How Facebook Can Hurt Your Credit Rating

Analysis: Bank on it — Financial institutions are checking social media profiles to identify credit risks. It’s time to ditch those deadbeat friends.

By Dan Tynan, ITworld Dec 18, 2011 10:36 am

You know those deadbeat friends of yours on Facebook? They could end up killing your credit score and costing you a loan. At the very least, your no-account pals could bump up your interest rate.

A chilling story in the New York Observer’ BetaBeat blog this week details the efforts of several online banks that plan to analyze your social media profiles to determine how big a credit risk you are. It’s yet more evidence that, unlike Las Vegas, what happens on Facebook doesn’t stay on Facebook – and could come back to bite you in unexpected and unpleasant ways.

How are banks going to use this information? First, they’re going to use your friends list to troll for future prospects. If you just took out a line of credit against the equity in your house, maybe your friends will too – assuming they’ve got any equity left.

It gets worse. Let’s say you fall a few months behind on your payments and you’ve decided to banish the bill collecting goons to voice mail. Hong Kong-based micro-lender Lenddo – which asks for your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo, and Windows Live logons when you sign up — reserves the right to rat you out to all your friends


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