Consumers strongly disagree with social media use for credit scoring

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A survey of more than 2,000 adults in the UK by Equifax reveals that 56% of consumers strongly disagree with information they post on social media being used for the purposes of assessing suitability for financial products.

Three-quarters of survey respondents said they would be “very unlikely” (61%) to give financial companies permission to access social media data when applying for loans, a mortgage or a credit card or “fairly unlikely” (14%) to do so. More than half (52%) would be angry if their social media information was used to assess financial suitability..

“If companies go down this route they have to be transparent and educate consumers on how social media information could be used; consumers also need reassurance that, as with any personal data, privacy will be respected,” said Paul Birks, director of decision solutions at Equifax.

“Using social media information to assess an application could be particularly useful for people who don’t have a traditional borrowing history and therefore may have a ‘thin file’, such as a young person applying for their first loan. Companies have a moral and regulatory obligation to lend responsibly, and should investigate all the tools available to help ensure this happens.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.