Why Do So Many People Call When You Apply For a Loan?

Mortgage and Lending with Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

Ever wonder why the phone won't stop ringing after applying for a loan?  Does it seem like your mailbox gets a little more full of junk mail and refinance solicitations from lenders you've never heard of (usually showing off loan terms that seem 'too good to be true')?  If so, you've been turned into a trigger lead!


What is a Trigger Lead

When your credit is pulled, the credit bureaus have a record of the credit inquiry, and unfortunately, they sell this information to bidders in the form of prescreened lists sold as “leads”.  This generated “lead” is sold to lenders, letting them know you’re in the market for a mortgage.  The data is sold with complete disregard for your privacy or your desire or lackthereof to talk with any lenders or loan officers.  Seem unethical?  They are, at least in this writer's opinion.  Worse, they're also often used by disreputable lenders trying to prey on people that don't read fine print.  The good news is that there are some things you can do to eliminate, or at least mitigate the number of calls coming in.


What You Can Do 

  1. Opt-Out of prescreened offers.
  2. Register with the Do-Not-Call Registry, donotcall.gov.
  3. Contact the Federal Trade Commission.
  4. Contact Congress.
  5. Stop other forms of direct marketing by visiting the Direct Mail Association’s Web site at: dmaconsumers.org/consumerassistance.html.


Since many “trigger lead” lenders are not reputable, it’s best to ignore these calls and the mail that is likely to show up in your mailbox as well, and to pay attention to the fine print – many times the mail sent is designed to look like it’s from your current lender, with only the fine print showing who the real sender is.  These mail pieces often contain “too good to be true” loan terms, and again, in the fine print you’ll usually be able to see enormous fees and other loan terms that are not borrower-friendly.


It’s important to know that your loan officer or lender doesn’t initiate these calls, and it’s not the credit pull itself that causes these calls, but the credit bureaus selling information after the credit pull and them placing you on a prescreened list.  One piece of good news to keep in mind as well is that these additional calls and mail do NOT mean your credit was run again – while a hard credit inquiry by your original lender will appear on your credit report, any other companies calling do NOT have access to your credit report or history, so the calls you’ll receive do not mean any of your personal private information was compromised.


If you're in the market for a home or are considering a refinance and you have your credit pulled, expect the phone to start ringing, and for best results, put the 'ignore' button to work on your phone!

Posted by

John Meussner
NMLS ID #138061

It's more than a house - it's home.  So we offer a wide range of mortgage products at competitive prices to help our clients achieve financial security at home.  While we get great feedback on our prices and products, many clients say their favorite part of working with John Meussner & MasonMac is the level of service provided along the way.

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Comments (22)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It does really seem like 86 people call you at the same time m—that's pretty funny

Nov 10, 2021 10:07 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

You played it right down the middle on that one and you deserve a follow for that

Nov 10, 2021 10:09 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

John - I have not even applied but I get this annoying calls offering me business loans.  One would not even get off the phone until I hung up.

Nov 11, 2021 03:37 AM
John Meussner

Yep, those guys are relentless as well!

Nov 11, 2021 12:19 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Oh yes indeed. I get emails, texts, and phone calls all the time and I knew it had to do with a recent credit pull. It's really ridiculous.

Nov 11, 2021 04:38 AM
John Meussner

It's unfortunate, hopefully more people will get serious about privacy and demand change 

Nov 11, 2021 12:19 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello John - are these unintended consequences or something more carefully planned?

Nov 11, 2021 05:06 AM
Michael Jacobs

John - indeed!

Nov 11, 2021 02:59 PM
John Meussner

As with most things, they just trade your privacy for their profit - it makes them money, no one has told them to stop, so they continue

Nov 11, 2021 12:20 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

What great information, John... now I understand once we began our refi process why we've been inundated with offers.

Nov 11, 2021 05:54 AM
John Meussner

Thanks Nina - yep, if you applied, your information was likely sold

Nov 11, 2021 12:20 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Carol Williams hi Carol... my suggestion for your Second Chance post one of these Saturdays.

Nov 11, 2021 05:54 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi John,
This doesn't surprise me at all.  How do you opt out of the pre-screened offers? Is it just a matter of telling the lender who is going to pull your credit or do you have to contact the credit companies before any inquiries are pulled?

Nov 11, 2021 06:51 AM
John Meussner

You have to opt out in advance by going to a website or calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688)

Nov 11, 2021 12:21 PM
Robert Rauf
CMG Home Loans - Toms River, NJ

Trigger leads have always been a "fun" aspect of our business!!  

Nov 11, 2021 07:21 AM
John Meussner

They're ridiculous, but since we as a society as accepting of our privacy being violated, it'll likely continue

Nov 11, 2021 12:22 PM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Great post.  Thanks for sharing.

Nov 11, 2021 08:39 AM
John Meussner

Thanks Ginger!

Nov 11, 2021 12:23 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi John good article and explanation.   It is so annoying to be bombarded with so much stuff this past few years.  I've finally got all the calls to stop - well, almost all of them. As for the mail I swear there is nothing that doesn't get thrown in the trash every single day. What a waste of money.  Like Grant Schneider mention  I  also kept getting emails and calls wanting to give me a business loan which I don't need or want.  Adios.

Nov 11, 2021 09:29 AM
John Meussner

I'm with ya - money, time, resources.  It's such a waste!

Nov 11, 2021 12:23 PM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

 ....  this is always valuable information.  We have done this a few times over the years, and never hurts to do it, again... especially with the credit reports.

Nov 12, 2021 08:17 AM
Dora Griffin
D A Griffin Financial.LLC - Fort Thomas, KY
NMLS 6380

Good post for consumers.  I always tell my borrowers about such leads. I let them know I'm the only one who will call them about their loan and they don't have to be nice to the cold callers if they become too persistent. 

Nov 12, 2021 10:15 AM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

It seems like I get inundated with solicitations even when I do not apply for a loan or pull any credit. I feel it is one of those things, once you are on the list...you are on the list.

Nov 12, 2021 12:29 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Too many of those scammers take the chance to email or call knowing that 99% of the people they reach out to will not do anything about the contact

Nov 12, 2021 06:07 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

All good to know, John! It's pretty scary how information can get shared without us knowing about it, resulting in even more spam. Nice to have some solutions (hopefully!).


Nov 12, 2021 07:58 PM
John Meussner

It really is scary - what's out there for free is scary enough, but for those willing to pay, you can find almost anything on anyone 

Nov 13, 2021 02:00 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Wonderful tips to share with our clients. What a pain to deal with spam - on the phone, in emails, texts, or snail mail. 

Nov 13, 2021 07:09 AM
John Meussner

If you prep people for the flood of calls/mail, it makes it a little easier, but annoying nonetheless!

Nov 13, 2021 02:00 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

John Meussner 
Excellent info for all of us to share with our Clients! Thanks

Nov 13, 2021 04:16 PM
John Meussner

Thanks Lynn!

Nov 14, 2021 12:45 PM
Matt Brady
Watermark Capital - Del Mar, CA
One of San Diego's Best Lenders

Hi John, I have had some success with leaving the phone number off the application until after I pull credit. It is not perfect but it does cut down on the spammers.

Nov 13, 2021 10:01 PM
John Meussner

That used to work a lot better, with all the data out there now, the bureaus have most #s whether we include them or not.  I used to put in fake numbers but that doesnt seem to work much anymore either.

Nov 14, 2021 12:47 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Good morning John Meussner , Interesting, as I did not know that.  Thank you for enlightening us on what happens when your credit is pulled.

Nov 26, 2021 03:21 AM
John Meussner

Sure thing Elyse, thanks for stopping by : )

Nov 28, 2021 10:44 AM