Borrowers angry at social media lender spying

Ryan Fowler

March 31, 2014

Seven in 10 borrowers are angry or uncomfortable that their privacy is being intruded on in such a way, while 77% believe lenders cannot make accurate decisions based on social media output.

James Benamor, founder of Amigo Loans, said: “Lenders should only be judging if someone is credit worthy by their ability to pay a loan back.

“We already know that lenders like 118 are asking people how many Facebook friends they have.

“There’s a danger lenders will start judging borrowers on how valuable they are to them for future marketing and products.”

Nearly half of borrowers would consider deactiviating social media profiles as a result of such snooping, as a third say their privacy is more important than social networking.

Benamor added: “The term ‘mainstream credit’ is already becoming a contradiction, with an increasing number of borrowers being forced to look elsewhere because the banks are turning their backs on them.

“We firmly believe that reverting back to the old-fashioned approach of actually speaking to potential borrowers is how lending decisions should be made.”

Borrowers are most concerned about the impact of photographs, followed by status updates and location.

Women are more concerned than men, with 74% of women saying it makes them angry and uncomfortable compared to 63% men.

Younger generations are less inclined to deactivate social media profiles, as 30% 18-24-year-olds compared to 41% of over 55’s are willing.

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