New Ways Bankers Are Spying on You

Karen Blumenthal
Wall Street Journal

Big Banker is watching you—more closely than ever.

With lenders still skittish about making new loans, credit bureaus and others are hawking services that help banks probe deeply into your financial closet. The new offerings include ways to look at your rent and utility payments, figure out your income, gauge your home’s value and even rate your banking habits based on details like whether your direct deposits have stopped.

All of this could influence your financial freedom—not to mention the number of junk-mail solicitations you receive.

Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, a credit-score information website, knew he had a good credit score. But when he recently applied for a new credit card, he was rejected: The lender had flagged him as a higher credit risk because the value of his California home had declined and his mortgage principal wasn’t declining—giving away that he has an interest-only mortgage.

“It’s a lot more than just your credit score today,” he says.

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