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What to consider when sharing your financial data

It’s increasingly common for financial services and companies to ask you to share your data. These services connect to your bank accounts, credit cards, or other financial accounts to support many different kinds of functions, including:

  • Offering you tools to help you budget

  • Offering you financial advice

  • Helping you shop for new financial products

  • Helping you send or receive money

  • Helping you save money

  • Verifying your identity

  • Deciding whether to lend you money

  • Helping you improve your credit profile


People are sharing data to help get loans approved, help manage their finances, and save time when signing up for financial services. However, sharing your data can have implications for your privacy and the security of your information. We put together some key information about how data sharing works, what you should consider before sharing your data, and some tips on how you can best protect your data and accounts.

For example, if you sign up with a company that offers an app that helps you manage your budget, and you provide it access to your bank accounts and credit cards to combine and analyze data from those accounts, you’re using a service that relies on data sharing.

Different companies and services use data sharing differently. Some companies will use your shared data only once—for example, to verify your identity or get information from your bank when you are opening a new account or applying for a loan. Many services, however, use shared data on an ongoing basis. This includes most apps that help you manage your budget, make payments, and monitor your accounts.

When you share your data, you are often sharing it with at least two companies: the one that’s offering you the service and a separate “aggregator” company that specializes in facilitating data sharing. Generally speaking, the company providing the service usually chooses which aggregator it uses.

Here are some tips to help you keep your personally identifiable information safe:

1. Check your information for accuracy

2. Always review your statements for unauthorized transactions

3. Turn off apps and services when you stop using them

4. If you receive notice of a data breach, take action by calling them directly

5. Having trouble with a financial product or service?If you've already tried reaching out to the company and still have an issue, you can submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They will forward it to the company and work to get you a response, generally within 15 days.

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