Experian, Equifax and Transunion are multi-million dollar companies. Consumers may only think of them as credit reporting agencies but they are much more.
The major credit bureaus not only store massive amounts of information about your credit habits, they also gather and sell your personal credit information to banks, lenders, credit card companies, insurance companies, landlords, utility companies and even employers. These companies pay a fee to access your credit information when you apply for credit, insurance or a job.
But it is also a sure bet that all three major credit reporting agencies have profited directly from your private credit information unprompted by you applying for anything. Telemarketers, marketing companies, mailing lists, banks, credit card issuers, finance companies and collection agencies buy your information directly from the credit bureaus. Your credit information is their profit.
6 Reasons to Opt Out of Credit Bureaus Marketing Lists
1. Mortgage Loan Marketing Lists.
One of the most popular marketing lists credit reporting agencies sell are those which contain information about consumers shopping for a mortgage loan. As soon as an inquiry from a mortgage company hits your credit reports, your information is packaged and sold to junk debt buyers and collection agencies. (Now do you realize how that old debt ended up on your final escrow documents?) Anyone getting a mortgage loan knows that before the loan is funded, the lender will require you to pay off collection debts.
2. Unpaid Debts.
If you have unpaid debts you may want to stay invisible to the credit reporting agencies until those debts are either paid or become uncollectible due to Statute of Limitations. Junk debt buying has become a billion dollar industry full of violations, fraud and deceit. The debt buying industry continues to grow and often the debts they are collecting are erroneous and uncollectible by law.
3. Trigger Leads.
The credit reporting agencies make money in several ways, one of them includes selling your private credit information. Your credit files are regularly sold, often without your knowledge or permission. They also engage in “trigger leads.” A trigger lead occurs when you apply for a loan and the lender obtains your credit files. The inquiry now becomes part of the credit bureau’s trigger lead program.
4. Unshared Profits.
Credit reporting agencies should not be able to profit from selling your information. You are entitled to one free report every 12 months. That report does not come with your credit score — that is an extra fee. Yet, the credit bureaus profit daily from your information by packaging and selling it. It’s an unfair system and until more restraints are put on the credit reporting agencies, you need to opt out and take control of your credit information.
5. Permission Not Granted.
Do you recall opting in? When did you give permission for your information to be sold on the open market and you not get any portion of the profit? If you have bad credit you are especially valuable to the credit reporting agencies. You may receive tons of high interest credit card, payday loan or auto loan offers. When you dispute an error on your credit report, there is little incentive for correcting mistakes. Bad credit is a lucrative business for banks and lenders.
6. Take Control.
Opting out prevents your credit information from appearing on the credit bureaus’ marketing lists. They cannot include your name on any marketing list or sell your credit history information.
How to Opt Out of Credit Bureaus
To Opt Out you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently.
To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.
When you call or visit the website, you’ll be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt out.
If you don’t have access to the Internet, you may send a written request to permanently opt out to each of the major consumer reporting companies. Make sure your request includes your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013
Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0495