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How to Put a Stop to Unsolicited Credit Offers

girl & mailboxIf your mailbox could talk, what would it say? “Hey Susan, here’s more coupons for your favorite Moose Tracks ice cream you can't get enough of, an overdue bill for your monthly $50 gym membership, and two new pre-approved loan offers from financial institutions you never requested.”

 

As it happens, your mailbox can’t talk and you’re not receiving pre-screened loan offers out of the blue. What most likely occurred is this: you recently applied for a mortgage and your lender ran your credit report to determine if you qualify for the loan you requested. Once the major credit bureaus received the request to pull your credit report, they added your name to a marketing list whereby your financial information was packaged and sold to businesses interested in making you a firm offer of credit. This process is often referred to as a “trigger lead” since running your credit report triggers it. The information shared about you includes your name, credit history, FICO credit score, address and phone number. As a result, you begin receiving phone calls and mail offers from financial institutions that are not related to your realtor or the lender you’re working with to secure a mortgage.

 

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the consumer credit reporting agencies (Experian, Innovis, Equifax and TransUnion) are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that you have not initiated.

 

The FCRA also provides you the right to opt out of these offers.

 

You can reduce the number of unsolicited credit and insurance offers you receive
If you decide that you don't want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently. 

 

To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.

 

To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent opt-out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request. 

 

When you call or visit the website, you'll be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt out.

 

If you don't have access to the Internet, you may send a written request to permanently opt out to each of the major consumer reporting companies. Make sure your request includes your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. 

 

Experian
Opt Out
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013

 

TransUnion
Name Removal Option 
P.O. Box 505 
Woodlyn, PA 19094 

 

Equifax, Inc.
Options
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123

 

Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0495

 

Note: Removing your name from prescreened lists has no effect on your ability to apply for or obtain credit or insurance. 

 

Remember, you’re most likely making one of the largest financial decisions of your life when you’re buying a home. Developing a trusting relationship with an experienced mortgage consultant can make all the difference: he or she can walk you through each step of the loan process, answer any questions you may have and help find the best loan and terms to meet your needs. Their mission is to help you achieve your goals, one simple step at a time.

 

Amerifirst does not share borrower information with third parties for marketing purposes.

 

 

Janet Veach
Janet Veach
Janet Veach is the Communications Specialist for Amerifirst Home Mortgage. As the former Communications Director with the Alzheimer’s Association in Central Illinois, she believes that building strong relationships leads to dynamic partnerships that can dramatically improve our neighborhoods and communities. The mother of three sons, she has heard many a good story, and specializes in creating content that educates, communicates our core values and promotes genuine relationships with our customers.

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(photo: Styron Batchelor, third from left; Loan Officer Mark Bynum, third from right; Loan Officer Assistant Jeff Jones, second from right)

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