Are Lenders Launching a Social Media Witch Hunt? What the Westchester, CA Homes Buyer Should Know.

by Dan Christian in Blog.

The real estate landscape offering Westchester, CA homes for sale provides a perfect arena for first-time buyers to house hunt for their first home.  With its secluded character boasting beautiful beaches, unique boutiques and cafes, and a plethora of recreational activities, the Los Angeles neighborhood of available Westchester, CA homes is a desirable location for young, professional first-time buyers to invest in (especially with the short commute time to Downtown).

It has always been the norm that when first-time buyers attempt to work with a lender, the lending institution examines their credit score, income and job stability before granting them approval. But throughout 2013 there have been rumors flying around that lenders are using social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about their borrowers. If there is more truth to this practice than not, first-time buyers searching Westchester, CA homes for sale may want to listen up and consider scrubbing their social media accounts before Judgment Day arrives.

According to ‘Realty Times’ if a borrower’s credit score is high and he can prove his job is steady, he has nothing to worry about. But if a borrower is self-employed, young, has challenging credit scores or doesn’t meet all the traditional loan requirements, lenders may snoop for a “Facebook score” or “LinkedIn verification”. What we are dealing with is a new trend called alternative data, which is used by lenders to help determine what kind of a person the borrower is. Of course not all lenders are snooping into your online digital lives, but in the event some are here are a few useful tips to help you clean up your Facebook and LinkedIn creditability.

Your Facebook Credit

Rumor has it lenders can determine if you fit the mold of a responsible person who pays his bills on time and makes regular payments on his loans by looking through the lender’s Facebook profile. This is apparently achieved by joining forces with companies that create algorithms and predictive modeling based on who your Facebook friends and business associations are, and how a borrower interacts within his community. For example, if a borrower has friends who live in affluent neighborhoods, have secure jobs and volunteer within their community, a lender may believe in the saying “birds of a feather flock together” and deem the borrower just as worthy as his friends. But if a borrower is trying to purchase one of many Westchester, CA homes for sale with credit challenges and his Facebook friends seem to bounce from one “hand-to-mouth” job to another while posting wild party photos, the lender may not view the borrower as being a safe credit risk.

LinkedIn and Your Credit

LinkedIn is probably the first go-to social media platform that alternative data seekers would turn to in their effort to really gauge the credit risk factor of a borrower seeking to buy one of many Westchester, CA homes for sale. After all, a person can claim they have worked for “Company X” for over 15 years and the alternative data detective will have no proof to validate the claim. However, because LinkedIn is a network of professionals who validate, endorse and recommend others, an alternative data gatherer can easily discern one’s professional reputation from being fact or fiction.

Little is known about the secrecy enshrined within the world of lenders who rely on alternative data to qualify borrowers with credit challenges. But considering that the information on social media accounts is public knowledge, a borrower may want to scrub any unsavory content from his online footprint.

But at the end of the day whether a borrower has a sterling credit score and a stable job, or their credit is lackluster, a borrower should always team up with a Westchester, CA expert realtor who knows the local market inside and out. Your agent will have the best resources to help you qualify for a loan to help you secure the home of your dreams.