Social media has become one of the mainstays of our lives. Much like the Internet itself, something unheard of only a few short years ago has become something that is ubiquitous today. Yet, your social media accounts can have a very real impact on some important facets of your daily life. Specifically, lenders can and do review your social media pages as part of the loan review process. This means that what you put online can affect your ability to get a loan.
Creditworthiness of Your Contacts
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a patent acquired by Facebook in 2015. The patent was for a creditworthiness assessment that used the credit scores of those in your list of friends on that website. The process seemed to rely on the idea that people with similar habits and tendencies might be friends on Facebook.
Essentially, the procedure would review the credit scores of your friends and, if those scores met a certain average, your own loan review process would continue. This means that having friends who had high credit scores would not necessarily help you acquire a personal loan, but having friends with low scores would have the possibility to hurt you.
Ultimately, Facebook opted not to employ the procedure due to privacy and other concerns. However, the fact that the process was even explored shows that lenders might one day look at your friends to determine whether you yourself are qualified for a loan. If you have friends who have poor credit, you might end up not getting the loan—or paying a higher rate than you otherwise would have paid.
Your LinkedIn Profile Can Help—or Hurt—You
Lenders can review your LinkedIn profile to determine how stable you are in your current position. If you have a history of frequent job changes, it might be an indication that you won’t remain at your current spot for long.
In addition to looking at how frequently you change jobs, they may also consider the types of jobs you generally have held. If you currently work as an attorney, but you have a history of working at minimum-wage retail positions, it may be a sign that you’re not well-suited to white-collar work.
What You Say Online Can Be Used Against You
If a prospective lender sees a high number of posts in which you complain about your boss or your job, or if you frequently boast about calling in sick to spend a day at the beach, that can hurt your chances to get a loan. Rightly or wrongly, lenders can interpret these kinds of posts as showing that you are not serious about your career—or they can draw the (possibly correct) inference that you’ll soon be fired. Either way, what you say can hurt your chances of getting approved.
Forbes recently reported on another aspect of this subject. Lenders may review your posts just to see what kind of lifestyle you lead. If you talk about excessive drinking, financial problems, or other things of that sort, they can take this as an indication that you are not going to be likely to repay your loan.
. . . But It Can Also Help You
On the flip side, if you frequently update your social media accounts to reflect accomplishments at work, it can work in your favor. Showing that you have accomplished a new assignment or been the recipient of an award at work shows that you are stable and serious about your career. So, make sure you frequently update those profiles—especially LinkedIn—and show that you are a good credit risk.