How to Stop Credit Solicitations

The credit bureaus sell "trigger lists" that contain information about you to advertisers. Here’s how to easily stop this.

How to Easily Prevent Sharing of Your Data

Fortunately, the bureaus now have a jointly-run website where you can opt-out of certain creditor data bases and thereby cut down on this activity. It’s easy to use and takes only a few minutes:

https://www.optoutprescreen.com

At the bottom of the home page, click the blue button "Click here to Opt-In or Opt-Out":

Opt-out of credit offers

On the next page, select "Permanent opt-opt" and click Submit:

Opt-out of credit offers

Complete the form and click Confirm. You’ll be opted-out for five years:

Opt-out of credit offers

To make your opt-out permanent, you must mail in your request. Click "click here to print" and print page two of the next screen:

Opt-out of credit offers

How Do They Get My Data?

When your credit history report is pulled, such as when applying for a home loan, the main credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax, Experian and Innovis, put your name and other credit data on a "trigger list" and then sell that list to mortgage servicers, credit card companies, and others advertisers.

Isn’t it an Invasion of Privacy?

Yes, we think it is. While we have no problem with promotion, we do have a problem with others accessing our credit and personal information. Most people don’t want their private information shared with unknown firms and strangers. In addition, with over 8 million people per year becoming victims of identity theft, there’s good reason to be concerned. Also, many folks don’t appreciate the barrage of telephone calls, emails, and letters saying, "Talk to us — you are pre-approved!"

Can it Hurt My Credit?

Yes, possibly. Each inquiry on your account can reduce your score by a few points. If you respond to a promotion and innocently allow the advertiser to pull your credit, the new inquiry can reduce your score. It’s best to select the firm you wish to work with and allow only that firm you’ll to run your credit.

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