July 29, 2015
A few years ago the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) started a program whereby they would sell the names of people who had their credit checked (to buy a car, obtain a mortgage, etc.) to other third party entities that
may provide a similar product or service. Major credit bureaus sell this information to similar businesses so they can make competitive offers. These are referred to as 'trigger leads' or 'firm offers'.
While the credit reporting agencies that sell this information claim it's for the consumers' own good to have more options, it can also be seen as an invasion of privacy. In a nutshell, they believe that if you don't tell them you don't want your personal information sold, then you have consented to having it sold.
The only viable option for prevention is to personally opt out. The Federal Credit Reporting Agency provides you the right to do so and this will preclude Consumer Credit Reporting Companies from providing your credit file information for firm offers. Opt Out Services, LLC allows people to opt out electronically, which will then take you off the list for five years. Otherwise, you have the option of physically mailing a permanent opt out election form, also available on the website.
The website explains the benefits of trigger leads and provides a PDF of the report to Congress from the Federal Reserve on Unsolicited Offers of Credit and Insurance for you to educate yourself before making a decision. Once you opt out, you may also visit this website to opt back in.
If you have questions or want to opt out, please visit:
http://www.optoutprescreen.com/or call 1-888-567-8688.
Premium Mortgage has a long standing policy of not buying trigger leads and we've actually spoken with congressmen and other legislators about getting this policy prohibited. Until we are successful, there is nothing that can be done to stop those annoying phone calls except for you, the consumer to be proactive. If you feel these trigger leads are an invasion of your privacy, be sure to protect yourself by following the instructions above.