In Today’s Brave New World Your Credit Rating Isn’t All That Is Being Monitored



Most people today have at least a vague idea about the importance of good credit. Your credit rating can affect many aspects of your life, including your eligibility for mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, mobile phone contracts, and car and home insurance. Prospective employers and landlords are also more likely than ever to check your credit rating before hiring you or renting to you, respectively. But in today’s world your credit history isn’t the only thing that is being vetted; your social media posts are increasingly up for grabs as well. We’re not trying to make you paranoid; we just want you to be aware.

The perils of putting your life online

As social media have become a more intrinsic part of many people’s lives, data gatherers and resellers have uncovered a bonanza. And thanks to firms such as a UK startup called Tenant Assured, some landlords are now paying for “personality reports” of potential tenants, based on details obtained by trawling your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media accounts.

Not only are these reports used to verify basic information such as date of birth, employment history and creditworthiness, but they’re also being used to excavate information such as whether you own pets. Even more disturbing for those who are concerned about privacy, the aim is to provide insight into personality traits such as neuroticism and conscientiousness. When running a report the software trawls through public as well as private postings to search for keywords that could be indicative of any potential areas of concern.

While privacy advocates and lawmakers sort out these issues, the best advice is to remember that nothing you post online is really private, no matter how you adjust your privacy settings. So don’t post anything that you’re not comfortable with the whole world – or at least a future employer or landlord – seeing.

And while you’re working on cleaning up your social media, don’t neglect your credit rating, which remains an important factor when prospective landlords and employers are sizing you up.

Understanding credit rating

Although most people have a basic grasp of how important it can be to have good credit, many people are still confused about what their credit rating really means. For example, many people believe that having dutifully paid cash for everything they purchase places them in the preferred group of prospective borrowers, when in fact having no credit is actually more detrimental to your credit score than having a moderate credit history, even if you’ve experienced a couple of credit stumbles along the way. Taking advantage of available credit but not exceeding your financial means and making payments on time will result in your having the best possible credit score. If you’re just starting out, easy-to-obtain credit cards, mobile phone contracts, and even your bank account can help you develop a history of financial responsibility. What is important is that you keep all accounts current, and in the case of credit cards, that the payments you make are regularly above the minimum required. In the above-linked web page, you will also find additional ways to improve your credit score. Making use of those tools can even help you emerge from a dreaded poor credit score.

Relief in sight for those with bad credit

Since good credit is important and makes life much easier on many counts, you should be doing everything you can to improve your credit rating, whilst not doing anything to further compromise your credit. But how do you get by in the meantime if you become strapped for cash? What if you cannot increase your income or decrease your expenses to make up for the shortfall, and it isn’t feasible to borrow the money from family or friends?

With poor credit it can be difficult if not impossible to get approved for a conventional loan, particularly if you need the cash immediately. But that doesn’t mean you’re all out of options. Fortunately there are loans that don’t require you to have an impeccable credit history. No credit check payday loans offer simplicity and convenience for people who are struggling with credit challenges.

These are generally short-term loans (up to 30 days), and they are for smaller amounts (usually up to £2000), though you will typically have a little flexibility on deciding upon the amount. Although the interest rates are quite high compared to those charged by some of the more conventional lenders – yes, you do pay a premium for the ease and convenience – these loans can nevertheless be a good option when you need money quickly.

As with any other type of loan, you should shop around and compare lenders, and we have a page to help you do just that. You can view representative examples to give you a better idea of just how much the loan will cost you, and you can read reviews of different lenders submitted by real customers.

Don’t sabotage yourself

In addition to careful comparison shopping to find the best offer, you must also be smart about the way you handle the loan. Don’t borrow more than you need or more than you can afford to pay back within the allotted time. A no credit check payday loan can help you get over a tight spot, but if you don’t pay it back on time and end up getting into another debt cycle you will have just made the problem worse.

It’s important to always keep the bigger picture in mind. Even as you become more mindful about your social media activities, be similarly mindful about your behaviour with money. If one of your financial goals is to build or rebuild good credit, make sure that any loan you take out – or any other financial transaction you enter into – is congruent with that goal.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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