For many years, I’ve shared the idea that banks and other financial institutions will soon use a social media score alongside the traditional credit scoring used by Experian and Equifax. Each time I talk about it, I expect someone to jump on the idea and build a scoring system that takes into account someone’s online reputation and social media activities.
At this point, it’s about as likely as us actually seeing “the year of the mobile.”
According to the WSJ, a lack of any central social score has not stopped fringe lenders from doing their own sleuthing.
“…LendUp, uses a mix of private data including credit bureaus and information gleaned from social media to help gauge borrowers’ risk and verify identities. Applicants voluntarily share Facebook, Twitter and other sites, which LendUp executives say provides a fuller picture of potential borrowers. The more data applicants provide, the better their chances of approval can be, although they aren’t required to give permission to access social media, according to LendUp.”
The push back would come from consumer groups that fear someone’s social activity could unfairly result in a higher interest rate or see them turned down for a loan. Obviously that is a concern, but certainly, at least initially, the scores could be an opt-on for those potential borrowers that know their FICO score doesn’t tell the whole story of their ability to make repayments.
Klout was the first to build an “influence” score for social media and has flourished. I’m waiting to see who will be the first to build a reputation score. If no one else will build it, I might just build it myself!