Do Credit Bureaus Sell Your Information – Trigger Leads
Have you ever had your credit report pulled when applying for a loan, only to be swarmed with calls from creditors trying to sell services or offer loans? This isn’t a coincidence, and is one of the most annoying aspects of applying for credit for today’s consumers. If you’ve ever wondered why you get bombarded with calls when applying for credit, it comes down to one thing: Trigger leads. Trigger leads are data sold to lenders by the credit bureaus. When you have your credit pulled, the credit bureaus let other creditors (that you may not have any relationship with) know that you’re seeking a loan, and they provide your contact info so those creditors can reach you.
While consumers sometimes think the lender they applied with has done something wrong or their information has been leaked, the reality is it’s the credit bureaus selling this data. Consumers do have some recourse in opting out by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688), but the reality is some unscrupulous lenders may still call, disregarding the do not call list and betting on the fact that consumers won’t follow through with complaints. The only other recourse aside from opting out is in fact pursuing complaints and lawsuits against companies violating the do not call list.
Is there anything lenders can do to stop ‘trigger lead’ calls?
Yes, and no. Lenders can remove some personal information when pulling a credit report, but some information is required to get the report. With the massive increase in data gathering over the past decade, it’s very likely that even if a lender removes some of your personal info, the credit bureaus will likely have it stored away.
So your lender may do their best to protect you, but thanks to big data, there’s little to stop the credit bureaus from selling your data.
Who are the lenders that are calling?
Any lender that is willing to pay the credit bureaus for your data may end up with your information. They may be reputable, they may not be. The credit bureaus sell your info to just about any bidder, and it’s not uncommon for dozens of creditors to end up with your personal contact information along with information that you’re applying for a loan.
What can consumers do?
We recommend opting out to drastically reduce the numer of inbound calls: 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688). Aside from that, if you find it offensive that you’re required to have credit run to obtain a loan, with 0 protection from the credit bureaus regarding the sale of your data, it may be worthwhile to drop your local congressperson a note or file consumer complaints against the credit bureaus themselves.
Otherwise, it’s best to ignore the calls as best as you can – they should stop after a few days or, at worst, weeks, and they’re usually worst within a few days of having your credit run, so if you know you’ll be having your credit pulled or are applying for a loan, it may be best to just ignore unrecognized callers for a few days.
Do credit bureaus sell your information – they do, but hopefully we’ve provided some ways to help, or at least offer an understanding of what’s happening when your credit is pulled. It’s not your lender causing the influx of calls, and there’s little anyone other than you can do to mitigate or eliminate the calls altogether. The good news is that the huge influx of calls is usually short lived, and you can rest assured ignoring the calls results in unscrupulous lenders having wasted money purchasing your data.