Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sneaky Lenders dig up financial dirt on borrowers

Lenders use new tactics to dig up financial dirt on potential borrowers: "One of the sneaky things banks are starting to track (and rank) is your banking activity: How often and how much you deposit, how often you make withdrawals and how much money is in your account. This shouldn't matter, right? If you pay your bills on time, why should they care if you have a buck or a thousand in your checking account? Unfortunately, banks have figured out that big changes in your activity (such as no longer getting direct deposit, which could mean you've lost your job) could be an early warning sign that you're headed for some choppy financial waters. There are also new computer programs that pull all of the publicly-available information from your credit report, slice and dice it to come up with a guesstimate of how much money you make.

So, who's making and marketing all of these new ways to track your finances? In general, it's the three credit bureaus themselves, along with the Fair Isaac Corporation (the company that makes the FICO credit score). This article talks about specific programs being rolled out by Experian and Equifax to give banks a bigger peek at their customers' financial lives."

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