Watch what you say (on social media) the banks are listening

Something that has been a trend for quite some time is that various people are looking at your social media, not with a view to laughing at a funny picture, but as a way to helping them make a commercial decision.

The employers looking at facebook and the like is well known, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that if you apply for a loan more often than not the bank is going to check you out on various social media platforms.

The most common is linked in. While a bank can verify your work history to the extent that your current employer provides it on a salary cert (duration of tenure, pay etc.) it tells them almost nothing about your past work history on how you got to that point in your life.

So if you have big gaps where you have no explanation it could sway a decision, if you mention how you always wanted to leave the corporate world and work for charity it could sway a decision and if you spent your career working in companies that closed down and you were the financial controller or something, it could sway their decision.

The banks use all sorts of tools, another common one is company searching using the likes of vision-net. This is a company data service and they tend to pull the accounts of peoples employers to see if the company they work for is making a profit (and in some instances to see if the company is an existing client).

If the company makes losses they use this against the applicant, if the company is shown to be reporting reduced profits it can also be a problem (eg: €100k in 2010 going down to €2,000 in 2012 etc.).

Modern underwriting has never had it so good in terms of the wealth of additional data available to them, and it can and does get used.

We don’t know if they use twitter or not, that an underwriter has never written and asked for a link to a persons twitter account would imply they either don’t need us to find it or they don’t use it, the other sites are definitely viewed regularly.

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