What the experts say
The future of online credit scoring
Companies could soon track your online behavior to gauge whether you’ll pay your debts, said Alix Langone in Time.com. A German study that tracked 250,000 data points from a home furnishings site found that small tells such as an email address or a phone brand could predict how likely a customer was to default on a loan. Android users were twice as prone to default as iPhone owners, and shoppers with a Microsoft, Hotmail, or Yahoo address were also more likely to miss repayments. Nighttime shoppers were similarly risky, as were people who typed their name and address in lowercase. People who visited the site on their phones were three times as likely to default as others. The value of these behavioral hints might tempt retailers to reach further into users’ online lives, potentially even constructing credit reports—and denying loans—based on digital behavior.
Chicago is still a good deal
U.S. cities are refreshingly underpriced compared with other global metropolises, said Clare Trapasso in Realtor.com. San Francisco is the only major U.S. city close to real estate–bubble territory, with prices 20 percent above their 2006 level, a global study from the investment bank UBS reports. But that’s far below the wild surges seen in hot international centers such as Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and Vancouver. By international standards, New York City is slightly overheated. The place for bargain hunters to buy now? Chicago. It’s undervalued, with home prices rising more slowly than rentals and overall inflation-adjusted home prices still 30 percent below where they stood back in 2006.
Social media can make you poorer
Sites like Facebook and Instagram are sending young people’s “bank balances and moods plummeting,” said Catey Hill in Moneyish.com. More than 50 percent of Millennials admit to spending “money on something they hadn’t planned to” because of social media, according to a new survey by Allianz Life, compared with 28 percent of Gen Xers and only 7 percent of Baby Boomers. Three-quarters of Millennials feel that social media portray an unrealistically positive view of other people’s lives, and partly in response to that, 41 percent have made a purchase to feel better about their own. Those impulse purchases could be worsening young people’s “already tough financial spot”—according to a 2017 poll, nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds have $0 in savings.