FTC Offers Consumers Advice on How They Can Be Beneficial and How to Make Them Stop
When a consumer applies for a mortgage, the inquiry that shows up on their credit report may trigger competing offers from other mortgage companies. A new alert from the Federal Trade Commission explains why consumers may benefit from the offers and, if they choose, how to stop them.
In “Shopping for a Mortgage? Your Application May Trigger Competing Offers,” available at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt171.pdf, the FTC explains that unsolicited credit offers are “prescreened” or “preapproved.” They are based on information in a credit report that suggests the consumer meets criteria set by the creditor. The alert notes that consumers can benefit from receiving these offers when they are shopping around for credit, and that prescreened offers can highlight other available products and make it easier to compare costs while consumers carefully check out the terms and conditions of any offers they are considering.
The alert details that consumers who do not want to receive these offers can stop many of them by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com. The FTC also recommends registering on the National Do Not Call Registry to stop many phone call solicitations.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Office of Public Affairs