Why Your Facebook Profile May Be More Important Than Your Credit Score
Forget microfinance. Lenddo is using social data to determine credit scores for a new group of lendees. (Lenddo)
It might seem crazy to offer loans to people from all over the world with only their Facebook profile as reference, but Lenddo has created an algorithm that makes this not only possible, but apparently successful.
Lenddo is a mobile app that allows users to build a profile and connect it to their social media accounts. It then uses data from those accounts to assess the credit risk of candidates applying for loans.
The concept came from a clear gap in the market: the burgeoning middle class, for whom low credit scores can make it difficult to be eligible for loans and make the economic jump forward. Lenddo’s Founder and CEO Jeff Stewart estimates that this group includes 1.2 billion people worldwide.
The app not only uses data from social media, but utilizes the network of friends users cultivate online. In order to create accountability among users, those applying for a loan can select a group of Facebook friends to use as references to help them qualify. However, if the loans are not repaid, the friends also become less creditworthy.
The concept of using group accountability is familiar to traditional community-based micro-finance lenders.
Read the rest at The Christian Science Monitor
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