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Trigger Leads: What you need to know and how to opt-out.

Published January 26, 2024

If you have purchased or are buying a home, you may have heard about unsolicited credit offerings, also known as “trigger leads.”

You may also receive the same unsolicited phone calls or emails after applying for a new credit card or other type of personal loan. In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about trigger leads, what you should watch for, and how to opt out of receiving these offers.

What are trigger leads and how do they affect you?

Have you filled out a mortgage application with one lender and wondered why another quickly contacted you? This could be a result of a trigger lead. National credit bureaus create trigger leads. Once you apply for a personal loan or mortgage, your information can be placed on a list and provided to other lenders. These lead lists are created within 24 hours of a loan application. Unfortunately, this leads to many unprompted calls, texts, emails, etc., which can feel overwhelming.

Are trigger leads legal?

Yes, trigger leads are legal. This practice is legal under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which preempts all but a few particular state laws passed before 1971. There is little that states can do to regulate trigger leads. While they are legal, we encourage our customers to be on high alert when contacted with unsolicited offers. Trigger leads could expose you to identity theft and deceitful lenders and cause confusion while taking out a loan.

Midwest Bank doesn’t sell or give out your contact information to other lenders, but we cannot stop the credit bureaus from doing so. Community banks across the country are supporting measures and proposed legislation designed to protect the financial privacy of mortgage applicants.

How to Opt-Out

You can take steps to avoid trigger leads by choosing to opt out of these trigger lists with some of the options below.

  1. Sign up for OptOut Prescreen. This is the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website. You can opt out online, by phone, or mail. You can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). You can choose to opt out for five years or permanently. This website is the ONLY website authorized by the nationwide credit bureaus. OptOut Prescreen will not reach out to consumers, so any phone call or email from anyone claiming to be from OptOut Prescreen is fraudulent.
  2. Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry. This can help protect you from unwanted phone calls.
  3. DMA Choice is another website where you can sign up to opt out of trigger leads and avoid unsolicited marketing messages.

Keep in mind it may take time for your opt-out request to be processed. In some cases, it may take up to 30 days to go into effect.

Have more questions?

Midwest Bank is here for you. Contact one of our mortgage loan officers today! Stop by or call one of our branches or complete the short form below and we’ll reach out to you. Our lenders are here to answer your questions and are happy to help you with your home loan application.

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