We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Be careful what you post on social media.
Over the past few years, numerous reports have surfaced showing that law enforcement often utilize Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other platforms to bust people for pot. Although it’s not a crime to post pictures of weed online, metadata in photos and time stamps on videos can give police all the ammo they need to implicate people as marijuana users, growers or dealers.
But now it seems that simply using certain words on social media could also be negatively affecting you—specifically, hurting your credit.
According to a report by the Financial Times, two of the top credit analytic companies have been exploring new ways to assess how a consumers can handle loans, and one of these new methods involves looking at Facebook posts.
“If you look at how many times a person says ‘wasted’ in their profile, it has some value in predicting whether they’re going to repay their debt,” Will Lansing, the chief executive of Fico, told FT. “It’s not much, but it’s more than zero.”
Analyzing social media posts, among other things, helps these companies evaluate people who might want loans but have traditionally been off the grid. Fico and TransUnion, another credit-analytics group tapping into alternative data sources, explained that this due to demands from banks. The banks are reportedly concerned that because of the limitations of traditional credit scores, they could be declining loans that could potentially turn a profit.
While there’s no word yet on whether words like “blazed” or “stoned” or “high” are being red-flagged, it seems likely. So, again, watch what you post on social media—it’s no longer just the cops monitoring your online activity.