Warning: CRAs Role in Selling Your Information

May 14, 2024

CRAs Role in Selling Your Information

When you apply for a mortgage loan with Bank Iowa, we obtain a credit bureau report from the national Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) for each applicant as part of our underwriting process. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the CRAs notify other interested parties that subscribe to their “trigger lead” service (a service that allows for other parties to pay for your information so they can contact you) that your credit report has been obtained, signaling that you may be shopping for credit. Please know, we did not sell or share your information with these third parties!


About Trigger Lead Services

A “trigger lead” is a marketing product that is sold by the three major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax– to lenders who are looking for customers who meet certain specifications such as those shopping for specific loan types, living within certain zip codes, or having credit scores within a specified range. After a consumer applies for a loan, the lender will typically pull their credit report, signaling to the major credit bureaus the consumer is shopping for credit. The CRA then sells this information to product subscribers who often reach out to consumers via phone call or email within hours of the credit pull to provide their rate and product information to the consumer.


Triggers leads are legal under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and can even benefit consumers who are truly shopping for credit products. But trigger leads can be frustrating for consumers who do not want to be solicited and think their lender has shared their information with another lender without their permission.


There are ways that you can help prevent ending up on a trigger list:

·      Register at https://www.optoutprescreen.com/. This will opt a consumer out of unwanted prescreened solicitations and trigger leads for five years and it costs nothing. It typically takes one to two weeks for opt outs to become effective.

·      Sign up for Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, https://www.donotcall.gov/. This is also free and should take effect within 24 hours, however a borrower may have already ended up on a trigger lead list prior to registering so could still receive calls for up to 31 days. Being on the DNC list does not mean all calls will stop. Other types of organizations may still call you, such as charities, political groups, debt collectors and surveys.

·      Congress is currently considering legislation that would ban CRAs from offering trigger leads. If you would like the practice of trigger leads to be banned, consider reaching out to your Congressman and sharing your concerns.