Have you ever applied for a mortgage and then been ﬂooded with calls, emails and letters with competing oﬀers from other mortgage companies?
Capital City Home Loans never sells nor shares your information, but other companies do. It can be frustrating, but there is a way to stop it.
Mortgage companies often take advantage of a federal law allowing them to identify and market to potential customers by analyzing their credit reports. This occurs through the use of “prescreened” offers of credit – leading to unsolicited contact. Based on specific credit criteria such as living in a certain zip code, having a certain number of credit cards or even having a certain credit score, companies are legally allowed to sell lists of consumers who meet the criteria to insurance companies, lenders and other creditors.
When you submit a mortgage application, an “inquiry” will appear on your report indicating that you are in the market for a loan. This inquiry code is the trigger for lenders to buy contact lists of consumers and then market to them.
The good news is that consumers can benefit from this practice. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that prescreened offers can highlight other available mortgage products, making it easier to compare costs. However, many people still prefer to avoid the unsolicited contact.
Below are the steps to opt out of these prescreened oﬀers. Opting out does not aﬀect your ability to apply for credit or to get it.
Here’s how you can stop these competing mortgage offers:
- Visit optoutprescreen.com or call the toll-free number, 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688)
- You will be asked to provide certain personal information, but do not provide any personal information until you have checked for indicators that the site is secure (a lock icon on your browser or a web address that begins https)
- Provide your telephone number, name, social security number and date of birth (This information will remain confidential and will only be used to process your request)
- Your opt-out request will be processed within 5 days, but it may take up to 60 days to take effect
- If you have a joint mortgage, both parties will need to complete this opt out process
You can go a step further by adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce telemarketing calls you receive. To register your phone number, visit donotcall.gov or call 1.888.382.1222. You will get fewer telemarketing calls within 31 days of registering. Your number stays on the registry for five years, until it is disconnected, or until you take it off the registry.
Even if you take both steps above to help stop unsolicited marketing offers, consumers are not able to avoid telemarketers altogether. Since companies use other tools to identify marketing prospects, you can still expect some unsolicited offers, but the number should be greatly reduced.
For more information about your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, click here.