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Yesterday DW pulled her free annual credit report. It showed an interesting thing... under the list of requests that experian only shows to you, there were dozens of companys that we had never heard of requesting her credit over the last few months. We haven't applied for credit, or moved, or gotten new insurance in well over a year.

Most of them seemed to be named something related to education, but they were all clearly private companies. A number of them we have connected to junk mail that we've gotten recently related to student loan consolidation.

Her only student loans are 1 with the US govt & a 2nd with Salli Mae.

I'm guessing that Salli Mae has sold her information somehow... but I don't know what to do to get the inquiries to stop. We placed a 90 day fraud alert on her account, but I don't know if that will do it.

What are your thoughts?

mz00m
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Can you use the opt-out option that you can with credit cards?
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I wouldn't know who to opt-out to? They are all private firms that are looking to buy up the loans... it's a pain in the @$$.
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Although it might be Sallie Mae selling her information, there's a clearer explanation.

Credit reporting compaines routinely sell limited information to third parties. Companies will go to a reporting agency like Experian and say "I would like to know of all the people that meet the following criteria or score". Experian then goes, "ok, here are there names and addresses". So the companies don't receive specific information about you, just information in general terms that they can use for marketing. In your wife's case, the request might have been for anyone with a student loan.

I believe that you can opt out from receiving these offers through the credit reporting agency itself. At the same time, the hits should all be soft, and shouldn't effect your score.
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Credit reporting companies will often make a distinction between promotional inquiries from companies trying to get your business and hard inquiries - inquiries made from companies you contacted first. The former are soft inquiries that do not impact your credit score, the latter are hard inquiries which will strip away a few points.

Check your credit report again. I'm willing to bet that the inquiries you speak of are of the promotional kind.
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From ClarkHoward.com... an consumer activist with a radio progam in Atlanta.


Call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT!

The telephone number, 1-888-5-OPT-OUT, was set up to establish a single point of contact for consumers to call to request that all three major U.S. credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) remove consumers' information from the marketing lists and pre-approved credit offer lists sold to third parties. By entering your information, you prevent the credit bureaus from releasing your personal information to credit card companies. As a result, you should receive fewer credit card solicitations in the mail.

Calling the number in the e-mail will not stop your bank, credit union, brokerage company, etc. from selling your information. For that, you must respond individually to the "Privacy Policy" statements you received from each financial institution in the mail. Or, you must call the institution or company yourself.

Also, it is ok to enter yout Social Security number when prompted for it. The system needs that to verify your identity and remove you from the lists.

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