Going through the mortgage process involves a lot of questions that can sometimes seem invasive… and yet, some of us share the intimate details of our lives across social media through our online presence with strangers all across the Internet. Guess where a lender might learn more about you?
While it’s not a requirement of the lending process for you to share your digital footprint and social media accounts, your lender – just like your employer – may peek in on your digital footprint to get a more complete picture of who you might be as a potential borrower… especially considering the Internet is forever.
So how can you be smart about your online presence, and handle your reputation management, as you prepare for buying a home? To start with, make sure you’re up to date with privacy settings. It’s also a good idea to lock down your account so only your nearest and dearest can see your posts – and even then, be careful what you post about. That means no bragging about the two-hour lunch you took without your superior knowing, raging about your boss, and – of course – complaining about a lack of finances. If a lender ever came across any of these kinds of posts and then goes back in your history to see it as a pattern, it may raise concerns about your continued employment and if you’re stable enough to handle a mortgage.
But you can actually use social media to your advantage – there are a lot of ways to improve your digital footprint. For example, having an updated resume on sites like Linked In can help your lender see the consistency in your employment history. Having a lot of connections in your social media accounts can also help you look appealing to lenders, because it shows you have a strong network, and that you’re liked – both positive checks in any lender’s column. And if you run your own business, having good online reviews or references can also work in your favor by showing you to be in demand with a good reputation.
So as you continue to move forward in your home buying journey, remember to be aware of how you present yourself on every level – both in person, and digitally.