How Email Addresses, Credit Scores, and Your Personal Brand Intersect

Sometimes, it’s all in the name. You can tell a lot about a person’s character based on a name. Maybe even decide on whether or not to hire them or lend to them, based on a name.

Before anybody gets worked up by this, I’m not referring to said person’s name. Rather, I’m referring to the name of their email service!

You might recall a post here that discussed how an old, uncool email address could impact one’s job prospects. In other words, such an email address might harm your image with potential employers or business partners, and negatively impact your income potential. I floated the idea here, and it generated some interesting discussion. There are clearly some folks that raise an eyebrow at older email platforms such as AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail, making inferences about those who still use such accounts actively.

Picking up on that theme, I came across a recent article on lifeinc that discussed email addresses and another variable: credit scores. Essentially, a 3rd party analysis that the article referenced apparently showed that based on a study, holders of certain email addresses tend to have higher credit scores than those with others. Interestingly, based on the information provided, it appears that those people with Gmail accounts tended to have higher credit scores than those with AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail accounts.

I know there are people that might dismiss the results for whatever reason, and I’m not making an assessment on its merits. Rather, taking it at face value, it’s simply a body of work that is spelling out a difference in credit scores based on email service.

What’s interesting to me is how this aligns with the prior discussion we’ve had on the so-called “uncool” email adresses can potentially impact one’s chances for a job.  Clearly, there are some people who might make assessments about people just on the basis of an email address. This might seem silly to many, but just the reality that it’s not silly to many others indicates that this concept might have some applicability.

So, given that there’s already a bias with some against such addresses, can this type of news help? Probably not.  Fair or not, this type of information gives some legs to the perceptions some have about these email address holders.

And as we know, in many situations in life, perception is reality – no matter how silly or irrational it might seem to some!

My Questions for You

What do you think about this additional information on email addresses and credit scores?

Taken together with other perceptions of job seekers previously discussed here, would this influence you to make sure you had a well-perceived email address?

 

Comments

  1. Money Beagle says

    I used my Yahoo account for years as my personal and job search e-mail. I still have it, but I now use Gmail for practically everything. I’ve always had a boring (read: business friendly) e-mail. I actually registered the same username as I had in Yahoo so it was easy to transition. Yahoo allowed too much spam through and somehow allowed my account to be compromised when I felt they shouldn’t have.

  2. PKamp3 says

    I created my Gmail account in order to job search from a respected domain – even when Hotmail was big I didn’t like the name.

    AOL? I know a few people who still have AOL addresses. Better than CompuServe, I suppose.

    • Squirrelers says

      PKamp3 – I absolutely know what you mean about the name of Hotmail. Back in the day, I didn’t like the name either. My view still hasn’t changed.

    • Squirrelers says

      Jon – well, looks like you’re consistent with the findings, at least compared to those with other “less cool” email providers!

  3. Andy Hough says

    I use Gmail for most of my email but I still have my Yahoo account too. It probably isn’t a very good name for a job search but I don’t want to open another email account so I’m sticking with what I got.

    • Squirrelers says

      Andy – I think Gmail is better for a job search, worth using separately even if just for that purpose alone. Then the other email can be kept as is for personal stuff. Just an idea!

    • Squirrelers says

      Moneycone – I think on some level, we judge in many situations. This is probably one of them, for some people. Safe to say that there are fewer negative perceptions attributed to those with gmail addresses vs those with AOL, right? Fair or not, and it probably isn’t, perceptions can exist.

  4. Kevin Mzansi says

    The statistics nerd in me always thinks of the line: “correlation does not imply causality” when looking at studies like these. (Just because A and B happens at the same time does not mean A implies B or B implies A or “just because there is a stork around does not mean someone is pregnant or vice versa”). I would also hazard a guess that Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban or Usher probably have a hotmail account (probably dormant), which does not make them any more of a credit risk.
    There is definitely something to be said for perception, though…

    • Squirrelers says

      Kevin – I agree that correlation doesn’t always mean causality. Once could draw all kinds of wacky conclusions simply by connecting data that move in tandem with one another. In this case, I think the biggest takeaway is the perception part it. If we’ve already established that certain email address are “uncool” and imply certain characteristics, it doesn’t help to add perceptions that such people are less creditworthy!

  5. Untemplater says

    I think it’s a pretty ridiculous and silly statistic. I use both yahoo and gmail and know that my credit score would not be impacted if I switched to just gmail. Silliness. -Sydney

    • Squirrelers says

      Sydney – actually, that wasn’t what they were implying. Rather, the notion is that those with gmail addresses tend to have better credit scores – not that the email addresses themselves cause anything.

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