You decide to purchase a home or maybe refinance your current mortgage. You get a referral for a mortgage lender from a trusted real estate professional or a friend, so you reach out to them. After you speak with them and complete an application, you're feeling great about your next steps.
Then moments later your phone starts ringing. It's another mortgage lender not affiliated with the company you just spoke with.
"How did you get my number?"
"How did you know I had applied for a mortgage?"
These are just a few questions that may go through your head when this happens.
What? How Does This Happen?
When any lender pulls your credit report, the credit bureau sells this information as a “Trigger Lead”. This sale of your information is legal, but you can stop it.
Credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are in the business of big data. They profit when they charge for a credit report, and they also profit when they sell your personal data as a lead. In fact, Equifax made $3.36 billion (yes, with a "B") in 2017 alone selling lead data.
The selling of this information results in an onslaught of lenders calling you and sending you text messages. However, some of these lenders may not have your best interest at heart.
There's nothing wrong at all about shopping for your mortgage, we actually encourage that. But shouldn't shopping be your choice?
What Can I Do To Prevent This?
The first step is awareness. Understanding how your data is bought and sold without your direct knowledge is important! Yet more important is how to prevent your data from being sold. Here are some tips:
Opt out of the sale of your data. This prevents the credit bureaus from selling your information to anyone. Visit www.optoutprescreen.com which is the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website to accept and process requests from consumers to Opt-In or Opt-Out of firm offers of credit or insurance.
Make sure that your phone numbers are listed on the “Do Not Call List”. This prevents unwanted sales calls from any industry. To do this, visit www.donotcall.gov which is the official site of the Federal Trade Commission.
Stop unsolicited mail. Getting a loan of any kind can also trigger unsolicited mail. To remove your data from the mailing lists, visit https://dmachoice.thedma.org/register.php
If you do receive unsolicited calls, you can choose whether or not to ignore them. No one requires you to call someone back or answer their text message.
We value your right to privacy and hope you found these tips helpful. If we can help with anything, feel free to reach out to us.
Qualifying for a home can be overwhelming, but when you work with a lender that understands the loan process we can make it a much smoother experience for you.
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