Forget FICO. Is Facebook going to be the new mortgage gatekeeper?
Well, Facebook has pioneered social media, intrusive data collection, selling user data to third parties, potentially illegal psychological testing on humans, and the push for amnesty for illegal aliens.
So why not jump into mortgages? How can things get worse?
Glad you asked.
How would you like your mortgage application to be subject to whether your network of friends pass muster?
Call it “social lending,” because it’s almost a thing.
Facebook applied for the patent back in 2012, which is not unusual because they apply for patents on large swathes of ideas.
This is how the patent describes the invention:
When an individual applies for a loan, the lender examines the credit ratings of members of the individual’s social network who are connected to the individual through authorized nodes. If the average credit rating of these members is at least a minimum credit score, the lender continues to process the loan application. Otherwise, the loan application is rejected.
The idea bothers me because the kind of friends I have will drag…well, in fairness, and on second thought, I’m probably the one who would lower their status, not vice-versa. But still, the idea of the big blue private sector Big Brother being involved in something like mortgages is troubling.
It’s not like lenders — who really want to make a loan because that’s how they make money — will adopt a stupid impediment that amounts to a form of discrimination. (After all, just because I have a lot of CEO friends, that doesn’t make me well-heeled, just like a preacher or social worker having a bunch of friends struggling to get by doesn’t mean they are a borrowing risk.)
So it’s unlikely this will have any effect immediately. But it’s one more reason we all need to keep our eyes on Facebook.
Because you can bet that they’re keeping an eye on you.