It’s possible that trigger leads may be banned in the near future. Until then, you can prevent credit offers after a credit inquiry is made by visiting OptOutPrescreen.com or calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.
An opt out takes roughly five days to go into effect.
Opting out helps reduce the amount of spam and harassment you receive for approximately five years. You also have the option to permanently take yourself off the list. A permanent opt-out request must be sent in writing by mailing a form downloaded from the site. If you change your mind, you can use the site to opt back in again later.
Questions? Reach out to your local Academy Loan Officer.
When you opt out of becoming a trigger lead:
- You’ll be excluded from the firm offer lists sold by the four Consumer Credit Reporting Companies (TransUnion, Experian, Innovis, and Equifax).
- You won’t receive as many unwanted credit offers by letter, phone, or email.
- You’ll have the assurance that your credit file is only reviewed by those you’ve granted permission to—i.e., your mortgage lender.
- Your credit score won’t be negatively impacted. Neither will your ability to apply for credit and insurance.
Keep in mind that opting out isn’t a 100-percent guarantee. Though an opt-out request will remove you from firm offer lists within five days, you may still get offers from companies that have already received your information. You might also get offers from companies that don’t rely on Consumer Credit Reporting data to create their trigger lead lists.
To take it a step further, you can opt out of Direct Mail Association (DMA) lists, reducing the amount of junk mail you receive. Here’s where to find your opt-out options. Before applying for a mortgage, you can also register your phone number at www.DoNotCall.gov.
Opting out of trigger lead lists won’t limit soliciting from religious groups, alumni associations, politicians, charities, and local vendors. If you want to opt out of calls and mailers from these groups, you’ll need to contact them directly.
Although trigger leads can feel intrusive, there are some borrowers who choose not to opt out. A borrower might allow credit offer calls and emails if they want to receive competing offers and compare loan costs. And since these offers are pre-screened, a borrower is unlikely to be denied. That said, it’s still important to exercise caution and ensure an offer is coming from a reputable lender.
As noted above, trigger leads are being lobbied against by multiple mortgage industry groups. Many lenders and lawmakers oppose trigger lead lists because they have potential to increase instances of mortgage fraud and identity theft. While arguments have been made that credit offers help the consumer shop around, those in opposition say they may promote predatory lending.
Bottom line: Becoming a trigger lead might not be on your radar when you’re thinking about buying a house. Since an opt-out request takes about five days to process, it’s ideal to opt out a week or more before you apply for your mortgage. Even if you already own a home, you can opt out now to avoid becoming a trigger lead the next time your credit is pulled.