Is the National Security Agency really tapping your phone calls and reading your email? If they are — in spite of the invasion of privacy concerns — the truth is, it’s probably some pretty boring stuff they’re snooping in on: “Want to meet for lunch?” “Justin Bieber got arrested?” “Who’s the new guy in accounting?” That sort of stuff.
The real data that matters is much more personal. Lenders use it, and you should know about it. It’s your hidden credit score. After years of suffering, consumer credit is gaining giant momentum. Crawling out from the rubble of recession, lenders are looking to make deals.
The “too big to fail” banks have been mopping up lingering legal messes, and the mortgage industry is still in recovery. But consumer-focused lenders have been easing credit standards and swimming downstream to gain retail customers and pump up profit margins.