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Overseas Mortgage Lenders Use Facebook

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:40 pm
by Nick
Lenders could soon be scrutinising our social media pages before deciding to approve loans or credit cards. This means that our creditworthiness could be judged on who we’re friends with on Facebook or who we interact with on Twitter.

Why are they doing this?

The idea behind this form of credit assessment is that those who have a good credit record are more likely to socialise and be friendly with others with equally good credit records.

Assessing a person’s online presence can also help to build an idea of personality type so without even meeting you, a lender could build a picture of who you are and how responsible you may be as a borrower.

Is it just social media?

Unfortunately it’s not just your online social presence that lenders might soon be analysing as even payment information from top online marketplaces can be used to understand your online spending habits. Your cyber shopping history can then be used to figure out how much of a risk you are to lend to.

This could even mean assessing how long you take to settle the payment on a won bid from an online auction site and deciding whether you might be late paying back a loan.

Believe it or not, some overseas companies are even assessing a borrower’s creditworthiness by scrutinising their grammar and punctuation when filling out online forms and deducting points for mistakes.

Can they use my online data?

It’s important to remember that any information that you yourself make public online could be used by anyone.

Most of us might not like the idea of our online presence being used to judge how likely we are to be responsible with a loan but with personal data so freely self-published online it seems obvious that lenders would seek to use it.

Remember, it’s already common for employers to check out a person’s social media before giving them a job so it could be argued that it’s not any different for a lender to ‘understand’ the borrower before taking the risk of lending money.

Is this happening in the UK now?

At the moment no, this form of credit assessment is only being used by overseas lenders but it’s predicted that the scrutiny of the social media profiles and online presence of borrowers will make its way to the UK by the end of the year.

At Noddle, we're really interested in how this new form of credit assessment might play out in the UK market so you can be sure that when we hear more about it, we're going to tell you.

If this story of social media scrutiny hasn't put you off too much, feel free to come share your opinion over at our Facebook and Twitter pages. Both are great places for all the latest Noddle news and interesting stories from the financial world.


Overseas Mortgage Lenders Use Facebook

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:26 pm
by Rob H
I think it's fair game to be honest, and honesty is frankly the key word, along with integrity.

The algorithms would have to be quite sophisticated I would guess as mere association could prejudice a decision unless of course the lack of an online presence would also count against the application. This in turn could be prejudicial though.

I know various people who operate both inside and outside the law, often concurrently. However, the fact I'm 'friends' on social networks shouldn't be the issue but the degree and subject(s) of interaction.

For example, some of us are members of FB BMV, I for one read and often laugh, Lisa gives regulated advice in the context of sharing relevant news and announcements whilst some are silent members. How can these examples be directly compared with some of the clearly obvious numpties, scammers and GRQ wannabes?


Re: Overseas Mortgage Lenders Use Facebook

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:57 pm
by Nick
I should imagine that initially it will only be used to get evidence to substantiate an existing suspicion (i.e. manual trawling) but ultimately because this is the internet, and computers, automated searches will get thrown at things, and they will scoop up the whole of each of our online existence and put it through a sieve which will check every keystroke we ever put online.

Facebook is particularly useful/dangerous because it ties together so many private bits of data - just read their sales pitch to prospective advertisers. If you want to target all the women, in a particular location, who are going to get married in the next 6 months (perhaps you want to advertise wedding dresses or photography) Facebook will do that for you, and a million other private niches. The other side of the coin is that unless you are very careful information Facebook et. al. will tell the world - e.g. the Property Guru whose profile appears on a sex hookup website, or the Property Meetings organiser whose activity on a Sexy Nurse iPad App. was broadcast to anyone prepared to follow his progress.

Re: Overseas Mortgage Lenders Use Facebook

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:01 pm
by Nick
Bullying UK just posted this on Facebook. It's damn good advice, not just for kids.


Overseas Mortgage Lenders Use Facebook

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:42 pm
by Rob H
Interesting its actually a mantra for pedophiles too with their fake 'teenage' ID's.

Personally I think put on what you want as long as you're aware, it can be verified and you don't mind the consequences.

Re: Overseas Mortgage Lenders Use Facebook

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:39 am
by Nick
I agree about being relaxed - people down the pub know where I live and my wife's name, so why shouldn't friends on the internet?

I'm not sure what you are saying about Pedophiles - that they will get caught? Certainly it's technically possible, in fact I can even tell you that it costs well under £450. One of my tenants had been using my Broadband to download pirate films & I got dragged into the problem. In fact I made the unpleasant discovery that legally I am supposed to track, and keep a log of the IP of everyone using my BB - in fact after that unpleasant experience what I did was lock it down so that it couldn't be used for Peer to Peer networking (that's how pirate sharing is done). Anyway there is (or was) a legal firm in London who were making their money by getting hold of the "swarm" - which is the data which defines the P2P network sharing a torrent. They then identify all the IP addresses in the swarm & get a court order requiring the ISP to identify who was using the IP at the time. The write to them demanding damages, and offering to settle immediately for £450 - which is why I can say with some certainty that when done in bulk it can be done for a lot less than that.

I am sure that the police are currently tracking down pedophiles sharing indecent images in the same way. I am sure that sooner or later in a criminal case someone will be found guilty, or be acquitted, because it can be proved where they were watching BBC iPlayer (the same technology).

Yes it's possible to spoof your IP address, but it's getting so that to be anonymous you need to be an expert. Far easier, as you say, to ensure that everything you do online is something that you wouldn't mind your wife or neighbours discovering.

Re: Overseas Mortgage Lenders Use Facebook

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:42 pm
by LisaOrme
I missed the original post but UK lenders are definitely already doing this with all forms of social media and even simply Googling applicants. I'm aware of cases being declined by their findings. I will do the same and also Google and social media search for any prospective JV partners.

I sussed out a fake bridging lender last year through Linked In and Facebook and find it a bit of an amusing hobby to suss out the many fakers on Facebook. Its very common to see people doing the big I am / successful millionaire bit only to do a bit of digging and find they live in a council flat and spend their evenings watching soaps - that's not saying they can't be millionaires but you get my drift!