post on Facebook (a giant marketing operation). Not to mention having to decide whether you want to approve some stranger’s “friend” request.
I love the internet and I have learned SO much. There’s no way that I’d be growing organic veggies in the desert while building an adobe living room / greenhouse with very little cash if I didn’t have access to so much free info. Of course it takes time to research and to validate that the info is correct because, guess what — not everything you read on the web is true!
How do the lenders currently using social media notify consumers that they took “adverse action”
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors have to disclose to you any adverse action (decline, higher interest rate / fees, lower credit limit) due to your credit report. There are NO regulations regarding information obtained on the internet. Maybe one day you’ll get this disclosure:
Your application was declined because you don’t have enough local Facebook friends.
Underwriting at an all new low.
What happened to stable employment and paying your bills on time?
What happened to having to IGNORE an applicant’s religion, sexual preference, color, race, etc.?
As I have documented for many years, credit scoring is nothing but a huge fraud, deliberately designed to justify the bankers’ desire to charge higher interest rates and fees for lower limits based on FALSE data.
When I notified Fair Isaac in 2007 that they are CREATING completely fictitious late payments for Equifax FICO scores they ignored me and did NOTHING to fix their software. In 2013 I again documented that myFICO still creates entirely fictitious late payments on Equifax reports.
It is incredibly easy to manipulate FICO scores, but often IMPOSSIBLE to get FICO scores based on accurate data. It is also very easy to set up fake social media accounts. You can set up 50 Facebook accounts and create the APPEARANCE of being the perfect borrower – posting as your friend, co-worker, boss, relative … I also know that it can be impossible to remove false info from the web.
The internet turns into a credit report.
Your internet activities and what other anonymous people post about you determines whether you get approved or declined. The internet turns into a credit report without ANY way to dispute incorrect data. And even if you could dispute, why should you have to waste your precious time on this BS?
I have no desire to participate in this charade. I realize that one day I may have to apply for credit again, but I sure hope I don’t have to play that game.