Maybe it’s time you finally accept your great-uncle Aloysius’ Facebook friend request — if not out of familial love, perhaps if he happens to be particularly credit-worthy. Because if a new report is to be believed, not only do you have to worry about how that one lost video rental dinged your credit score, but you could miss out on a loan if your social media contacts are deemed to be financially unsavory.
Don’t be scared into cleaning out your Facebook friends list just yet — CNNMoney says only a few tech startups have starting using social data to determine the risk of lending to people. One financial lending company, for example, would give you a black mark for being friends with someone who was late paying back a loan to that same company.
And if it’s your very best bud in the whole world, at least in terms of how much you interact and gab on Facebook? Even worse.
“It turns out humans are really good at knowing who is trustworthy and reliable in their community,” said the company’s co-founder and CEO. “What’s new is that we’re now able to measure through massive computing power.”
Another company says it digs through 8,000 data points, including info from Facebook, eBay, Amazon and even when you as a customer fill out on the company’s own online application. In that case, all-caps are a no-no, and where you live or work on your computer is also taken into account.
If you’re wondering whether or not to be terrified that yet another online entity is looking over your shoulder, it’s likely that you as the applicant will have to give permission to these various services to access your social media info.
As long as you’ve got your settings set up securely, it’s to be hoped that those companies couldn’t get past that roadblock. But make sure you’ve set your friends list to private. Just in case. Either that or start asking all your friends about their credit scores. Because that won’t be weird.