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Friends, Followers or Foes? Could Social Media Hurt Your Mortgage Approval Odds?

Friends, Followers or Foes? Could Social Media Hurt Your Mortgage Approval Odds?

A selfie showing off some wild weekend escapades… a quick comment about an epically bad day at work #worstjobever… even some self-implicating hindsight about a recent impromptu pick-me-up spending spree… Most of us are guilty of hastily posting something on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profiles that we wish we never had.

Public embarrassment aside, it is fairly easy to walk away from a “wish-I’d-thought-more-about-sharing-that” post. Or, at least it has been in the past. But, did you ever stop to consider just who might be perusing your social media profiles? No, we’re not talking about a few long-lost frenemies from high school or even that cute contact you made at your cousin’s wedding last weekend. We’re talking about mortgage lenders. Yep, mortgage lenders.

After you pick your jaw up from the ground, stop to consider this: when you’re applying for a home loan, you already know that banks and lenders are going to scour over your credit history, bank accounts and pay stubs. So, why should it surprise you that they also may be interested in peering into your social life? After all, you don’t really think your online posts are private, do you?

Initially, it may sound like an invasion of privacy for a bank or mortgage lender to stalk your social life online; but, let’s face it: what’s public knowledge is well… public knowledge. Knowing that fact and exercising just a little bit of caution before you hit the “share” button is half the battle of protecting your online social image from lenders (and, yes, even from those judgy “friends” that you willingly let into your life). 

But, wait; why would your bank care about what you’re doing during your free time, especially after you’ve already submitted all required documentation for loan approval? Consider it an alternative scoring metric that may allow lenders to gain some insight into your overall character.

Sure, you touted your loyalty to your career when you submitted those required pay stubs, but you also spend a lot of time complaining about your boss online? Or, you vowed to your lender that you’ve been working to improve a less-than-perfect credit score, but you’ve been posting pics online of that new boat you just bought? Frankly, your social profiles could give lenders a fairly accurate picture of your character, which all contributes to your likelihood of repaying your home loan.  

So, where is the happy medium? How can you maintain and enjoy your social profiles without worrying about hurting your chances of mortgage approval? Keep these three rules of thumb in mind before you share too much on social media:

1. Everything is public. Even when it’s not.

You may think that you’ve got your social media profiles on lockdown, but the truth is that Facebook, Twitter and many other social sites change their privacy settings more than you change your bed sheets. So, if your settings aren’t up to date, you could be sharing a lot more than you think.

2. Negativity is a “no-no.”

Because you just never can be sure about who is looking at your social media profile, keep your posts positive. Don’t talk about how much you dislike your job or your boss. What if he or she saw?! You also don’t want to pour your financial problems all over the page – especially if you’re trying to borrow money for a mortgage! Really, why would you want any of your so-called “friends” or “followers” to know about your financial situation anyway?

3. Current career information matters.

It may seem minor to you, but forgetting to update your career information online could reflect negatively, if your bank or lender is peeping on your profiles. Why? Well, you submitted your pay stubs and work history to your lender; so, if your online presence doesn’t match up to that information, it could raise some red flags when it comes to approving your loan.

Don’t think that all of this news about banks and lenders seeing your social media profiles is bad. Actually, if you own a small business, a lot of “likes,” positive customer feedback and timely replies to online questions could work in your favor. They’re all signs that your business is thriving, which any lender would love to see!

For more information about how your social media profiles may influence your odds of getting a mortgage:





This post is sponsored by PA Preferred Mortgage:

Pennsylvania Preferred Mortgage is a full service mortgage banker and is a member of the Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC family. Specializing in residential and refinance loans, Pennsylvania Preferred Mortgage offers a wide range of mortgage products, including fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo loans, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and renovation financing. Learn more at www.papreferredmortgage.com.