BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It appears that having the wrong friends on Facebook could ruin your credit score.
Some tech startups are now using social data to determine the risk of lending to people who have a difficult time accessing credit. The thought if that the friends you keep would help the borrower determine whether or not you will pay back their loan on time.
Some companies argue a person's friends are a good indicator of whether or not they are credit-worthy.
Anthony Ogorek of Ogorek Wealth Management said, "Personally, I don't think so. However, banks are always looking for additional information. It's important for people to understand that there are downsides to the ability to connect. Just be aware of them. I'm not saying don't connect, but just be aware of the potential for someone to hurt you with it."
Traditional lenders look at tax returns, employment and income verification, and credit ratings. Ogorek says people should look at their credit scores once a year, but he warns now they should also be monitoring their social media connections.
"Always try and view what you're putting in social media though other people's eyes. Can something be misconstrued or made to look like it really isn't?" he questioned.
Ogorek advises that if that is the case, think twice before putting it online.
As you may imagine, some in the financial industry are skeptical of this tactic of determining whether someone is credit-worthy, namely because people can easily control their Facebook friends and online profiles, whereas the same cannot be said of what goes into a credit score.
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