Trigger Leads: Protect Your Personal Data

It's true! Known as "trigger leads", the files of borrowers applying for a home loan are immediately flagged, packaged, and sold by the credit bureaus to the highest bidders. For about $25 to $100 or more, your name and certain specifics about your credit report, including your address, phone number, mortgage history, and even your FICO score range, are sold to unscrupulous mortgage companies which then blindly solicit your business. This results in numerous unwanted phone calls and junk mail offers which are in no way associated with your real estate agent or loan professional. Fortunately, there is a way to protect yourself. Read on to find out.

Unfortunately, no legislation presently exists to prevent the credit bureaus from profiting at your expense. As a trigger lead, you are simply at the mercy of any number of lenders bombarding you to try and earn your business, often by offering "bait-and-switch" teaser rates to stand out from the competition. Don't be fooled! Ultimately, there are only a limited number of sources where lenders may turn to obtain mortgage money, and it's unlikely that you will find an unbelievably low rate without an unbelievably high cost. Talk to a real mortgage professional to extract all the hidden costs and get an apples-to-apples comparison.

To try and prevent this unnecessary solicitation,if possible, visit prior to taking an application for any loan program. By following the directions you can "Opt Out", or prevent your information from being sold, for 5 years with a electronic submission, or 10 years with a mail in submission. For most home buyers, this is the simplest way to avoid the problem altogether.

As you embark on what could be the largest financial transaction of your life, it's important to have a professional mortgage specialist on your team who has your best interests at heart. If you'd like more information on trigger leads, credit reports, or the various mortgage products available to help you reach your financial goals and needs, call today.

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