If you're in the process of applying for a loan, you've probably noticed your inbox, answering machine, and mailbox filling up with competing offers or extended warranties from a number of companies. We understand this can be overwhelming, and you might be wondering how they got hold of your information.
At CFSB, we want to clarify that we are not selling or sharing your information. Instead, creditors, including mortgage companies, are utilizing a federal law to identify potential customers and market their products to them. Below, we will shed some light on why your loan application triggers these offers and how to stop receiving them.
What is a pre-screened or pre-approved offer?
These unsolicited calls, emails, and postcards, often known as "pre-screened" or "pre-approved" offers, are based on information in your credit report, indicating you meet certain criteria set by the creditor making the offer. This could include factors like your zip code, the number of credit cards you have, or your credit score. Credit bureaus sell lists of consumers who meet these criteria to insurance companies, lenders, and other creditors.
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender obtains your credit report, which generates an "inquiry" on your report. This signals that you're in the market for a loan, prompting mortgage companies to buy lists of consumers with recent inquiries. Federal law allows this practice if the offer of credit meets certain legal requirements.
How to stop receiving pre-screened or pre-approved offers
If you prefer not to receive these offers, here's how to stop them:
- Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit optoutprescreen.com
- Provide necessary personal information like your home telephone number, name, Social Security Number, and date of birth.
- Your opt-out request will be processed within five days, but the offers may not cease for up to 60 days.
- If you have a co-applicant, both parties need to complete the opt out.
Additionally, you can reduce telemarketing calls by putting your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry:
- Visit donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222
- Register your phone number, reducing telemarketing calls within 31 days.
- Your number stays on the registry for five years.
While these steps can help, it's important to note that not all telemarketers are covered by the Do Not Call Registry. The Federal Trade Commission advises that even if you opt out of pre-screened offers and register on the National Do Not Call Registry, you may still receive some unsolicited offers.
At CFSB, we're committed to ensuring your lending journey is as smooth as possible. We recommend completing the opt out process if you know you will be in the market for a loan of any kind. If you have any questions about opting out, our team would be more than happy to assist you!