In an article written in early 2012, I read something that seriously shocked me, and made me shift my perspective on social networking.
It claims that some lenders might actually be looking at your social networks to determine how likely you are to pay back what you owe, which will determine whether or not they are willing to give you a loan for a house, a car, or even a job. Seriously. That means your Facebook friends could be determining how likely it is you can get the things you need.
While they are very direct in stating that larger lenders aren’t going to be putting this into practice anytime soon, smaller lenders might be doing this already. They site one such company, Lenddo, who is doing this right now. You can learn more about how the process works by Googling ‘Lenddo’.
BTW, this isn’t an anti-Lenddo piece. I think this is simply the inevitable evolution – and marriage – of personal finance and social networking.
If you click on their ‘What Is Lenddo’ link they claim to be “the first credit scoring service that uses your online social network to assess credit”. They say that by looking at the information on your peers’ networks and combining it with that of your own, it can potentially help you get access to the credit you deserve.
That’s a cool idea – if the majority of your friends have great credit and haven’t posted financially controversial comments on their social networking pages. That could help you out.
But what if you’ve got a handful of those ‘Oh my gosh, just dodged my tenth collection agent today’, or a guy who claims ‘Ask me how to do a strategic foreclosure! It was the best thing I ever did for my finances’. You have those friends on your Facebook page? With lending practices like these in place, your friends’ good or bad choices could impact your ability to get access to the credit you need.
So what can you do before this becomes common practice?
- Start looking through your social networking pages and identifying any potentially controversial friends in your networks
- Pay close attention to what their posting daily for about two weeks
- If you wouldn’t mind a potential boss or lender seeing those friends’ posts then leave them as is
- If you think this person could potentially damage your financial credibility, send them a kind message through the social network, let them know you’re limiting your social networking activities and thus removing them, and that you look forward to keeping in touch via email.
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