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Banks To Use Social Media To Track Student Loans

Social Sharks

Got a student loan looming over you?

I know I have. It’s like being stalked by a horrible creature from a horror B-Movie. Except that it doesn’t gore you with a chainsaw, it just pinches you every so often. Sometimes it gives you a slap too. Cheeky git. Now it seems that it’s going to start following you on social media to boot. Lovely. Constant friend requests from Leatherface reminding you to keep up on payments.

source: inquirelive.co.uk

That’s right; banks are going to start using social media to make sure you don’t duck away from that lifetime of repayments. Initially rolling out in India, banks are hoping that by using social media they’ll be able to monitor everyone who borrowed money for the student union and McDonald’s. I still struggle to understand how my entire loan was absorbed by that bloody SU. Lesson learnt I suppose.

State run banks in India have over 2.6 million student accounts and they estimate that Rs 60,000 Crore is still owed for each account, which comes to an approximate amount of over 161 million pounds.Well, that would sort out my debts and leave enough left over for a nice holiday. For the rest of my family line.

The industry estimates that around 5-6% of these loans are probable lost causes and the Central Bank of India is the first bank to lead the charge in chasing people down through social media. So I’d recommend not uploading a third picture of that round of shots you bought (you spilt three of them anyway) or that Instagram filtered picture of the lounge in your new flat.

KK Taneja, a field general manager of the bank, commented: ‘Earlier, we used to track them through their alumni forums. But now that most students have a presence on social networking websites, it is easier to track their footprints online’

The banks aren’t wrong, even though they’re just starting out with Facebook and Twitter. With over 100 million Facebook users in India alone, social media is the clear way to keep track of students activities. Furthermore, it helps the banks stay on top of students who take gap years abroad or leave the country full stop.

source: mashellawllc.com

Though this is only in India at the moment, we shouldn’t assume that we’re safe from this sort of monitoring just because we’re in different countries. Our social media presence is monitored more often than we like to think. It’s now estimated that up to 93% of employers use social media to screen applicants. So you better keep that profile private or hide that drunken picture of yourself covered in butter by the pool in Spain (long story, blame the gin).

It doesn’t just end with student loan repayments. Loan companies have been monitoring our social media profiles for quite a while now to see if people should be approved for loans or not. LendUp, a leading loan company in the US, recently commented that factors such as the age of your social accounts, number of friends and geographical locations of your friends will be considered to see if you’re deserving of a loan. I can’t help but wonder what the ideal number of friends to receive a loan is. Are there too many? I’ve got a good friend who recently moved to Japan, would that work against me?

Either way, I can’t help but feel that banks and loans don’t have any place in monitoring us on social media. Our personal profiles are exactly that: personal. We shouldn’t feel like everything we post there is working against us in any way, but hey, that’s the way we seem to be going. They’re watching, so you better get those profiles private.

Or, we can give them a good show. Who has a spare yacht?

source: forbes.com

Banks To Use Social Media To Track Student Loans Reviewed by Tom Welby on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Rating: 5
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