Currently, few people do not have an account on at least one social networking site (and usually several), even if they do not use it often. We are increasingly aware that what we put in them may have real consequences for us (for example, in the form of dismissal for inappropriate content or the need to return sick pay if it turns out that we posted photos from trips during the dismissal). This raises the question: does our social media have any impact on creditworthiness?
Creditworthiness verification – how does it work?
Both each bank and each loan company use a different, own algorithm to assess the creditworthiness of potential borrowers or borrowers. As a rule, however, the same data is used. The most important is the amount of income, as well as the amount of currently paid liabilities, living costs (and how many people are dependent on us), age, and education. Credit history is also very important, i.e. whether we have repaid our current and past loans and borrowings on time, as well as the question of whether we are on the list of debtors.
Credit history verification is carried out by sending an inquiry about the applicant to the Credit Information Bureau. It stores both negative information about late payments as well as positive information about installments that are paid on time. The mere presence in BIK is not a bad thing, on the contrary, the entries about untimely payment of installments will certainly not make us credible in the eyes of the bank or loan company.
There are many different debtors’ registers in Poland, but many of them are small and niche in nature.
Do lenders pay attention to customer profiles on social media?
Many lenders assess the creditworthiness of a potential customer automatically so that his application can be processed in several or even several minutes. Whether it will be accepted depends largely on the data provided in the application. It is also important whether a given company checks BIK, KRD, and other registers, and if so, what results were obtained in a specific case.
When a decision is issued immediately and real people are not involved (or only to a very minimal extent), it is difficult to verify profiles on social media. However, it cannot be said that absolutely no one uses such verification.
It can happen with some loan companies that have not implemented an automatic process in this regard. Manual verification of creditworthiness may also occur if we apply for a large amount (several or several dozen thousand zlotys).
We can also expect the lender to look at our social media profiles (or at least Facebook, which is the most popular of all social media among Poles) if we try to take out a social loan. Social loans are granted not by companies, but by private individuals who can choose this method of verifying the credibility of a potential borrower.
What information posted on Facebook can harm us?
How much information posted on Facebook can harm us (or on the contrary – help) depends on what we share on this platform, what it says about us, and whether it is consistent with what we entered in the loan application.
Remember that the lender cannot formally check, for example, how many children we have or how much are the liabilities we are currently paying. He has to rely on what we tell him in this regard … but he can also be influenced by the data that we have posted and shared publicly, including on Facebook.
The “married” status, when according to the loan application, we are single or a family photo with our toddlers while we have declared that we do not have any, are just some of the cases when we may inadvertently reveal our lie to the lender.
We don’t even have to lie in the application for our social media to harm us. Photographs depicting a party lifestyle or irresponsible spending of money, with a small remuneration declared, may convince the person verifying our credibility (especially in the case of social loans) that accepting our application is not a good idea.
We must remember that even if we are aware of this threat ourselves and we do not put photos of this type, (unless we disable such an option in Facebook settings), photos may appear on our timeline, in which we will be marked by friends.
How can LinkedIn be used to assess creditworthiness?
LinkedIn is one of the less popular social media in Poland, but you have to remember that this portal is quite specific. LinkedIn is primarily used for establishing business contacts and serves as a kind of professional showcase.
Accounts on this portal are set up primarily by middle and senior managers, specialists (including IT specialists), but also various freelancers. The lender can use it to check the accuracy of the data regarding the history of our employees that we have included in the application.
If we claimed that we have been working in the same company for years, and according to LinkedIn, we have changed jobs like gloves, and we are currently unemployed, we certainly will not be able to count on a positive consideration of our application.
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – do we have to be careful there too?
If someone decides to verify our creditworthiness with the help of profiles in social media, due to its popularity, it will mainly take into account Facebook, or LinkedIn, because it is a social networking site of a business nature. Does this mean that we can post and write anything on our Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, and it won’t hurt us?
Not necessarily, but certainly, the probability that these accounts will be checked is much lower. Especially if they are not signed with our name and surname, and we do not link to them from portals on which the data appear (i.e. from Facebook or LinkedIn).
Creditworthiness and social media – summary
Creditworthiness and social media can already connect, and it can be expected that in the future this trend will only grow more and more. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to what we post on social media, as well as in what photos and posts our friends mean us.
Whether we like it or not, our profiles on social media can prove our credibility, as well as whether we were honest in the loan application. That is why they are such a good, and at the same time easily available and free tool for at least partial assessment of our creditworthiness.