With mortgage loan interest rates recently falling to near-historic lows, a lot of homeowners and potential home buyers will look into financing. This will include pulling a credit history. As more people have their credit scores pulled, more information is passed around behind the scenes. Your information could be sold to businesses who want to know that you're looking for financing. These are called "Trigger Leads."
The buying and selling of this information is not something AmeriFirst Home Mortgage does, nor do we condone it. Instead, the selling happens on the credit bureau level. In fact, we as a company work hard to keep your information from being bought or sold. AmeriFirst co-founder and CEO Dave Gahm is tackling this issue. Dave says someone recently asked him, "What is the best way to stop the selling of leads by credit agencies?" Here's what Dave had to say:
"Trigger leads" are a problem for many in the industry, where after the credit report is run, suddenly a borrower hears from other lenders. One industry vet wrote, "One thing that will reduce this problem is do not put in any borrower phone numbers when pulling a credit report. I always delete my borrower's phone numbers before I pull the report. The credit agencies do not need phone numbers to obtain a credit report. This is not full proof ....the repository may have a phone number on file for borrower ...or someone might be able to look it up. But my experience is that this has reduced the number of solicitation calls to my customers."
When talking to a mortgage consultant, ask if they can withhold your phone number to help avoid trigger leads. Another solution is "Opt-Out." Your consultant should have a document that says:
'Important -- Opt-Out Instructions: Credit reporting agencies will put your name on a 'target list' within 24 hours after your credit report is ordered in connection with a mortgage. They will sell this list. As the result you will receive phone calls and junk mail with offers of loans, insurance, etc. from a variety of unscreened vendors. If you wish to avoid receiving this unwanted solicitation, either call 1-800-567-8688 or go to www.optoutprescreen.com and follow the instructions. It takes 5 business days to process your request to opt out. So, let us know the date you complete the request to opt-out. We will order your credit report on the 6th day."
For more information on credit reports, the mortgage industry and trigger leads, check out this interview with Infinity Mortgage Associates Mortgage Consultant Eric Ellison. He covers trigger leads at about 2:30 into the interview.
Can't see the above embedded video? Click here: Credit Reports and Trigger Leads
You can download a free eBook to help explain credit scores, credit history and more below.
(money changing hands: Flickr user Quazie)