If you’ve ever applied for a new credit card or loan, you may have started receiving calls, emails, or physical mail with offers for other credit products. This may be the result of trigger leads, a practice in which the national credit bureaus sell your contact information after a hard credit inquiry appears on your credit report. Usually these offers are more annoying than anything else, but sometimes your information may be sold to someone who is trying to trick or scam you.
What Happens with Your Credit When You Apply for a Mortgage?
When you apply for a new mortgage loan, your lender will pull a tri-merge credit report from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Checking your credit history and credit score are a normal part of the application process for any type of loan, including mortgages. Your lender will review your credit report and credit score as part of their underwriting process to assess your creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan.
However, this credit inquiry will show up on your credit report as a hard inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid applying for loans, only that you don’t want to apply for multiple new credit accounts at the same time.
If you are approved for the mortgage, the loan will appear on your credit report as a new account and can affect your credit utilization and payment history. Making on-time mortgage loan payments each month will help you maintain a good credit score.
Information Sharing: What are Trigger Leads?
You just submitted your mortgage application and you’re excited to start house hunting. So, why are you suddenly receiving phone calls or emails from other mortgage lenders?
Trigger leads were created by the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. This practice is legal under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which pre-empts all but a few very specific state laws passed before 1971. There is little states can do to regulate trigger leads.
Essentially, the credit bureaus can sell your contact information within 24 hours of your mortgage application to anyone who wants a list of people applying for mortgages.
While advocates of trigger leads say they provide more choice to the consumer, most people find it confusing and annoying to be contacted with unsolicited offers.
Luckily, you don’t have to deal with these unwanted phone calls and mail.
How to Opt Out of Trigger Leads
OptOutPrescreen.com is the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website for consumers to opt-in or opt-out of firm offers for credit or insurance products.
You can choose between electronically opting out of receiving firm offers for five years or mailing the permanent opt out election form to be free of trigger leads for your lifetime.
If you do change your mind in the future, you can opt-in to receive firm offers.
Signing up for the Do Not Call Registry can also help protect you against unwanted phone calls.
FAQs Trigger Leads
Here are the answers you need to understand trigger leads:
Who sells trigger leads?
Credit bureaus sell trigger leads to interested parties.
How can I prevent my contact information from being shared as a trigger lead?
You can opt out of trigger leads for five years or permanently by going to optoutprescreen.com.
What is a Firm Offer?
A Firm Offer is a pre-approved or pre-screened offer of credit (loan or credit card) from a financial institution.
What if I change my mind and want to opt back in to receiving credit offers?
You can opt back in to trigger leads and other credit offers by visiting the same website: optoutprescreen.com
Will my credit score be impacted by opting out of trigger leads?
No. Opting out of trigger leads for pre-screened lists has no affect on your credit score or your ability to apply for or get credit in the future.
I opted out, so why am I still getting unsolicited offers of credit?
Keep in mind that it takes a little time for your request to be processed. Also, opting out only stops you from receiving pre-screened or pre-approved offers that are based on lists from the three major credit bureaus.
Peoples Bank is here to help!
To protect your personal information from unauthorized access and use, Peoples Bank uses security measures that comply with federal law. We do not sell your contact information to other lenders, but we cannot prevent the credit bureaus from selling your information as a trigger lead. Only you can take your name off the trigger leads list by going to optoutprescreen.com.
Whether or not you are actively applying for credit, loans, or a mortgage, stay alert to potential fraud or scams. Peoples Bank will never ask for your account number, social security number, or PIN over the phone or through email or text message. You can learn more about how we help protect you from fraud by visiting our fraud center.