Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Ways Bankers are Spying on You

From the Wall St. Journal.

"Big Banker is watching you—more closely than ever.

With lenders still skittish about making new loans, credit bureaus and others are hawking services that help banks probe deeply into your financial closet. The new offerings include ways to look at your rent and utility payments, figure out your income, gauge your home's value and even rate your banking habits based on details like whether your direct deposits have stopped.

All of this could influence your financial freedom—not to mention the number of junk-mail solicitations you receive."


"Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, a credit-score information website, knew he had a good credit score. But when he recently applied for a new credit card, he was rejected: The lender had flagged him as a higher credit risk because the value of his California home had declined and his mortgage principal wasn't declining—giving away that he has an interest-only mortgage.

"It's a lot more than just your credit score today," he says."


" are some newer ways lenders and financial-services companies are sizing up your financial behavior and credit-worthiness:

• Bank-depositor behavior scores

• Income estimation

• Rent payments

• Collection triggers.

• Home values

• Your wealth

As all of this becomes a widespread practice, those who are prompt and careful in all aspects of their financial life may have more options—and those who have been sloppy with, say, their bank accounts may be penalized for that."

See original article link above for details on each item listed.

I had my own little interesting run-in with The Credit Eye: after repeated visits back to the car repair shop for some minor flooding-related electrical problems with my car (don't EVER park on the street when a storm is coming unless you know your street has good drainage!), a question about a letter pertaining to my escrow sent me to my credit union. The lady I was dealing with about the escrow happened to tell me that a pop-up appeared on her screen telling her to ask me if I'd be interested in a new car loan--the credit union's system noticed that I had car-related charges on the credit card, and assumed I needed a new car.

Well, given the criteria of things they spy on NOW, they probably would've turned me down or offered me a horrendous interest rate, depending on how they determined the value of my house (in spite of fierce dickering and excellent timing).

About those junk mail solicitations--want to stop getting them? Get off the lists.


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