That Ain’t Smart, That’s Creepy: Credit Score Edition

Another installment of my ongoing series about technology, privacy and smart phones—That Ain’t Smart, That’s Creepy.

This one’s about how credit agencies are beginning to use social networking data as a criteria for assessing an individual’s credit score…

Applicants who type only in lower-case letters, or entirely in upper case, are less likely to repay loans, other factors being equal, says Douglas Merrill, founder of ZestFinance, an American online lender whose default rate is roughly 40% lower than that of a typical payday lender.

…and other assorted creepiness:

An online bank that opens in America this month will use Facebook data to adjust account holders’ credit-card interest rates. Based in New York, Movenbank will monitor messages on Facebook and cut interest rates for those who talk up the bank to friends. If any join, the referrer’s interest rate will drop further. Rates and fees will also drop if account holders spend prudently. Efforts to define customers “in a richer, deeper fashion” might eventually include raising rates for heavy gamblers, says Brett King, Movenbank’s founder.

Using Social Media to Determine Creditworthiness {the economist; via andrew sullivan}.