What is a Trigger Lead and How Do I Protect Myself?

Trigger leads are a marketing tool used by certain companies to send potential customers unsolicited calls, mail, or texts. At Tompkins, we do not participate in trigger leads and we know it can be frustrating for our customers who experience this type of marketing from other lenders. This blog will help you understand what a trigger lead is and how you can stop them from occurring.

What is a trigger lead?

Whenever you officially apply for credit or financing, the lender, with your permission, accesses your credit report. This is known as a hard inquiry. That inquiry automatically sends a “trigger” to lenders that you are looking for credit.

Companies like credit card providers, insurance companies, personal loan, mortgage and auto lenders purchase this data from the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. These companies then use this information to market their own products, with the goal of getting your business. You could start to notice an increase in junk mail, text messages and telemarketing calls from other lenders right after you’ve applied for credit.

How can you protect yourself from trigger leads?

If you don’t want to receive junk mail or telemarketing calls or texts, you can protect yourself from trigger leads by opting for Do Not Call and prescreened mail.

How to Register for Do Not Call

The National Do Not Call Registry was created to stop unwanted sales calls. It’s free to register your home or cell phone number.

Go to donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone you want to register. If you register your number at DoNotCall.gov, you’ll get an email with a link you need to click on within 72 hours to complete your registration.

How to opt out of prescreened mail offers:

Go to optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) to start the process. To complete your request, you’ll need to sign and return the Permanent Opt-Out Election form (which you receive online) once you’ve started the process. There is an additional option to opt-out for five years, if you do not wish to permanently opt-out.

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