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Did you know that when a mortgage inquiry is logged on your credit report, your personal information is automatically added to lists that are being sold by Experian, Trans Union and Equifax to certain kinds of mortgage lenders?

There you are, beginning your mortgage loan pre-qualification, and the next thing you know you're flooded with phone calls and mail from other mortgage lenders trying to get your business. Maybe you want the phone calls and extra mail and they're saving you time and energy by coming to you.

If that doesn't sound nice, you'll be happy to know that there is a simple step you can take prior to having your credit pulled that will remove your name from those lists.

Before you request a trusted mortgage lender to pull your credit, dial 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or go online to www.optoutprescreen.com to opt out (this is the service recommended by the Federal Trade Commission). You can opt out for a period of five years or permanently. You'll need to provide enough personal identification for this service to verify it is correctly removing your personal record from the marketing lists. While you're in there, you may additionally choose to be removed from the lists that are currently sold to credit card companies to generate pre-approved card solicitations.

Another reason why you may want to consider opting out is to reduce the number of companies that have your personal credit data, and reduce the amount of mail traveling around with your personal information on it, thereby reducing your risk of identity theft.

To read up on what the FTC has to say on this subject, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0148-prescreened-credit-and-insurance-offers