The Checkout

Caution: Credit Bureaus May Be Sharing Your Loan Application

If you're in the market for a mortgage--and even if you're not-- you should make sure you read this column by Ken Harney in Saturday's Real Estate section. Harney has uncovered a practice by some lenders and credit bureaus that lets them share your private information without you knowing about it.

How does it work? You apply for a loan and within 24 hours you may start receiving offers from competing lenders because they (or firms acting on their behalf) have paid the credit bureaus for a special alert when consumers apply for a mortgage.

While some consumers may appreciate the competitive offers, a lot will be pretty disturbed to learn of this practice, Harney notes. He also warns consumers to carefully consider any offer, especially unsolicited ones. Consumers need to investigate whether lenders are legitimate and the offers are really what they say they are. Otherwise, he notes, "you could be opening yourself to one of the oldest con games going: bait and switch."

By  |  March 6, 2006; 10:30 AM ET Consumer News
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Comments

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I think credit bureaus, as much sensitive information as they hold, should be subject to some sort of governance as to what they can do with it.

jim
http://www.bargaineering.com/articles

Posted by: jim | March 6, 2006 12:31 PM

Anyway of preventing these solicitations?

Posted by: ABC | March 6, 2006 12:31 PM

This is quite disturbing. Thank you for letting us know! Anything we, consumers, can do to stop this?

Posted by: Elle | March 6, 2006 1:06 PM

Not entirely sure if this will work but try registering for OptOutPrescreen.com, it's the official service of the credit reporting industry for you to opt out of "offers of credit or insurance." That might apply to these loan offers too.

jim
http://www.bargaineering.com/articles

Posted by: jim | March 7, 2006 10:35 AM

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