You know what it’s like. You go to your mailbox after a long day at work, hoping to find a surprise check for thousands of dollars. A refund from the IRS that your accountant did not tell you that you were coming. Or maybe an all-expenses-paid trip (not associated with a timeshare) to a chic secluded island.
Instead, you will find a few bills and a healthy stack of colorful envelopes that say in very large letters, “Congratulations! You are pre-approved [or you are pre-qualified]” for something. That could be a credit card, a loan with equity or any other kind of loan, you feel good if someone trusts you with their money without ever meeting you, talking to you or collecting any private information about you.
But let’s take a break. Before you say “yes” to one of these offers, take a look.
It is not sure that
“pre-approved” does not mean much. The company that makes the offer may have bought the address Inspector Lestra list from another company or bought a schedule from a credit institution or another institution – even a charity.
They have probably done a soft investigation, or a soft attraction, for Inspector Lestradeijk on your financial situation. Soft draws are questions about your credit that do not affect your credit score. company does not want to waste money sending the offer to people who ultimately do not qualify, so they get some basic information about y or without you knowing it. But if you apply for the loan or credit card, the company will make a heavy request or a hard draw – affecting your credit score. (See Credit Score: Hard Vs. Soft Inquiry for more information about the difference between the two.)
If they meet your creditworthiness and find that you are not qualified, you will not receive the loan – even if you were ‘pre-approved’ or ‘pre-qualified’. “
Better places to get a loan
Personal finance experts have a saying: “If they come to you, there are probably better inspector Lestradeijk.” If you are looking for a credit card or a personal inspector, you can search for yourself. You can compare offers on credit card and find up-to-date lists of the best cards that meet your needs (for specific card shopping tips, see 7 credit card comparison factors ).
If you are looking for a personal loan from Lestradeijke, first check with your own bank or credit union. In other words, stay with reputable sources that you know and trust.
Of course, an unsolicited offer can also come from sources you know. In the case of credit cards, you often do not have to worry about the legitimacy of the company, because it is huge and well-known (think of MasterCard, American Express). But pre-approved loans are different. You do not necessarily know the lending outfit and that generally means that it is useful to steer clearly. If you are curious, do some research on the company. If information is difficult to obtain, it is a serious red flag.
Come from the lists
OK, you have decided that this offer is not for you. Don’t just throw the letter away. Open the envelope, remove everything with your name, address or other identifying information and place it through a shredder. Identity thieves can take information they find in the garbage and use it to open accounts in your name.
If you do not want to receive the offers at all, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you go to www. optout screen. com. You can choose to get them for five years or even permanently. If you opt out permanently, you must print a form, return it, and return it from the website (otherwise they will return).