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I recently discovered optoutprescreen.com, the "official Credit Reporting Industry website" for consumers to opt-out of credit offers. A lot of people recommend signing up there, simply to reduce unwanted mail and paperwork. But some people claim it can improve your credit score by 10 points!

Some people say just signing up will improve your score. Others say that by signing up, you reduce the number of 'scans' of your credit report, which can boost your score.

The site itself says:

Does Opting-Out improve my credit score?

No, since inquiries for firm offers for credit or insurance are not used in calculating credit scores, Opting-Out does not improve your credit score. Similarly, inquiries for firm offers for credit or insurance do not reduce your credit score.

Could there be any truth to these claims? Could signing up directly or indirectly boost your score?

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If I had a business and was able to claim a feature, I would. It's simple marketing. If in fact, opting out helped your score, the site would promote that feature.

Soft pulls for prescreened offers are not counted. No more than my constant peek at my score through Credit Karma. Opt out, if you wish.

The benefit of course is less mail, which saves trees. Less risk of identity theft, someone can take the application and try to forge from there. Less risk of an infected paper cut opening this mail (don't ask.)

I am a compulsive mail shredder, so I peek and these and shred. A year ago I received an offer of $30,000 zero interest, max transfer fee $50. I sent the entire sum to my 5% mortgage. Now I refinanced and paying that back. It saved me $1500 over the year. Too much trouble for some, but how long does it take to make $1500? For 40% of this country's families, that's a week's pay. The monthly extra bill didn't bother me. This last paragraph is an anecdote, not so much addressing question. I did that first.

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    Interesting points; sometimes I guess you might want to get the credit offers! Not sure about your first point though, since I don't think anyone makes money off this site, and in fact credit offerers probably don't want you to opt out. :) – Steven Jan 25 '12 at 18:28
  • Anyone doing anything would be motivated to promote their business. Why should the service provider opt-out be any different? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jan 25 '12 at 21:35
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    I agree with your answer that opting out does not affect your score, but there is a big flaw in your reasoning. Optoutprescreen.com is not a business trying to promote a feature; it is a government-mandated website put in place by the credit bureaus. They don't actually want you to use it, because the bureaus make money from the prescreen offers. In fact, the site contains a lot of text trying to talk you out of it. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 2 '17 at 13:01
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    From the website's about page: "OptOutPrescreen.com is a joint venture among Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion (collectively the "Consumer Credit Reporting Companies")." It goes on to say that the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires them to do this. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 2 '17 at 14:03
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    I joined 4 years ago, and when I did I immediately went through every old post on the site, looking for inaccuracies. It's taken me 4 long years, but I've finally found a very slight flaw in the otherwise impeccable answers from JoeTaxpayer. :) – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 2 '17 at 14:43
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Sounds like a case of false causality. If somebody is taking the time to sign up at opt out sites, then that same person is probably making other smart decisions with their credit, causing scores to rise.

Optoutprescreen.com does not help your score, the other actions taken might. People seeing different results can probably be tied to the timeframe they signed up. People who signed up then took care of their credit vs. people whose credit was already good and then signed up.

A 10 pt bounce one way or the other is not significant.

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    +1 - a hat tip, sir. The act of opting out doesn't raise score, but people who opt-out are statistically about 10 points better. Agreed that may be so. And agreed, 10 pts is nothing. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jan 27 '12 at 4:12
  • @JoeTaxpayer Although this is an edge case, 10 pts may make a difference for someone right around a FICO score of 620 when they apply for a home loan, due to nuances in the mortgage market that affect how much screening the lender, e.g. a GSE, do when originating the mortgage (see this paper). – John Bensin May 28 '14 at 23:35
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Some credit checks are ignored as part of the scoring process. Some companies will pull your info, to make sure you haven't become a risk. Others will inquire before they send you an offer. Since you didn't initiate the inquiry it can't impact your score.

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Unsolicited credit checks like that don't affect your credit score. Those checks only count if they result from you applying for credit somewhere. So No.

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If you are the type of person that gets drawn in to "suspect" offers, then it is conceivable that if you are not signing the services offered your credit would be improved as your long term credit strengthens and the number of new lines of credit are reduced.

But if you just throw it all away anyway then it is unlikely to help improve your score. But there is no direct impact on your credit score.

protected by Chris W. Rea Oct 2 '17 at 3:59

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