The Facebook mortgage. Could social data be used for credit scores?

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I’m about to move house. Which, as is usual, has involved a painful bank transfer and a lot of paperwork.

One of the steps of self-imposed due diligence I did was to check my credit file. Everything was fine, I had a credit score in the region I expected / hoped and that was the end of it. Contracts done. Property secured.

It got me thinking, though. That one little number is very powerful but, given today’s focus on big data, actually very simplistic in its nature.

For something that can dictate major elements of your life (such as helping the bank decide whether or not you are ‘fit’ to buy a home), the process by which the three main credit reference agencies (Equifax, Experian and Callcredit in the UK) apply a sweeping judgement feels flawed.

I wondered if, instead, social data could provide a more accurate picture of people.

To illustrate this, I want to talk about two of my friends. Anonymously, of course:

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