Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Banks Using Mobile Phone Usage To Gauge Credit Risk

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the gauging-your-minute-score dept.

Businesses 196

Hugh Pickens writes "A new startup is revolutionizing the way financial service companies meet the needs of an estimated 2.7 billion people worldwide with a mobile phone but no access to formal financial services by developing sophisticated modeling software that can look at usage data from consumers' mobile phones and make predictions about credit risk. 'There's a vast market of consumers in countries like Brazil, China, India, and the Philippines who want access to financial services like credit cards, loans, or insurance,' says Jonathan Hakim, chief executive of Cignifi. 'But while they may have jobs, and some have bank accounts, there really is no credit history for them.' The way you use your phone is a proxy for your lifestyle say the developers. 'We're looking at things like the length of calls, the time of day, and the location you make them from. Also things like whether you top up [a pre-paid SIM card] regularly. We want to see how stable the patterns are. When you look at that, you can create these behavioral clusters that give you information about users' appetite for new [financial] products, and their ability to repay a debt.' Currently operating in Brazil, Cignifi doesn't plan to deploy the technology in the US. in the near-term. 'The business opportunity is so much bigger in Brazil, India, China, and Mexico, where you have around half a billion people in those four markets alone who have a mobile phone but no banking relationship.'"

cancel ×

196 comments

The entire credit history thing is stupid (5, Insightful)

FreeCoder (2558096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783701)

The countries listed, and where credit is not usual for people but mostly businesses (and only then for billing duration), have it more right than US. In the United Status people need to take loans just to build up their credit history, which is just useless costs. The only justified things for loans should be loans for starting businesses, houses and maybe cars. Living on credit for your everyday things is just stupid and bad for economy. And this also includes credit cards, even if you pay them back as soon as you get the bill.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783787)

Money is debt too. Currency is nothing more than someone else's debt that you are holding. Revolving debt simply means you are holding LESS of others debt at any one time, making the economy not less, but more efficient.

The downside is when the said revolving credit dries up. Then the ability of the currency system to function at all dries up (you need at least some cash in hand to do basic transactions).

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784035)

MOney is just time. If you earned your money it is already pre-paid for but it is kind of a loan to the person we give it too. They then take the time we earned after we receive the good or service.

Debt should NEVER be considered liquid cash. That is what caused the financial meltdown. Accountants are idiots who follow rules and never reconsider their actions on WHY.

It is a falsey because revolving debt inflates your book assets and keeps getting passed out and the interest is money created out of thin air. Right now we are dangerously close to not having any time/money to count for the interest. BOA claims they have $70,000,000,000,000 in real assets! What is our GDP? Oh yeah, it is $14,000,000,000,000 oops. Where is this magical money they claim? It is owed!

See the problem? The FEDS answer is to print more money to hide deflation which is badly needed as the cost of living is going up too high and not with our salaries. BOA can never get this money EVER.
Debt == BAD!! There is no justification for it EVER if you are a person.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (2)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784149)

That's ridiculous.

First, you're saying that nobody should ever own a home. Because it's pretty much impossible for someone to buy a home with cash on a typical salary. It would take you 20+ years, and by that time your kids are gown and you don't need to own the house any longer.

Interest is money created out of thin air? No, it's not. Interest is additional debt incurred, the money that pays it is still real money. The debt may be created out of thin air, but the money is not.

That's like saying if you buy a comic book, and 30 years later sell it for $200, then you created inflation. No, it's just a change in price, not a change in the actual dollars.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784389)

Maybe you should consider moving somewhere that doesn't massively gouge you on housing prices. The average new home costs about three years' salary in the U.S. unless you are in a major city. Even in smaller cities (in most states), you can get a fairly nice home for maybe 200 grand, which is only about 4 years at U.S. median income.

Now I realize that you can't put 100% of your salary into a house, but assuming both of you work, it's hard to imagine not being able to save more than 10% of your combined total income every year.... That's how little you'd have to save for it to take 20 years (on average).

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (4, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784975)

Are you serious? I don't know of any family of 4 that can save money on $50k a year. Rent, clothing, food, etc.. they'd be lucky to save $100 a year, much less $10k.

Raising a family is expensive. Insurance alone can cost upwards of $500 a month. I think you're incredibly naive if you think that someone can put away 10% of their salary at that level.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784445)

Don't be so sure about your position, there. "The debt may be created out of thin air, but the money is not." The United States has fiat money. The value of our currency is tied to nothing at all. The value of our money is purely whimsical. So long as people have faith in the currency, it is valuable. When faith begins to fade, it will have no value.

Lest you have missed it, faith in the US currency is already eroding. Remember the oil embargo? Certain OPEC nations refused to accept US dollars for oil, instead demanding real assets, ie, gold. China is not the first nation to suggest that the "world currency" be changed from the US dollar. Look at exchange rates today. When I was in the service, ten dollars US money could buy a decent night out on the town in most of the world. Today, forget it. That ten dollars might get you two or three beers, in a real dive. It won't get you in the door of a decent restaurant or bar.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784995)

Your point is irrelevant. A bank charging interest on a credit card is NOT creating money out of thin air. It's creating DEBT out of thin air, the money still has to be earned.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784735)

You might be getting close to something. Maybe we should live in family clusters. It would be economical wise for me and my wife to share a large house with my sibling and parents.

Building higher shared buildings makes each square meter ground cheaper for each participant. Shared infrastructure also helps.

Our parents would have paid down most of the loans before their kids started families. Me and my sibling could then pay them certain amount over the years to buy a larger and large share of the property.

No loans and high security.

A decent size medium budget property for grandparents with two children and their families could be something like 450 square meters shared living area + 150 square meter shared basement + garage on a 900 square meter shared property. 600 or more square meter of shared garden, 3 floor building + basement, one private floor for each separate family unit.

The reality of today: Parents got their own down paid property while their children have their own separate properties and large loans. The parents do not have much expenses. Their kids have much more expenses with their children and loans. The parents dies at some time and their middle aged children that now do have paid most of their loans get the property they do not need any more from their parents.

Larger financial risk for what? The sounds isolation of today is getting good. No need to be quite just because family lives close by. Privacy? Make rules. Make shared areas and ask everyone to respect the private areas. Maybe a shared common floor?

Shared housing also makes it easier to work more effective and be more flexible. The responsibilities for the younger children can be shared. It gives room for a higher income.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784883)

That doesn't work with todays realities. You're essentially locking people into a single location. They can't financially justify moving somewhere else, and they have to find jobs close to their homes (and that's not feasible for a lot of people).

Not to mention, I spent 18 years with my family, I don't want to spend the rest of my life living with them. I'd go insane.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784837)

Here is what I am referring too [kondratieffwavecycle.com] .

Of course this site doesn't go into too much detail but 95% of our money is magically created out of debt. There are many sites describing it and Ron Paul and Peter Schifft are supports of this. Debt keeps building and building until someone is left with the bag who can't pay. Like the other poster who said the US is a FIAT system with no gold to back it up it is all based on perceived value and faith.

Yes owning a home is nice but it is risk. I view it as a necessary evil if you want to retire and not have to pay a mortgage when you are 60.

The money owed in this case the GDP of many countries for a SINGLE BANK is money owed in interest that is not there. It has to be made up for them to get paid and based on what? Not real work/time but rather the printing presses at the Reserve.

Yes your analogy is correct too with the comic book. But it was paid with actual dollars and not made up with interest that I hope to get paid back later. If this sounds confusing it really is because it does not make any logical sense at all. Debt is not sustainable as more money that needs to be created out of thin air is required as these are counted as real liquid assets by the banks. This is why the share price is much lower than the book value of BOA. It is because smart investors realize their assets are more like expenses than the real inflated value BOA claims they are worth.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (2)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785019)

A country can print more money, you and I as citizens cannot (legally) do so. Nor can the banks.

A bank charging you interest does not create money out of thin air. You have to work to earn that money to pay that debt.

If I say i'll break your knee caps if you don't pay me $1000, does that magically create $1000 out of thin air? No.

There is a huge difference between the govenrment controlling it's supply of money and us who use that money.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785391)

There is no magic. Debt is a promise of future work. Therefore debt is a value of your potential. As long as you meet the promise of work, debt works wonderfully in letting you cash in for future work now. This enables tapping of significantly larger pool of resources.

Many people have watched movies like "money as debt", but missed the message because it wasn't delivered in a simple enough format. There was a continuation of that movie which went into more detail, but to really understand you have to actually study the subject. Two hour movie is too short to explain the underlying functionality of something as complex as modern economy.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785337)

GDP is a measure of how much work will be done during the year.
Sum of assets means a total value of held assets.
Many assets take years and decades of work to build and contain both US and foreign assets. The number is realistic.

Also, debt = promise of future work done. In many regards, this is not a bad thing at all. It allows you to use promise of work that you will do in the future to pay for a product now. As long as you can deliver on the promise of work, there is no problem. Problems arise when people driven by profit at the expense of the health of system itself start piling, ensuring, repackaging and so the "bad debt", promise of work that cannot be met and try to make it similar to liquid currency. That is what happened in the last crash.

So long as the debt is "good" the system is functional and allows to tap much higher amount of resources then it would be available. In this regard, your comparison between GDP, the sum of yearly work, and assets, list work of many decades is a very fitting one.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (5, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783853)

I disagree. I live off of credit for day-to-day things for a very simple reason: my income is very consistent and infrequent (payday).

I know how much money I'll have at the end of the month down to the penny. I also know that my credit card is due 1 month after the statement. So if I want to make a big purchase that I can't afford for instance I can buy it now and pay it off in up to 2 months interest free. My bank account usually has enough cash on hand to cover my monthly expenses but when it doesn't I use it to smooth out the discrepancies between my wants and my pay-dates. Why wait a week for pay-day when the credit card bill won't be due until the end of the month? It makes my income and my expenses both equally predictable instead of the haphazard day-to-day uncertainty of spending.

As a result I've never paid a penny in interest, I've flown around the world on my miles and my bill paying is far more predictable and automated.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783973)

So why not just save two month's worth of income to act as a buffer?

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784023)

Because that is 1 month worth of buffer that you can invest and earn some interest. For most people, it will only be around 5-20 dollars a month of extra interest, but hey, free money.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784085)

I wish... Where are you getting that sort of rate?

Since the market cratered interest rates are for shit. As they usually follow the prime rate. What an ironic catchpa thieves

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784155)

The average US household spends around 4000 a month. The fund BND pays 0.2% monthly in terms of dividends. That words out to 20 dollars a month.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784361)

BND may pay great dividends right now but as soon as interest rates rise as they must, the value of the dollars you've invested in the fund will lose a lot of value.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38785249)

Might want to check your math.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784183)

the recession has made me wonder if my old man putting every extra dime into gold coins was such a stupid idea after all.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784099)

I do that as well currently, I pay my bills on time and my CC company rewards are more than the piddly amount of interest that the banks are willing to pay.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784737)

So why not just save two month's worth of income to act as a buffer?

Because sometimes you want to spend 3 month's worth. Or if you save 3 months worth, sometimes you want to spend 4 month's worth. Think of it as a buffer + 2 months.

Cash Savings Time = Cost/Month's Income
Credit Savings Time = Cost/(Month's Income - 2)

However you slice it you can get things 2 months earlier than you could otherwise.

You could *gasp*, save. (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784017)

Course that would only be a sane thing to do if interest rates were positive and reasonably above the real rate of inflation.

Re:You could *gasp*, save. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784255)

Would you take a 0% interest rate loan (30-day) and put the money in a 2% money market account? Unless you suspect that the money market is about to collapse, you would be a fool not to. That is precisely what using a credit card for day-to-day expenses and paying it off at the end of the month amounts to. Except you also get a nice collation of all your expenses in a small number of places.

Re:You could *gasp*, save. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784517)

So do you max out your credit card every month and put the money in the bank? By that logic, you'd be a fool not to.

It sounds like keeping a negative buffer of money to me.

Re:You could *gasp*, save. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784695)

The money is lost if you do that. His point is that he saves some money on the spending he does. He could pay by cash and lose out on that interest, but he doesn't. I do the same thing, I'd be stupid not to.

Re:You could *gasp*, save. (0)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784967)

Course that would only be a sane thing to do if interest rates were positive and reasonably above the real rate of inflation.

If you don't pay your credit card until your due date then you've been able to hold onto your money for an extra 2 months and collect interest. Using a credit card *is* a form of saving and then you blow it out of the water with credit card rewards.

Let's take a hypothetical situation. I get paid on the first on the month and my credit card bill is on the 30th of the month.

My bank account on Day 1 is $10k.
On day 1 I also buy a boat for $10k.
My checking account has let's say a .1% interest rate per month.
On day 1 of the next month I receive my credit card statement due at the end of the month. And I receive another $10k. Let's say I have rent and need groceries. I spend $5k on necessities and bills due at the end of the month.
On the due date I pay my credit card and spend my last $5k on that month's bills.

That's: $10k * ( 1+ (.001 * 2))
$10k * 1.002 = $10,020 for my first pay check over 2 months with interest.
+
($10k - $5k) * 1.001 = $5,005
+ $10k * 1% for Credit Card rewards = $100
=
$15,025 bank account - $15,000 expenses + $100 credit card cash back = $125 profit *per month*.

Now let's do that with cash.

$10k comes in. You spend it the first of the month. No more interest.
$10k comes in. You spend it the next month of the last month's bills. $5k.
=

$5 interest after 2 months.
vs $125 interest after 2 months if you buy on credit.

That's 25x the return by using a credit card and exploiting the "Free loan" that you get to hold your cash in your bank account before paying off your credit card. Now you could say "Well don't buy a boat." or "Wait 2 months then buy the boat."

But that's 2 months without a boat and you get less interest as you would get having a credit card. Remember when you spend with a credit card you get 1% instantly return instantly. If your bank offers 1% APR you have to let your money sit for a *YEAR* before you get that interest. And with a revolving account where you continually pay off the credit card 2 months after the fact you perpetually have money in your account and buy instantly. So you actually double your interest.

Re:You could *gasp*, save. (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785453)

Or you tell the boat dealer you're paying cash. They no longer have to pay 3% to the credit card company off the top for their cut. They also like having cash because they can use it immediately (no waiting for a check to clear, etc).

So you get the boat for $9,700, an immediate savings of $300 (plus whatever retail sales taxes would have been on that $300), as opposed to getting "cash back" of $125 3 months later.

Cash is king for a reason. Even Best Buy will knock off a few percent on a big-ticket item if you're paying cash as opposed to a credit card.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784217)

So if I want to make a big purchase that I can't afford for instance I can buy it now and pay it off in up to 2 months interest free.

Why don't you control yourself for a few months, save a little bit of that money, and then never need a credit card again?

Sure, you're not paying interest (suposedly... every that I've heard say that before comes back with "Oh, except that one time, and the other time..."), but you could be EARNING interest on that money. Right now, Ally gives 0.8% on it's CHECKING accounts... more than any brick & mortar banks are giving on even their savings or 1year CDs right now...

Plus, you'll be slightly less screwed when the unforseen happens. I've known bigshot software developers who behaved the same way, and when eventually losing their jobs for one reason or another, and not IMMEDIATELY finding a new job, find themselves broke and homeless, but with credit cards... destroying their credit, add still having the same problem of being broke and homeless. Leaves you worse off after, with bad credit making it impossible to find rentals even once you're back to work and making money.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784473)

Plus, you'll be slightly less screwed when the unforseen happens. I've known bigshot software developers who behaved the same way, and when eventually losing their jobs for one reason or another, and not IMMEDIATELY finding a new job, find themselves broke and homeless, but with credit cards... destroying their credit,

1) .8% interest is lower than inflation. Better to have material goods that I enjoy now then my money to lose value.

2) I get 1% back on my credit card.

3) I have enough money to live about 3 years before finding a job in regular, non-retirement allocated stock.

4) "having a credit card" is all that I would have if I lost one of my jobs. I could pay off my credit card with either of my two jobs every month and they are obligated to pay me through the end of the month so I would (if I had nothing saved up see #3) still have no debt but credit instantly available to get me through 1 year without a job. Besides it's HIGHLY unlikely I would ever end up unemployed for more than a month unless we have a catastrophic collapse of the world economy.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

keytoe (91531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785149)

Sure, you're not paying interest (suposedly... every that I've heard say that before comes back with "Oh, except that one time, and the other time..."), but you could be EARNING interest on that money. Right now, Ally gives 0.8% on it's CHECKING accounts... more than any brick & mortar banks are giving on even their savings or 1year CDs right now...

Or do both like I do. Put all your expenses on your rewards card, keep your cash in an interest bearing checking account (credit unions usually offer these with pretty decent rates). When the card bill comes due, pay it off. The result is that you have, on average, a higher bank account balance over the billing cycle than if you were paying for all of those things throughout the month individually.

As a bonus, this helps reinforce the safe practice of using a payment method directly attached to your bank account as infrequently as possible. In case of fraud, you'd rather have 'money you owe' tied up in dispute than 'money you have'.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

snookums (48954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785285)

I do this too, because I earn 6.5% p.a. tax free on the cash that I don't spend until the end of the month.

How do I get 6.5% tax free? Mortgage offset account [wikipedia.org] . These things are apparently a lot less common outside Australia, but basically I have a savings account which, rather than paying interest, reduces the balance used to calculate my monthly mortgage interest. Home loan interest rate is 6.5%, so that's what I effectively earn on my savings, and because it's applied as a discount, not paid as interest, it's not taxed.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785427)

How do I get 6.5% tax free? Mortgage offset account. These things are apparently a lot less common outside Australia, but basically I have a savings account which, rather than paying interest, reduces the balance used to calculate my monthly mortgage interest. Home loan interest rate is 6.5%, so that's what I effectively earn on my savings, and because it's applied as a discount, not paid as interest, it's not taxed.

People were doing this for a while in the US, but as far as I know it never really caught on. The way it was structured was as two loans, one traditional mortgage (for which this trick doesn't work) and one home equity loan. You'd have your paycheck deposited directly into the home equity account (reducing its debit balance), then pay your expenses (including the other mortgage) from that account.

In the US, the number of transfers you can make from an equity account is limited to 3 per month, I believe.... there's an easy way to work around that problem, though: You use a credit card for all your expenses in order to consolidate them.

There's other drawbacks, though; the home equity loan is variable rate, and generally much higher than a fixed-rate mortgage.

Things you cannot do without a credit card (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783885)

1. get a hotel room
2. Rent a car
3. Buy an airline ticket without the TSA getting their panties in a twist
Buyer protection when buying something on the internet.

DEbit cards suck because they take money out of your account an if there's a dispute, the money is gone until it's settled. Or if there's a mistake, any checks that bounce and the subsequent fees that rack up are your responsibility - tough shit if it's not your fault.

Debit cards do not offer the same protection as credit cards.

tl;dr: You can't travel without a credit card. Other than driving your own car or biking and paying with cash for gas and staying with friends and family.

Re:Things you cannot do without a credit card (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784055)

Wow, your bank must suck. Mine will give me a credit the same day I report a disputed charge on my debit card. What's more, there are no fees and most importantly no interest.

Re:Things you cannot do without a credit card (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784079)

What's more, there are no fees and most importantly no interest.

So, essentially same (or actually worse) than a credit card?

Re:Things you cannot do without a credit card (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784115)

What's more, there are no fees and most importantly no interest.

So, essentially same (or actually worse) than a credit card?

Your credit card charges no interest and no fees? Sorry don't believe you.

Re:Things you cannot do without a credit card (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784287)

Pretty much all credit cards charge no interest if you pay in full every month. And many charge no fees to the cardholder. Indeed quite a few even give a small part of the fees they charge merchants to the cardholder to keep their business; as "rewards."

If you're not paying off your credit card in full every month, then you should consider rolling that debt into a longer-term debt product with a lower and more stable interest rate anyway. CC's charge usury rates if you keep a balance. Not quite as bad as payday loans, though.

Re:Things you cannot do without a credit card (1)

allanw (842185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784437)

I use my Amazon card exclusively for all my purchases now. No fees and the cashback structure is very nice. Since I pay off my balance monthly there's absolutely no downside to using it, but I gain convenience and 1/2/3% cash back on my purchases.

Re:Things you cannot do without a credit card (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784775)

My credit card charges no fees (to me - it does charge them to the merchants). It charges me no interest as long as I pay the bill within 14 days of the statement, which happens automatically via direct debit. This means that every payment I make on it actually leave my bank account 14-35 days after I make the purchase. For example, when I travel somewhere that is paying expenses, I can often get claim them back and have the repayment money entering my account before the original payment actually leaves. My mortgage has an offset facility, so any money in my current account is subtracted from the mortgage total before I pay interest. That means that, effectively, anything currently on my credit card is paying me interest at the rate of my mortgage. Oh, plus I get 1% back from everything I spend on the credit card.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (3)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783967)

Yep

It is the reason our economy is so bad and Europe is dangerously close to going into a 1930s style depression.

In the old days before deregulation there were usuary laws. You couldn't charge more than 6.5% interest by law! Can you imagine if they had that today? The financial industry controls too much of the worlds government to ever go back but it might be needed.

If interest rates were capped at 6.5% you bet poor people would not be targetted and could get credit cards, prices would go down for used cars so they would be more affordable for smarter people who choose to save, and businesses could get lines of credit to hire again.

Small business is still not getting loans to expand or pay existing payrolls. Why? Because they can charge FreeCoder and Billy Gates or some other smuch 28% interest instead!

Sadly, the poor get targetted and never can get out. Prices then respond by going up so a car with 120,000 miles, no seat belts that work, and no shocks goes for $2500 where I live. Insane! But it all started when payday loan centers opened up. People got the $2500 with 75% interest etc. Not fair for savers like me who do not want to be robbed blank.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784147)

The problem isn't the interest rates in that regards, the problem is that the spread is so large. If I have an account at a bank the typical interest these days is roughly 0.1% on most accounts I've seen. A quick look at average rates reveals that low interest cards average out at about 10.75%. So on average they're borrowing money from account holders for 0.1% and they're lending it for an additional 10.65%. There is some overhead involved, but people wonder why savings rates in the US are so low. 0.1% is 1.9% below the Federal Reserves typical inflation target.

I don't agree with Ron Paul on pretty much anything, but the fact is that he's dead on when it comes to the harm that the Federal Reserve represents. Tax laws are nothing compared with the income redistribution that's resulted form the Fed purposely creating inflation and holding interest rates well below inflation.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784633)

The reason it is down is because you have to compete agaisnt The Government when the banks loans your savings. Also supply and demand is an issue with the printing press of money being run day and night. This is no spread. The banks prefer the less risky and larger FED money they get nearly for free and charge back to the government again with treasury bonds. There is soo much money that they know you wont go elsewhere for your investing needs either and dont care. When it gets tight things rapidly change.

During the late Carter and early Reagan years you could earn up to 12% interest in some savings accounts in 1979 - 1982! This was because the reserve did the opposite of today and was trying to halt stagflation and this caused a severe recession that quickly reverse when rates lowered. Banks needed capital and were willing to give you a great deal for your savings as the fed was not given out money unless they agreed to 16% interest before the bubble popped.Then people moved the new earned money into stocks to where they are today all overpriced and bubbled etc.

If I were president or if Ron Paul were I think another restriction is needed. I would raise the rates, halt printing, wait for depression to lower prices, and our problems would quickly go away and gas, housing, and food would return to normal. Again it is proof that debt inflates prices and distorts the free market.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784769)

Alan Greenspan said pretty much the same thing. Inflation is basically a side-band method of taxation as it confiscates personal wealth. While I don't think going back to the gold standard is a good idea (there was a reason for going off it for international commerce), something needs to peg our fiat currency back down to reality.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784933)

Inflation is really necessary, as it requires people with money put it to work. If you just hang on to your money, it will depreciate in value and vanish. If you want your money to maintain its value, you need to invest it, and get that capital into circulation again. If your currency has negative or zero inflation, you'll have a massive "credit crunch" as all the people with capital stop loaning it out.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785223)

Inflation is really necessary, as it requires people with money put it to work.

That's true, because otherwise people would just pile up their cash in their vault and swim in it, like Scrooge McDuck.

Back in the real world, inflation is just another scam by which governments steal money from the productive members of society.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784335)

While it's usually a bad decision for the person living on credit, you're wrong in thinking that it's bad for the economy. Exchange of money drives our economy. So long as the individual doesn't default on their loans / go bankrupt prior to the bank getting value repaid + inflation, the bank and all of the producers of whatever they purchased are making money. The banks extend credit, the producers use the money to continue the business, pay employees, and the cycle continues.

Re:The entire credit history thing is stupid (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784703)

You can have an excellent credit score by holding a single credit card that you never use. (This is true of any other kind of loan, but credit cards are generally the only credit you can hold at zero cost.) The only time this would be a problem is that these days, some credit card companies will close your account if you don't use your card occasionally. Many, however, don't.

In fact, many never-using-credit behaviors positively influence your credit score [myfico.com] . If you don't request credit, you should have no recent credit inquiries (which reduce your score). If you don't use credit, your credit utilization ratio should be 0% (as good as it gets) and you should have zero late payments (as good as it gets).

When I got a home loan, I had a single credit card with a very low limit that I never used and was in the top rate bracket.

Phone service is a credit account (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783705)

All phone service is really a credit account because you have access to overage minutes, pay-for numbers, etc. You can run up an unlimited bill if you or your teenager goes over the usage plan. Pay those bills on time and you can gain credit score points, run up a higher bill than you can pay and it goes as a missed payment.

Re:Phone service is a credit account (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783765)

In most countries cell phone service is pre-paid. From what I understand if u don't have extra money in your account the extra service like pay-for numbers doesnt go through. Can anyone with more info on this verify?

Re:Phone service is a credit account (2)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784759)

In most countries cell phone service is pre-paid. From what I understand if u don't have extra money in your account the extra service like pay-for numbers doesnt go through. Can anyone with more info on this verify?

That is correct, and I'm surprised this method is so alien to the US.

It used to be the normal way of paying for mobile phone service in the UK... and it still is, just about:

This phenomenon has been especially evident in the UK, where since Q4 2007 the share of contract customers has risen from around a third (35.4 percent) to almost half (48.6 percent in Q2 2011) of all subscribers, due in part to the introduction of new types of contract tariffs aimed at attracting existing prepaid users to switch to contracts.

(Source) [wirelessintelligence.com]

With a pre-pay phone you don't need a bank, credit card, address, or any of the infrastructure for that. The original method (still used) to add balance is to buy "vouchers" from a shop. Scratch of the silver panel, type it into the phone, £10 instantly credited. Nowadays you can also top up online, by text, by phone, by credit/debit card, at an ATM... lots of ways. But the vouchers are still sold everywhere.

I think most children have a pre-pay phone, also most students, and many people with a low-paid job. And people who don't use mobile phones very often -- including my well-paid parents and my grandparents. (Although the statistics are probably skewed by tourists and other visitors. I have a contract with a British company, and a pre-pay SIM for Germany, since I travel there fairly often. I swap the SIMs around in the airport, and get cheap calls and internet in Germany.)

Usually, a phone call (or YouTube video, or whatever) cuts out as soon as the remaining credit is used up. The phone continues to receive calls and texts, and allows whatever methods exist to add credit, contact customer services etc.

Re:Phone service is a credit account (1)

FreeCoder (2558096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783781)

All phone service is really a credit account because you have access to overage minutes, pay-for numbers, etc. You can run up an unlimited bill if you or your teenager goes over the usage plan. Pay those bills on time and you can gain credit score points, run up a higher bill than you can pay and it goes as a missed payment.

I guess you haven't traveled much. In these countries you usually top-up your account and use the money you've pre-paid.

No science to it (4, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783715)

They just use this as a mean of hiding the fact that banks really have no idea if you'll be good for the money they are loaning you. They are just trying to get the contact numbers of your friends and work associates so they can harass them when you don't pay up.

Re:No science to it (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783913)

Mod up

Sadly, the banks are looking at loan sharking as great fiancial instrustments. Is there any professionalism in them left?

Greed has gone out of control and reading about Foxconn 3 stories down, and now this I feel time warped back in the 1880s. Big greed, child labor, loan sharking, riots and unrest, and the formation of unions. What finally ended it was The Great Depression.

Maybe if the market fully froze in 2008 a reset would ahve cleaned up this mess. Anyway not to go offtopic but this is just insane and I bet it is so we can get harassed day and night even for money our uncle owes and not our own. That is not fair one bit!

Re:No science to it (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784273)

They just use this as a mean of hiding the fact that banks really have no idea if you'll be good for the money they are loaning you.

There may be some science to it, but that does not negate the idea that the banks have no other data about you in these countries. That is, after all, the main tenant of the article. It is precisely because banks have no way of evaluating your repayment potential that they want to surf your phone records.

And of course they have no plans to bring this business model to the North America or the EU precisely because such practices are outlawed in these countries. Even with a signed letter of authorization these companies wouldn't get any such info from the carriers. (Hell you often can't even get your own phone records from the carriers without a huge argument, a letter from law enforcement, or threat of lawyer, etc). The best they can do is demand a copy of your phone bill from you, which in many cases does not even contain detailed call info any more.

But that doesn't mean there is no science to it. Its easy enough to see patterns when you evaluate large numbers of people. Actuarial Science is pretty precise these days. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that if the failure rate of loans shows a huge spike among those people that make calls to certain numbers (bookies, drug pushers, or simply to no-name burner cells), maybe the bank would be better off avoiding those clients.

Re:No science to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784395)

That is, after all, the main tenant of the article.

So who's the landlord, dickbat?

Re:No science to it (1)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784705)

It is precisely because banks have no way of evaluating your repayment potential that they want to surf your phone records.

And of course they have no plans to bring this business model to the North America or the EU precisely because such practices are outlawed in these countries.

No, the reason they have no plans to bring this model to North America or the EU is precisely because they have other (better) was of evaluating your repayment potential. For example, the big 3 credit reporting agencies: as flawed as their data may be from time to time (and I fully support laws requiring them to give you a copy, help to correct mistakes, etc), this data "lubricates" the economy (facilitating transactions between strangers) to an astonishing degree. The information gives sellers a wider market to sell to (most of us can walk into a car dealership full of total strangers, with nothing but our driver's license in our hands, and in an hour or so we can drive out with a $30K car), and it gives buyers wider choices of where to buy from (we can do the above at ANY dealership in the country, not just the one our uncle works for).

Re:No science to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38785209)

I'd be merely content with them being subject to defamation laws if they claim you have done X without solid proof. As it is anyone can claim you've done X and you have to prove them wrong, meanwhile they are actively harming you and there is no recourse.

Re:No science to it (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785273)

The credit report agencies are complete criminals. The regulations surrounding their 'business' are so flawed it's unbelievable.

They should be required to give you a free copy of the data they have on you, and they should be required to correct mistakes. I wouldn't mind them not having to give me a report every time I ask - perhaps once a year to stop people wasting their time. But it's almost impossible to get them to correct mistakes.

They rely (at least in the UK - anyone able to comment on other countries?) on ridiculous indicators like whether your registered to vote (the electoral roll in the UK). What's that got to do with someone's ability to repay a debt?

And worse, now landlords are asking for credit reports to decide whether they should rent to you or not. My wife and I couldn't rent one place because she was self employed and had managed to get a couple of bad points on her credit rating - even though my wages could easily cover the rent every month. It's a crazy system because the bank would lend me £130k on my wages alone for a mortgage.

Re:No science to it (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785477)

Exactly. Also, no one said there is a link between this arbitrary data to risk estimation, and even if there was a link you don't know how to get from the data to the risk estimation. It sounds like a startup looking for a sucker to buy it.

All those people should find alternative services (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783729)

That would be much better than begging to the damn banks who just want to tie them down.

Banks, always looking for a way to price people (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783749)

Seriously, there's a reason why many religions are against usury and money. It leads to too much evil. Capitalism is one of the most destructive ideologies known to man. While certain persons may blame the "communists" for their offenses which come across in big bursts, they ignore the steady leeching of life offered by their capitalist heroes, which can be that much more costly to the souls affected.

Not that the persons described actually were acting like communists for the most part, but that's another problem.

Re:Banks, always looking for a way to price people (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784015)

You are forgetting key differences between capitalism and communism (communism as it was implemented in Russia, North Korea, etc.). First is that capitalism revolves around voluntary exchanges. If you disagree with corporation X you don't have to give money to corporation X (assuming it isn't done via taxation). With communism if you disagree with the government (assuming for a moment this government allows dissent) you still do not have the right to not fund them because you must pay your taxes. No one forces you at gunpoint to buy something at Wal-Mart, if you are so inclined you can live your life so that not a dime goes to Wal-Mart, however, if you disagree with the conditions at the government's factories, you cannot vote with your wallet and choose not to support them.

And what about "steady leeching of life"? Guess what? With capitalism (and a willing government) if you are so inclined you don't /have/ to be part of the capitalist ideology. Go live in a commune if you want! Capitalism offers that freedom because it is based on voluntary exchange and if you voluntarily want to live in a commune, live in a monastery, or heck, live alone on your own little piece of land and become a hermit, capitalism lets you.

But as for me, I'll keep my capitalism and keep my quality of life. But you are free to do as you wish, such, is the beauty of capitalism.

Re:Banks, always looking for a way to price people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784655)

If you had read Marx, you would realize that his communism was revolved around truly voluntary exchanges, and then a little critical thinking would tell you that the states of the USSR and North Korea are (or were) authoritarian regimes, and not at all communist.

And yes, ideal communism does give you the right to influence the government, far more so than the current system in the US where you know what? Corporations do their best to get what they want from it. Citizens United is one obvious thing, but there are plenty of others, like all the mortgage foreclosure fraud which the banks perpetuated upon the people with the aid of the state. YAY capitalism! Exploiting people just as much as you can imagine.

But no, capitalists don't want to let people live their life, they've intruded upon many many cultures and civilizations, and resent being told to keep out, that they can't have things. Don't believe me? Just go ask some indigenous cultures. What's left of them.

Re:Banks, always looking for a way to price people (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785089)

There is a difference between influencing or not supporting. By its very nature, taxation does not let you not support a regime. There is no way that I can live my life while remaining in the US and not pay for bullets/missiles to ruin other countries. It simply is impossible.

Not supporting is much more powerful than influencing and it allows everyone to decide for themselves without forcing it on others. My decision not to support X corporation will not affect someone else who has no problems supporting X corporation. Of course, if by me and others not supporting it, it can no longer remain profitable and closes that is fair enough, but my decision in and of itself doesn't affect someone else who may enjoy supporting X corporation.

The US is not a capitalist state. There is nothing legal that says that the business philosophy of the US is capitalism. If you look in the constitution it never says anything about it being a capitalist state. On the other hand, if you look in the legal documents of the USSR, North Korea, Vietnam, etc. they will all say that they are communist states, while (aside from perhaps some successor states to former communist states) no state practicing "capitalism" ever declares it. Capitalism is simply the default method of organization that everyone innately participates in. So long as we all have different talents and exist in a society larger than say a single family unit, division of labor and voluntary trade will exist. Such simplicity is the core of capitalism. Someone has something that you value, be it knowledge, talent, time, energy, products, etc. and you have something that they value, therefore it benefits both of you if you trade.

But no, capitalists don't want to let people live their life, they've intruded upon many many cultures and civilizations, and resent being told to keep out, that they can't have things. Don't believe me? Just go ask some indigenous cultures. What's left of them.

Is completely false because the nations that did that did not do it because of their economic system, but rather by their government system. Even then, the only major ideology that truly embraces (pure) capitalism is the libertarian philosophy (speaking from a US point of view of course, the word libertarian means different things in other cultures) which are completely non-interventionist and would let people live however they want. It is the statists that want to conform.

If you want Marx's communism, you need a (minimal) government and one that embraces capitalism because it is the only way that would provide enough choice to allow for Marx's vision of communism to exist. If government enters into communism you simply get Stalin 2.0 or Kim Jung-Il 2.0. So, paradoxically, a philosophy of capitalism is needed if you really want communism to succeed. Because capitalism is the only national economic system based on voluntary trade, it is the only system conductive for a non-totalitarian communist commune to exist.

Re:Banks, always looking for a way to price people (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785297)

If you had read Marx, you would realize that his communism was revolved around truly voluntary exchanges, and then a little critical thinking would tell you that the states of the USSR and North Korea are (or were) authoritarian regimes, and not at all communist.

All communist states are authoritarian, because you can't have a voluntary communist state. Capitalist behaviour is prohibited by force in a communist state, whereas you're free to set up a communist commune in a capitalist state so long as you buy the land first and 'progressives' haven't eliminated property rights.

Bitcoin to the rescue again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783797)

Get a phone for just 10BTC per month for a prepaid a sim for just 0.1BTC per minute/text.

Let me get this right (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783803)

So, phone companies are selling who i call, how long and where did i make the call to this companies? Isn't that invasion of privacy?

Re:Let me get this right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783837)

Dear Customer,

You agreed to this last time you renewed your contract with us. Didn't you read it?

--Phone Company

Re:Let me get this right (0)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783843)

Want a loan? Give us access to all your phone records. Or no loan for you!

Re:Let me get this right (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783987)

First off, the theoretical you we are talking about agreed to this with the terms of service for your phone. Secondly, how is this more of an invasion then needing your social security number, two years pay history and a full credit report?

The Laws Of Personal Finance (3, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783841)

  1. Avoid all debt
  2. Avoid all debt
  3. Avoid all debt
  4. Profit!

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784005)

Without a history of debt and repayment you will have a hard time getting a loan for a house etc.

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784073)

In civilised countries you only need steady income and a valid payment plan.

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784333)

SHHH! Don't tell him our secrets!

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784351)

That may work for you, but most of us don't have >100.000 euro in our bank accounts when we want/need a house. So, that would we're paying rent until we do. Which means hundreds of euros a month that COULD go into paying back a house, but aren't.

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785271)

That may work for you, but most of us don't have >100.000 euro in our bank accounts when we want/need a house.

Which isn't a problem, because houses would be cheaper. Loans make things more expensive by creating artificial demand.

You'd think that after the recent housing debacle people would understand that.

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (1)

WillHirsch (2511496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784283)

I believe not getting a loan for a house was step two ("Avoid all debt").

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784433)

Loan? Did you somehow miss the first three sentences of GP's post? If you can't afford a house, don't buy one.

Speaking of home loans, I wonder how affordable homes would be if it were not for banks artificially giving everyone the "buying" power to get one (temporarily).

The typical home loan (30 years of debt) is financially insane, and has made home ownership (i.e. with no debt on the house) harder for everyone. Some of the price inflation caused by loans could be witnessed after the 2008 home mortgage "crisis" (market correction), but real estate is still vastly overinflated due to the ready availability of ridiculously enormous personal loans.

In actuality, the banks risk nothing on the loan (if you default, they repossess and keep your payments too), they only take a risk on the market (resale of the home being what you borrowed), which is only a risk to the degree that the market as a whole fluctuates up and down, owing to the huge diversity of loans that are made... and when the market is really down, the taxpayers bail you out.

Loans are a scam, perpetrated by banks, exploiting the financially unwise, to use against the rest of society. The only function that money lending serves is to give you the money you need to compete with someone who has access to the same services. The "winner" is the person who is therefore willing to sacrifice more in an unforeseeably long term. This has a negative evolutionary effect by giving economic preference to irresponsible people who spend what they're not sure they'll have (gamblers), rather than to responsible people who only spend what they can afford (planners). What it means in the end, after the bankruptcies, is that the responsible people end up paying one way or the other to cover the debts of the people who failed to repay what they agreed to. In the meantime, before the house of cards falls, the irresponsible people get to live it up, while the responsible people continue to lead humble lives.

In the end, the only people who win from money lending are the lenders. At least the way it works today, where the lender isn't actually lending you anything, they just trade you the money for collateral and simply trade the collateral back over the lending period. They would at least be less predatory if they took on an actual risk. That in turn would make them exercise better discretion about who to lend to, which in turn would reduce the inflationary effect on the market.

95% of money is based on debt (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784069)

98% in the EU.

Your chances of avoiding all debt are small.

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784077)

Or how about:

Buy low, sell high.

Buy high, sell higher.

Buy when undervalued, sell when overvalued

Buy, add value, resell.

Profit.


Depending on what you do, debt may be, or may not be a bad thing. There are things that are pretty stupid to get into debt (meaning with interest) such as cars, furniture, TVs, computers, etc. but lets say you have a skillset to work with aging luxury cars and restoring them and selling them at a much higher price. If you don't have enough capital to buy the raw materials you need for this business, or enough capital to buy enough inventory of cars, not going into debt means not making a profit. Whereas you can get into debt, buy these things and quickly pay it off when you sell it because you are adding value to the car beyond the sum of its parts (and beyond the interest rate).

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (1)

hercubus (755805) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784709)

  1. Avoid all debt [ homeless / live in a box ]
  2. Avoid all debt [ walk / never own a car ]
  3. Avoid all debt [ lose / no credit benefits ]
  4. Profit! [ small / less profit and quality than you could have ]

congrats! you're now a small, on-foot, homeless loser who minimized a trivial expense and lowered your income potential and your quality of life. w00t?

okay, seriously, debt is a tool, not a sin. as a tool, you can injure yourself with it or build something useful. and to throw another cliche, for every problem there is a short, simple solution that's wrong. or in your case, not exactly wrong, just sub-optimal

H. A. N. D.!

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38785133)

1. Rent an apartment
2. Buy a cheap second hand car or use public transit. (oh, I forgot, they don't have decent public transit in the U.S. do they?)
3. Get a free credit card and use it rarely, or pay the bills on time, always, so you don't pay interest.
4. Save up the all the money you save, not having to pay interest on various loans.
5. Buy a house when you have the majority of the sum (or all of it) already in your bank account.
6. Profit!

Re:The Laws Of Personal Finance (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784865)

I'm not sure how you get from the first three to the fourth one. For example, I took out a mortgage a little under two years ago to buy a house. As a result, I am now paying in mortgage interest less than a third of what I was paying in rent. Because the house I bought has better insulation than the place I was renting, my gas bill has gone down. Because I bought new appliances when I moved, rather than using the old ones that came with my rented flat, my electricity bill is also down. And yet, I am quite clearly not avoiding all debt - I have more debt now than I have ever had, yet my monthly cost of living is much lower and, as a result, I am paying back the mortgage quite quickly. In a few years, it should be fully paid off. At that point, my cost of living will be even lower. In contrast, if I'd avoided all debt, I'd still be slowly saving up to buy a house, while paying someone else for the privilege of living in a property that they owned.

you 74il it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783863)

start a h0ly war

Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38783865)

I have a terrible credit rating because I've never needed credit. I use pay as you go on my mobile phone because it works out cheaper (no other reason), but like most store purchases use cash to pay for top up credit. You get nothing useful from that.

Seriously (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38783877)

FUCK OFF

I normally do not use those strong tones in my slashdot replies but what I do, and what videos I watch are no ones business! Why is this even for sale?

When employers tried to call your doctors and pyschologists to weed out applicants with potential issues like depression people were outraged and HIIPA became law. The medical industry hates it but it was a must as in an alternative universe anyone who has taken an anti depressent would be labeled a credit risk and unemployable or someone with ADD would be unemployable and another credit risk etc.

I think the same should apply. I mean what is next? Installing video cameras that view into your house all over the street? Maybe looking for who you invite over or what you do in the bedroom next?

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38784465)

I mean what is next? Installing video cameras that view into your house all over the street? Maybe looking for who you invite over or what you do in the bedroom next?

You must have missed the last 10 years. British CCTV, Google Streetview, iPhone GPS tracking, Facebook, fuckbook, whatnot. It's already taken care of.

Yeah, (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784121)

Give me your phone number and I tell you your credit worth.
Start it in another country where it's possible, then expand...

How exactly is that data available?! (2)

tmontes (80312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784263)

Almost enough said.

Assuming such correlation is useful for credit analysis, how does someone other than the telcos access that kind of information to produce such evaluations?! I'd say it is private information. Correct me if I'm wrong...

Re:How exactly is that data available?! (1)

ark1 (873448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784567)

Somewhere in TOS there is likely a clause which allows the telecos to "share" your private information with anyone willing to pay for it.

I re-read the headline (0)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784471)

I thought I saw "banks using phone use to gouge"

And I said -- this is news?

Next : Fortune telling from turd (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784623)

For this is where we are headed to. it is utterly stupid to think that people behave the same way in every aspect of life.

My Private Phone Records (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38784677)

If any telco shares my phone records with anyone or anything outside itself, I'm suing.

If I volunteer to release those records to a specific other person/thing, because I want to use it to prove something, that's my privilege if the telco allows access to it. But never before than.

I have the rights to be secure in my person, home, papers and effects. And I have a government we created to protect those rights.

Another Step to Total Information Awareness (3, Insightful)

dangle (1381879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38785013)

I'm not a tinfoiler (in fact, part of my job is to try to help tinfoilers) but this is just another (? inexorable) step towards total information awareness. MasterCard and others have demonstrated an almost spooky ability to make future predictions based on seemingly irrelevant data, predictions that hold true and provide valuable guidance for large populations, despite the fact that individuals will be harmed. With a little more database interconnectivity, coupled with a gigantic complex of computers, there's no limit...

-Dan

Are GPSs legal in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38785061)

They may have issues in China, where GPS usage is forbidden...

third world derivatives anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38785175)

so i can see these loans being "bundled" into a single security and then that security being resold
to spread out the risk. i mean what could go wrong with that idea?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...