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How Deadbeat Facebook Friends and Using ALL-CAPS Can Lower Your Credit Score

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the don't-like-this dept.

Businesses 362

McGruber writes "CNN has the news that some financial lending companies claim that Facebook social connections can be a good indicator of a person's creditworthiness. One company determines if you are friends with someone who was late paying back a loan; if so, that is bad news for you. It is even worse news if the delinquent friend is someone you frequently interact with. Another company gathers information from the manner in which a customer fills out the online loan application. The chances of getting a loan improve if you spend time reading information about the loan on their website. Conversely, if you fill out the application typing in all-caps (or with no caps), you are knocked down a couple pegs in that company's eyes. A third lender requires that small business borrowers grant them access to the borrowers' PayPal, eBay and other online payment accounts (what could possibly go wrong with that?), thereby disclosing real-time sales and delivery information."

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Kind of a warning sign actually (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679531)

If your bank carries that much stock in Facebook "friends" you may want to consider borrowing from a different bank.

Kind of like employers who want your twitter password, just maintain eye contact and slowly back out the way you came in.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about a year ago | (#44679585)

The problem is, how do you know whether the bank even uses that as a metric?

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (5, Funny)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44679645)

"Bank of America wishes to be friends with you. Do you accept their request?"

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44679777)

More likely "[TransUnion|Equifax|Experiean|Some_Subsidiary] wishes to be friends with you. Do you accept their request?" and then BofA just uses the result.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a year ago | (#44679927)

Many banks use Chex Systems for account verification as well. People wonder why users of these services don't want to use their real name.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44679709)

The problem is, how do you know whether the bank even uses that as a metric?

You Friend your bank?

Why would you even let your bank know you use facebook? Even your Teenage kids [slashdot.org] know better than that.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679727)

The problem is, how do you know whether the bank even uses that as a metric?

Easy. How would they know who my facebook friends are? If I had a facebook account, I'd limit access to my friend list. So they would have to ask. But since I don't bother with social networks, they won't find any bad "friends". Forcing them to do it the old fashioned way - see if I have a history of unpaid bills - or not.

And no idiocy about being suspect for 'not being of facebook'. Plenty of people aren't there. Oldtimers. Youngsters who don't want to be on the same social network as their parents. It isn't cool anymore when mum is there. And people with enough real life to not have time for facebook. . .

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679887)

The problem is, how do you know whether the bank even uses that as a metric?

*removed self satisfying, circle-jerk, quote about how much better than facebook he is and how he looks down his nose at idiots who use them*

Then you end up getting turned down for loans (or paying more) because you aren't connected and you are a risk of being a fraud.

Plenty of people with a "real life" use Facebook and they do fine. You really aren't better than those using it...

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (5, Funny)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about a year ago | (#44679945)

The problem is, how do you know whether the bank even uses that as a metric?

Well, if it's an American Bank, they haven't even switched to metric yet....

....I'm maintaining eye contact and backing away slowly....

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44679609)

There was a much better article [economist.com] about this in the Economist a few months back. The banks don't ask you for a list of your Facebook friends. It doesn't work like that. They get the information as part of your score from credit agencies. You will never even know it is happening. But I don't see why this is worse than other things they consider, like your zipcode or marital status. You are judged by the company you keep. Deal with it.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679811)

There was a much better article [economist.com] about this in the Economist a few months back. The banks don't ask you for a list of your Facebook friends. It doesn't work like that. They get the information as part of your score from credit agencies. You will never even know it is happening. But I don't see why this is worse than other things they consider, like your zipcode or marital status. You are judged by the company you keep. Deal with it.

The big question is, when you have your privacy settings turned up do credit agencies still have a way to get your data? And less importantly, if they do turn up empty handed, do they use that against you with equal weight as being "friends" with deadbeats? In other words, is having a well-manicured facebook page now akin to having a cheap car loan (in good standing) on your credit record, to ensure you get a good rate?

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44679879)

Of course they still get that data, how do you think Facebook makes any money?

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679875)

Deal with it.

How about you stop being a sanctimonious wanker, eh?

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (4, Insightful)

Rogue974 (657982) | about a year ago | (#44679929)

Look at your list of Facebook friends if you use it. How many of them have anything to do with your credit worthiness or do you have any idea about their financial lives?

Do you have any high school friends on there? A friend you knew when you were 14 who was cool then but has since become a dead beat? You both share a hobby that you shared at 14 so still talk about that a lot and you should be dinged for his bad decisions?

You have a couple of brothers/cousins/family members who have made horrible financial decisions and declared bankruptcy a couple of times. You have done everything right and are responsible financially and so you are penalized for that?

You join a club quilting club with a FB page and meet a bunch of people and several of them that are active quilters are doing so while foreclosing on their homes and so you deny me a loan?

If the company has no financial information to go off, maybe I can see this being valid, but still a stretch. If you read the article, this company operates in the Philippines, Mexico and I forget the last country. Places where they have very little information to go off so thy use what they can. Judged by the company you keep on FB is ludicrous.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679745)

Huh? That's exactly the point. This is statistically significant. Your bank would be moronic *not* to check this.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44679839)

Given the company banks keep, I would think they'd want to keep that sort of judgement as far from the discussion as possible.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#44679947)

If you don't like the company the bank keeps, then don't ask them to borrow money.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44679763)

why?
a few decades ago banks would ask you for character references when you applied for a loan. cheap computing tech gave rise to credit scores

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44679907)

why? a few decades ago banks would ask you for character references when you applied for a loan. cheap computing tech gave rise to credit scores

Because personal references were a terrible way to judge credit worthiness. Credit scores based on your actual credit history are far more reliable.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (3, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#44679969)

"Credit scores based on your actual credit history are far more reliable."

The banks agree completely. This Facebook thing is specifically intended for applicants who don't have any credit history.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year ago | (#44679943)

one company determines if you are friends with someone who was late paying back a loan;

why? a few decades ago banks would ask you for character references when you applied for a loan.

If I friend a guy I knew 20 years ago in high school who didn't pay off a loan, what does that have to do with my ability to pay off a loan? Not a damn thing.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about a year ago | (#44679769)

These companies aren't banks. They are on-line 'better' ways of getting a loan. Lenddo, from the Philipines, is (according to their web site) "the world’s first online platform that helps the emerging middle class use their social connections to build their creditworthiness and access local financial services." Kredittech, from Germany, "uses BIG DATA and complex machine-learning algorithms to make better credit decisions." Kabbage, from the US, gets loans for small businesses, and they use real-time pay-pal data to see cash flow.

Re:Kind of a warning sign actually (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44679801)

Why? Your bank goes under, you're off the hook for the loan, whee!

Dubious Credit Criteria (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year ago | (#44679537)

Dubious credit criteria and validation got us into a huge subprime mortgage mess and contributed to an economic downturn. Fortunately, this method doesn't appear to be widespread, but the same principle applies. Folks haven't learned the lessons of the last 100+ years and seem doomed to repeat the outcomes.

Re:Dubious Credit Criteria (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#44679651)

Right but this is a study that tests the Facebook hypothesis, if there's evidence it works why wouldn't you use it?

Re:Dubious Credit Criteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679737)

It works until you start to relying on it.
Big Duh for anyone having traded in the markets.

Captcha: excrete

Re:Dubious Credit Criteria (3, Interesting)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year ago | (#44679877)

Because correlation does not equal causation.

I will present proof by contradiction. The assumption to be disproven: My friends are all creditworthy if I am creditworthy.

As a creditworthy person, I have a good job and always repay loans well in advance. I am responsible with my money. This allows me to volunteer where college students and other people who are not as well off frequent.

In turn, I'm friends with many of them on Facebook. Contradiction!

Re:Dubious Credit Criteria (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44679917)

Banks like Insurance companies do not care about causation all they care about is correlation. If more than 50% of the people who visit slashdot are bad drivers but good at paying their bills, and they find out you visit slashdot you will get a great rate on a loan and expensive insurance.

Re:Dubious Credit Criteria (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679751)

No, the problem was that lenders ignored any criteria. They didn't examine entrails before making a loan. They did nothing. Some (e.g. Countrywide) encouraged people to lie on their applications. These were applications for loans from them. They bundled and sold these loans to hapless buyers thanks to incompetent or negligent rating agencies (e.g. S&P) giving these bundles inflated ratings. That's why they didn't care about your worthiness. Read Michael Lewis's book "The Big Short". In this case somebody may be doing a big data study and finding correlations between these seemingly unrelated activities and you creditworthiness. Now correlation != causation, but businesses rarely bother to distinguish between the two.

Re:Dubious Credit Criteria (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44679753)

Dubious credit criteria and validation got us into a huge subprime mortgage mess

1. This is not "dubious". It is based on plenty of solid evidence.
2. The subprime mess was caused (in part) by government pressure to ignore proven credit criteria, along with incentives for banks to not care about the default rate because the risk was borne by quasi-governmental institutions like Fannie Mae, that had an implicit guarantee of a taxpayer bailout.

Re:Dubious Credit Criteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679785)

Actually, subprime mortgages was nothing at all to do with dubious credit criteria, it was simply being willing to lend far more than the maths (based on valid data) said they should. The norm for the last 100 odd years has been not to lend more than 3-3.5 times income, and to only lend when the borrower has demonstrated that they have a surplus by saving a decent deposit.

The subprime issue was caused by banks lending 100% mortgages for values 7 times earnings.

Also this is NOT related to credit score (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#44679861)

At least not as people normally think of it. When you talk about "credit score" what 99.9% of people mean is your FICO score. This is not getting factored in for FICO. Rather this is for people who don't have a normal credit history. If you have a standard credit history with the credit bureaus, a FICO score will be calculated on that and that's the thing lenders will look at. Nobody gives a shit about your Facebook friends if you have a history of paying debts on time.

This is for people who, for whatever reason, don't have a credit score. This is an alternate way to try and evaluate their risk potential. How good an idea is it? I dunno, guess we'll have to see. However this is not something that is just getting added to your credit score, sensationalist headlines to the contrary.

Facebook is the most expensive free service ever (5, Insightful)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44679551)

The personal and privacy costs of being a Facebook user are very high and increasing daily. No thanks.

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (2)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44679629)

And you miss the point entirely.

It doesn't matter whether it's Facebook or not. Your average Slashdot karma "score" and "friend," "foe," and "freak" settings could be abused like this.

--
BMO

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44679701)

Only if you're applying for credit or an account at a financial institution as "bmo".

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679721)

BMO is [bmo.com] a financial institution.

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (2)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44679779)

In that case, can I have a loan, bmo (77928)?

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44679915)

Only if you're applying for credit or an account at a financial institution as "bmo".

There are plenty of people who post with their real names here.

There are people who have totally fake profiles on Facebook, in spite of the Facebook TOS/AUP.

But that's totally irrelevant to the point I made. The point is that participation in online discussion is vulnerable to data-mining irrespective of the forum. Ranting about Facebook as if it's somehow more "dangerous" than Slashdot, or any other publicly available site, is myopic.

--
BMO

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679641)

Flip it around: what about when companies are offering discounts to facebook users, subsidized by non-facebook users. The day may well come when the cost of not being a facebook user is too high.

When people ask me to get in touch via facebook, I tell them I'll fax them.

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44679675)

It only costs as much as you pay into it, if that.

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679677)

Sadly not using Facebook will mean you will get a very low credit score, in fact you probably won't even get a job, you creep!

Re:Facebook is the most expensive free service eve (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#44679767)

Even if you're not a facebook user, your friends can still tag you in photos. Facebook will still track you.

Re: Facebook is the most expensive free service ev (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#44679807)

... That is, until it hurts your credit to NOT have a Facebook account. It hurts your credit to not have credit cards, it only stands to reason that, if this sort of information is fruitful, it'll cost you to not provide it.

WHAT?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679553)

HOW DOES I GET CREDIT CARD?

Re:WHAT?! (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#44679659)

LOL, I GET ONE AND SPEND

Darwinism at it's finest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679573)

Don't want to deal with a company who rates my credit based on my acquaintances, whose financial situation I'm not aware of. Happy for them to take themselves out of the picture.

I think the wider story here is (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#44679577)

How using Facebook at all can bring harm to you in real life.

Case in point: a colleague's teenage daughter applied for a summer job at the local supermarket, got selected and went to a job interview. The interviewer asked her to "describe herself". She did, and the interviewer then said "that's not what your Facebook says. Thank you, we'll call you." She's only 16 and she wasn't doing anything particularly public or outrageous on Facebook. It hit her hard and my colleague says she's been kind of depressed by the rejection she's faced.

As for me, I've learned the hard way 13 years ago (before Facebook but after Google) that the internet never forgets, and whatever you say will come back to haunt you eventually. As a result, I've learned to shut my trap online whenever possible.

Re:I think the wider story here is (2)

berashith (222128) | about a year ago | (#44679607)

you may want to stop using your real name, Rosco. The first step to secrecy is a pseudo-anonymous presence on forums.

Re:I think the wider story here is (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year ago | (#44679693)

The new government required online IDs will take care of that for us...

Re:I think the wider story here is (3, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44679699)

Rosco P. Coltrane is a fictional character [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I think the wider story here is (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about a year ago | (#44679739)

I suspect berashith knows that, and was engaging in humor too subtle for you, SirGarlon.

Re:I think the wider story here is (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44679831)

That crossed my mind, but to understand why that is funny requires you to know who the character is, doesn't it? I thought I'd throw in a link for the benefit of people not familiar with 1980's American television programs.

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679871)

That is true. It was merely cute before. Now it is hilarious.

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679859)

I suspect SirGarlon knew that, but went along with the meme engaging in humor too subtle for you, c0d3g33k.

Its turtles all the way down!

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679635)

Are you still talking ?

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679643)

Here is a simple solution, suspend your fb account when you are looking for jobs.

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679795)

The one tried and true solution is to just say no to Facebook and 'social media' in general.

Re:I think the wider story here is (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year ago | (#44679673)

The bigger question is, when is opting out not going to be an option? At what point is not having a facebook account going to be against the law? At one time, I would have said that was insane...but it's getting pretty damn nutso around here these days.

Facebook and credit rating (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44679925)

Not having a Facebook account will likely never be illegal, as such. It's just that failing to provide your Facebook data will be grounds for a lender or an electric company to deny you service. Kind of like Social Security Numbers -- you're not "required" to provide it to a phone company, but the company is free to deny you service if you don't.

Re:Facebook and credit rating (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44679967)

Dear Credit Company,

As much as I would like to obtain your business, your request that I perform an act that is illegal under the CFAA forces me to decline your potential offer of a loan, and go to your competitor.

Thank you,

A. Creditworty Guy.

Re:I think the wider story here is (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about a year ago | (#44679697)

That's why i use my name in a different language. I'd post it here, but unicode support is non-existant on this site (as is IPv6 support, but that's for another post).

Re:I think the wider story here is (4, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44679707)

She should look on the bright side. She would not have enjoyed working in an environment that stalks her Facebook profile and makes snap judgements without explanations. This is especially true for a PT job at a supermarket.

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679951)

But sometimes you need the money or experience.

Re:I think the wider story here is (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679819)

I had this happen as well. Friend of mine took a pic of me browsing a humidor.

A week later, my health ins company called, demanded I take a physical and blood test, or else have my status changed from non-smoker to smoker.

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679843)

Proper response to the interviewer should have been "why are you stalking 16 year old girls on Facebook?"

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679853)

Case in point: a colleague's teenage daughter applied for a summer job at the local supermarket, got selected and went to a job interview. The interviewer asked her to "describe herself". She did, and the interviewer then said "that's not what your Facebook says. Thank you, we'll call you." She's only 16 and she wasn't doing anything particularly public or outrageous on Facebook. It hit her hard and my colleague says she's been kind of depressed by the rejection she's faced.
 
So what you're saying is that Facebook hosed her because she's a little liar either on the interview or on Facebook? Ok. I get a clear picture now of what kind of person she is. Serves her right, IMHO.

Re:I think the wider story here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679955)

Honestly, they could've stated that with 99% certainty without having ever looked at her Facebook page. They could've replaced "Facebook" with "mother" and still been just as accurate.
Why? People have this annoying tendency to lie on applications. It's the sort of thing that makes it irritating being honest, because all the HR drones assume I'm overstating things and bluffing. Most of the time, that assumption works, but it's very irritating when HR tries to call a bluff that wasn't one, as your friend's daughter has learned.

After a line like what the interviewer used, there are two reasonable answers:
1) Really, and what part of my Facebook profile contradicts anything I said?
or
2) Don't. After that admission, if I hear from you again I will file a restraining order.

Easy solution (3, Funny)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#44679587)

This is why I friend corporations. It balances out the financial status of my real friends.

If you don't have facebook account... (5, Funny)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44679597)

If you don't have Facebook account, banks conclude you are a sociopath and offer you CEO job.

Non-facebook users? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about a year ago | (#44679599)

What if you're not on facebook at all?

Re:Non-facebook users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679823)

It's obvious. Your an antisocial luddite, probably related to the likes of someone such as either Ted Kacynski or Timothy McVeigh. What have you been doing lately? Perhaps the authorities should give you a visit, determine if you have any books lying around or related writings indicating a troubled mind with the potential to be a danger to others.

Against TOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679605)

> A third lender requires that small business borrowers grant them access to the borrowers' PayPal, eBay and other online payment accounts

Which is undoubtedly against those site's TOS. I hope the lenders enjoy being charged with computer trespass. OH WAIT, I forgot that laws don't apply to financial institutions!

The devil, as always, is in the details (5, Informative)

LNO (180595) | about a year ago | (#44679611)

The summary leaves out that the companies described aren't the major financial institutions in the US. The one who checks to see if you're friends with someone who defaulted on a loan from the same lender? Lenddo, which makes loans in the Phillippes, Colombia, and Mexico. The one who LOOKS FOR ALL CAPS? Kreditech in Germany, which uses that and "up to 8,000 data points" when assessing the loan (though I can't argue with that; as someone sitting down with a banker in person and YELLING THAT THEY WANT A LOAN is probably not a reliable borrower).

As for whether lenders should just use FICO, if FICO is available? It's reliable and predictive, and more difficult to game, but in an emerging market where your prospective borrowers don't have FICO history, what do you do to suss out whether a borrower is likely to default or not?

Beware of friends bearing gifts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679613)

Maybe a better name would be Frankinbook.

i call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679617)

BS on this 'article'

Seriously, did you think the NSA was alone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679619)

And you were worried about elected officials looking through your data!!
What's worse than a regulated monopoly?
An UNregulated monopoly.

Re:Seriously, did you think the NSA was alone? (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#44679735)

"were worried" as in past tense? Now I'm worried that the NSA (or underpaid official who works there) will start selling its profiles on people to corporations that cooperate with data collection. A trade of data as it were.

Re:Seriously, did you think the NSA was alone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679805)

The NSA, the rest of government, and the big banks and credit bureaus together form the oligarchy that rules us.

And it makes sense (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a year ago | (#44679621)

Creepy? Yes. But also logical.

Looking at friends, I think, would be a great indicator if someone has no credit history, or if they're taking out a large loan and have never done so before. It would be foolish of them to look at your friends if you've got a full history of being responsible with the kind of loan you're asking for -- I can't see them doing this.

And your account logins, OF COURSE THEY WANT THIS. Everyone does, because everyone is fucking evil. I'm totally not surprised. Don't sign up with them.

Affinity Group Lending (5, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#44679623)

I keep some of my savings at Lending Club [lendingclub.com] , which originally started out as a Facebook-based microlending platform -- the idea was that if you knew the people you were lending to, or at least understood their social graph, that you'd make better lending decisions. They dropped the concept a few years ago, my guess is that it didn't scale and there were practical difficulties. (I could see issues arising from sockpuppetry and slander, among other things...)

They do still loan to individuals, and when you lend you read their application, you can see where they live, their FICO, and what they plan to do with the money. And, guilty as charged, I never lend to people to do their application in ALL CAPS :)

Re:Affinity Group Lending (1)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44679723)

As much as I despise ALL CAPS posting, I don't think it has anything to do with creditworthiness. You (and lenders in the article) are making financial decisions based on non-financial characteristics.

For example, I don't like dog owners that don't pick up after their dogs. If I see an application by such person, and they are foolish enough for this to show from reading loan application, I too wouldn't lend them money. Still, this won't have anything to do with their ability to repay the loan.

Re:Affinity Group Lending (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679865)

As much as I despise ALL CAPS posting, I don't think it has anything to do with creditworthiness. You (and lenders in the article) are making financial decisions based on non-financial characteristics.

  For example, I don't like dog owners that don't pick up after their dogs. If I see an application by such person, and they are foolish enough for this to show from reading loan application, I too wouldn't lend them money. Still, this won't have anything to do with their ability to repay the loan.

How is that? I think you should. People who leave their dog shit around (outside their yard) are serially short-sighted, selfish, and lazy. Those are not the kind of people who tend to make safe financial decisions at the micro level. There are plenty of proxies for good or bad behavior out there. Whether or not the facebook data is a reliable proxy is yet to be seen, but it is data and wall street lives off of data.

Re: Affinity Group Lending (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#44679893)

" Still, this won't have anything to do with their ability to repay the loan." Sounds like a falsifiable hypothesis to me, it's not self-evidently true, it's something that could be researched.

Re:Affinity Group Lending (2)

stdarg (456557) | about a year ago | (#44679979)

As much as I despise ALL CAPS posting, I don't think it has anything to do with creditworthiness.

What if it does?

You (and lenders in the article) are making financial decisions based on non-financial characteristics.

I can think of plenty of non-financial characteristics that could (not always, but in specific circumstances) have huge impact on financial decisions -- age, health, family status, religion, race, gender, education, ancestry, criminal record.

Some of those are illegal to consider, but of course that doesn't mean they don't have an impact.

For example, I don't like dog owners that don't pick up after their dogs. If I see an application by such person, and they are foolish enough for this to show from reading loan application, I too wouldn't lend them money. Still, this won't have anything to do with their ability to repay the loan.

What if it does?

You're underestimating what could be surmised about a person's credit worthiness if more data were available.

Re:Affinity Group Lending (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44679829)

And, guilty as charged, I never lend to people to do their application in ALL CAPS

But the OCR loan application form I filled out said to write in ALL CAP BLOCK LETTERS.

ALL CAPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679849)

All caps have a place in filling out forms. I don't get this requirement.

Filling out names, accounts, addresses, please use all caps. There is less chance for a misread and confusion of 1 for l (lowercase L) for I (uppercase i) when you do that.

If there is an report style portion on what you plan to do with the money, use proper capitalization there.

Another Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679631)

These people are not writing an academic paper that summarizes the objective results of detached sociological research. This is just another gimmick designed to give the company an edge in acquiring clients. They will claim that it's a lot cheaper than hiring a private investigator to questions friends and relations but will produce similar results.

Jerkcity (2)

horm (2802801) | about a year ago | (#44679649)

Spigot likely has the lowest credit score possible.

Crayon (1)

pswPhD (1528411) | about a year ago | (#44679685)

I suppose filling in a loan application form in red crayon is a bad idea? that might explain why I had so many problems...

Re:Crayon (1)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44679773)

>>>I suppose filling in a loan application form in red crayon is a bad idea

No, it shows you are creditworthy and responsible parent of at least one kid.

Uh Oh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679691)

This seems to be something I do when putting occasional effort into evaluating someone's comment I've read at Slashdot. Syntax, grammar, punctuation, on-topic, etc., not to forget the friends/enemies list at the Users page. Does having something in common with these people mean it's time to hang myself?

And letter case indicates what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679733)

Just finished reading this article on CNN and saw it here (kudos, Slashdot, for timely and on-topic).

So here's an informal poll for readers: Just what, exactly, does using all caps to fill out a form indicate? I always use upper case letters when filling out paper or online forms. Why? Because an overseas minimum wage call center employee might misread my "l" for an "I" and mess up transcribing my loan application/income taxes/ insurance information/other important application type here.

I think that is an indication of understanding a potential weakness in the application process, not credit-worthiness. What say you?

Re: And letter case indicates what? (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | about a year ago | (#44679863)

I agree. All uppercase should be fine, but I would agree with TFS that all lowercase is a bad sign.

this is the dumbest shit ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679747)

i don't know the financial situation of most of my friends, but i know i have several thousand percent more money than two of my closest friends and i've never had a late bill in my life. to presume there's a creditworthiness link between friends is completely asinine

This sort of thing is exactly why... (1)

new death barbie (240326) | about a year ago | (#44679775)

This sort of thing is exactly why I started my own ANTIsocial network. I'd invite you to join, but hey, antisocial.

Are we going to regulate the ratings companies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679781)

First of all, "credit scores" should be banned. The report should just contain whatever info it contains and it should be up to the lender to assess risk.

Re:Are we going to regulate the ratings companies? (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about a year ago | (#44679899)

Not a bad idea, IMO. I recall reading one CRA CEO claiming the scoring algorithm couldn't be reverse engineered. Wait a minute. If it's truly a formula based on my credit history, it should absolutely be able to be reverse engineered. It should fall to simple statistical analysis. If it doesn't, then it isn't what it claims to be.

Great quote comes to mind. (1)

Carnivore24 (467239) | about a year ago | (#44679827)

"He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas"

Re:Great quote comes to mind. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#44679949)

History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance. -James Madison

What if you do not have facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679973)

Serious question here. What if you do not have a Facebook account? Then are you denied credit?. I just never found any use for Facebook. I actually avoid it because it seems to be the "cool" place to go hang out.

I have a linked in which I have used to network with people I worked with or currently work with. I text with family and friends on my phone. I even use email and leave comments on some web sites. I have even tweeted or read tweets. I

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