Lenders using social media to learn about potential borrowers

Lenders checking posts, friends for credit worthiness

(carl dwyer/SXC)

MIAMI – Money lenders are using different social medias to seek out people's credit worthiness, and they aren't just judging people based on what they themselves put out there. They are also looking at who they associate themselves with on social networks.

"Certainly you can tell a lot about people by the friends they keep and that is very true about credit," said Howard Dvorkin, president of Consolidated Credit Counseling.

Andre Fleites, social media manager for PocketWallet, said that he finds that prospect alarming.

"I do feel that's a bit intrusive and think that's not a great way to judge someone's character and their ability to repay a loan," said Fleites, who has more than 1,700 Facebook friends.

Social media has also been serving as a collection tool. Creditors have been using it to track down people who owe them money.

"It also shows your hobbies and it shows a lot about what you're spending your money on and what your activities are," said Dvorkin.

Lenders claim it gives them a better idea of a person's credibility.

"Some lenders try to match up your friends with people who have defaulted from them in the past. I don't believe that's a logical model to base your lending opinion on," said Dvorkin.

Experts recommend being careful about who you interact with and what you share on any social networking site because once something is put out there, it's there to stay.

"You don't put anything out there you don't want the world to see because once you put it out there you can't it back," said Fleites.