What You Need to Know About Junk Mail and Protecting Your Information


Why do you receive so many unsolicited offers after you apply for something like a credit card, or a loan? The answer may surprise you, but the solutions are fairly simple!

mail box full of mailCredit Reports and Credit Bureaus
When you submit a loan or credit application, the lender or creditor requests a copy of your credit report. This creates an “inquiry” on your credit report and tells the credit bureau that you are in the market for a loan. Federal law allows the credit bureau to sell targeted lists of consumers to other creditors, if the offer of credit meets certain legal criteria. Yes, the credit bureau can sell your information!

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this practice is intended to benefit companies as well as consumers. For consumers, “the pre-screened offers can highlight other available products and make it easier to compare costs while you carefully check out the terms and conditions of any offers you might consider.”

How do you protect your information and reduce the junk mail?
If you would prefer to exclude your information from these lead lists, here’s what you can do:

• Opt Out of Prescreened Offers
Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. You will be asked to provide certain personal information, including your name, home phone number, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is kept confidential. Don’t enter any personal information until you have checked for indicators that the site is secure – a lock icon on your browser or a web address that begins https. Your opt out request will be processed within five days, but it may take up to 60 days before the prescreened offers stop coming. If you have a joint mortgage, both parties need to opt out to stop the prescreened offers.

• Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry
Visit www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register. You will get fewer telemarketing calls within 31 days of registering and your number stays on the registry for five years, until it is disconnected, or until you take it off the registry.

Remember, RPM will never share or sell your information! By following the simple steps above, the credit bureaus won’t be able to either. Another onslaught of solicitations may be triggered when you submit a change of address through USPS after moving to your new home! In this case it may be helpful to use a free mobile app, such as Paper Karma, to opt out with each individual solicitor.

If you have any questions or would like more information on how to apply for a loan, please contact a loan advisor near you.

By Amy Malloy