Social media credit scoring 'overhyped'

Borrowers unduly worrying whether their social media activity will affect their mortgage application

You may have read in the news that lenders and mortgage brokers are scouring the social media accounts of potential customers to help them make lending decisions. They are reportedly checking borrowers' lifestyles and personal details online, to see if they conflict or back up what they have put on a mortgage application form.

After speaking with leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Find, we can confirm that checking social media profiles is not commonplace in the mortgage market. "People shouldn't stop posting photos of their holidays and it's OK to Tweet about your latest shopping trip," says the broker's Managing Director, Mark Alexander. "We have not come across the trend for using what's posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to build profiles about borrowers."

Mark highlights that one of the most important parts of the mortgage application process is still the checking of bank statements. "Lenders remain focused on a borrower's current banking habits and will use statements to verify their financial situation and ability to afford repayments. We all know social media isn't always a true reflection of a person's circumstances - bank statements are much harder to falsify and therefore provide a more reliable example of credit worthiness. We always use bank statements in conjunction with conventional credit checks (supplied by companies such as Experian and Equifax) to come to a conclusion about a borrower's suitability."

Mark does highlight the banking habits that can influence a borrower's application success. "Borrowers should be aware there are some financial habits that are red flagged by lenders and these are normally detected when examining statements not via social media. Gambling activity, reliance on payday loans and bounced cheques will all raise suspicions so it's worth performing a health check on your finances ahead of a mortgage application, especially what's recorded in the three months running up to your application."

Now we have allayed your fears about social media and mortgages, it's time for the good news. The vast majority of borrowers are successful in their mortgage application and there are some great products available, even for those with brief credit histories. If you're thinking of buying your first property, want to move to a more expensive home or need to remortgage, ask for an in-branch appointment at your local Robinson Jackson office. There will be no trawling of social media - just local, friendly and honest advice.

All News ≫