Soon, Credit Agencies And Lenders May Use Social Algorithms

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… or, learn how to ride a bike. Credit agencies and debt buyers have long been battling over the right to dig in to your social media life, but the eerily accurate algorithms that determine who you are in real life and in part are gleaned from Facebook may make it into your credit score. (Which is a terrifying concept.)

Creditworthiness is a murky enough subject, given the ways a person can be restricted in getting a job, a place to live, or other useful things due to the arcane and secretive ways in which creditworthiness are deduced.

Now the Wall Street Journal is looking at a horror nightmare combo of scary Facebook info-trawling and the credit industry, and TLDR: this will probably cost us a lot of money.

The paper says FICO’s people admit they’re trying to get that going:

“There could come a time where certain social media could be predictive and we’re looking at that, but it isn’t yet,’ said Anthony Sprauve, senior consumer-credit specialist at FICO.”

Sasha Orloff, co-founder and chief executive at LendUp, terrifyingly explains:

“It’s one of the tools we use to do underwriting … Do you have 4,000 friends but none are that close, or do you have 30 people but they’re very close? There are ways to measure how engaged and how strong your community ties are.”

Alex Sion, president of Moven bank, adds:

“The data we have on customers via social networks says more about them than their FICO … You can make credit decisions based not on a faceless score, but on who you know.”

Of course, the credit and social media issue stems not so much from what you put out there, but what is gleaned about you in an ambient fashion. Does liking a certain chain of stores, using certain keywords, or even the hours you keep harm your credit? Open job searching?

It seems regardless of our social media and credit level of comfort, the practice isn’t even just coming — it’s here.



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