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Opting Out of Prescreen Offers

Our Mortgage Planners receive many questions from our customers, and they help walk them through many situations and scenarios. One thing that is often brought up by customers is the influx of mortgage offers from other companies. These offers come in the mail, over the phone, and via email, sometimes making people feel overwhelmed. Seemingly, as soon as an application is completed, there is an flood of offers from other mortgage companies looking to win your business.

Because it happens so quickly, many folks are surprised, and wonder how these companies ended up with their information in the first place, as well as how they can opt out of these offers. Here is some information on why home buyers receive these offers and how to opt out!

Why Is There an Increase in Offers?

Many people assume that Mortgage Lenders are the ones selling information, and this is not true. When your credit is run for a mortgage application, this action triggers the influx of offers, leading to your mailbox being overloaded.

When your credit is run, an “inquiry” is placed on your credit report, which shows that you are in the process of possibly buying a home. Many companies are allowed to legally buy lists with this inquiry on it and serve you offers for lines of credit or mortgages.

These offers are mostly advertised as “prescreened” for either a line of credit or a mortgage rate, making them even more enticing to the customer. These offers will often come flooding into your inbox and are unrelenting, causing many people agitation. While annoying, these offers can benefit both mortgage companies and customers, as they allow people to compare rates and make sure they are receiving the best offer possible.

How Do You Opt Out of These Offers?

We get it -- many people may not wish to receive other offers. So, how do you get ahead of it and make sure your email and phone aren’t inundated with information from other lenders? The FTC provides resources for consumers so that they can opt out of these programs. Here are some easy steps to take to keep your inbox clean.

Contact Opt Out Prescreen

There is a company set up to opt you out of these offers. By calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com, you can opt out of these offers before you apply for a mortgage (or after, if you were a little late). When you contact Opt Out Prescreen, you will need to provide some personal information, such as your phone number, SSN, date of birth. All of this information will remain private, though, and will opt you out of receiving any offers once your credit is run for a mortgage application. While your request will most likely be processed within a weeks’ time, there is a possibility that your request may take up to 60 days. It is best to make sure you opt out early and give yourself enough time, so that when your credit is eventually run, you’re in the clear.

Something else to consider is that if you are applying for a mortgage with another person, both people on the mortgage need to opt out of the prescreen offers if you wish to not receive them.

If you would like to learn more about the prescreen opt out options, visit the FTC’s website.

Put Your Number on the Do Not Call Registry

To take this a step further, and make sure you receive even less offers about things you don’t necessarily need, put your number on the Do Not Call Registry. If you wish to receive a reduction in the amount of telemarketing offers that you receive in general, not just those related to mortgage offers or lines of credit, then you can put your number on the federal governments Do Not Call Registry. You will receive fewer calls, however, it may not block you from all advertisers.

To put your name on the registry, simply visit www.donotcall.com or call 1-888-382-1222. Your request will be processed within 31 days, and will remain on the registry for five years.

Applying for a mortgage is an exciting time, and receiving an influx of solicitations for mortgage offers and lines of credit can sometimes feel overwhelming. Opting out of these offers can give  you peace of mind by knowing that your information is not be used for marketing tactics.

Here at Blackhawk Bank, we want you to be aware of the entire mortgage process and how to be prepared for the road ahead. Learn more about Blackhawk Bank and how we can help you with the mortgage process: visit our Mortgage Website or contact us today!


Author: 

Tammy Zurfluh
NMLS#476483
SVP Mortgage Banking