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."
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