So many details had to fall into place for Jennifer to get this one to closing. It was a foreclosure, so the bank would not accept her clients’ offer with a contingency on the sale of her homestead. Yikes. Gambling would be required, because this was the BEST deal on the west side for her client, and it simply had to be secured. They decided to remove the contingency and resubmit the offer, holding their breath that the pending sale of her existing house would be settled. The new offer was accepted, and while she worked through her inspections and appraisal, Jennifer babysat the details of her sale to make sure it closed first. What a challenge! But that is a story for another time. It was finished, her client got her condo, and all is well. What’s next, Jennifer wonders?
Every day you find the same thing in your mail box…endless solicitations from credit card companies, banks, insurance agencies and other financial service firms. You stand over the trash can when you get home from work, scanning your mail, annoyed by the daily chore. Mark and I receive no less than five mailings a day at home – every day, sometimes more! We single-handedly throw away at least two trees a year in solicitous paper that we never even open. “Well,” you might say to yourself, “I must have good credit since they all want my business” (and you are probably right), but it gets old, doesn’t it?
There is a good reason to put an end to this eternal stream of junk mail, and it is far more important than attempting to save the trees or simplify your daily routine. Your credit score may be at risk!
Financial service firms check your credit score over and over and over to ensure that the “preapproved offers” they send to you are still legitimate based on your current credit score. Heaven knows, they wouldn’t want to waste more postage than necessary! (There is irony in that, isn’t there?) So, in being on these lists that the consumer credit reporting companies sell to their financial service customers, your credit rating is constantly compromised by their marketing research.
Now, it is true that these marketing inquiries carry less impact to your credit score than an application for a home mortgage or a car loan might, but numerous “soft” credit inquiries add up over time and can have a significant impact on your credit score. It is not at all uncommon in my line of work to hear of would-be home buyers thwarted due to credit scores that are just a hair under the minimum requirements (generally, 640 for the government loans like FHA and VA). And in this new world of score-based pricing on conventional loans, allowing other parties to impact your credit score is simply no longer acceptable. Their marketing efforts could cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan if your score is a couple points lower than it should be to qualify for the lowest possible interest rate. One loan officer told me that she’s seen customers’ credit scores come up 20 or 30 points in as little as 30 days once they put a stop to all these “soft” credit inquiries.
So, why let financial service firms effect your credit scores if you’re not interested in their offers? My thoughts exactly!
The new Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows consumers like you and I the right to OPT OUT of solicitations via mail. It is true! We can get rid of a BUNCH of that junk mail, spare the trees AND save our credit. Just by filling out one little opt-out form online. Hit this site if you wish, and thank me later! www.optoutprescreen.com
Here, you can opt-out electronically for a period of 5 years. If you want to make it permanent, you can begin the opt-out online, but you do have to follow up with a written, snail-mailed request. There are instructions on the site. It’s free, it’s fast and easy, and it’s brought to you only by your favorite Real Estate Agent as my public service announcement for the day. You are welcome!