Mortgage Trigger Leads & Credit Reporting

Here is an explanation of mortgage trigger leads and resources Loan Officers may utilize to help explain them to your borrowers and referral partners. 

This information is being published in Servicing KnowledgeOwl in the event this question is received by the Servicing911 team.

  • Trigger leads occur when a consumer’s credit report is pulled by Fairway.  Our credit pull adds a mortgage credit inquiry to the consumer’s credit file. 
  • The major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion, sell lists of consumer mortgage inquiries, known as trigger leads, to other mortgage-related competitors who have agreed to purchase such leads. 
  • When competitors receive mortgage inquiry leads from the bureaus, it allows them to reach out to the consumer to try and steal the customer by offering a better deal. Both the FTC and CFPB endorse and encourage this to stimulate market competition (much to our dismay). 

So what can be done? 

  • Educate! Fairway Loan Officers have been encouraged to use these flyers (linked below) in FairwayMyWay to help explain what trigger leads are, how and why the occur and what borrowers can do to reduce or eliminate them from happening.  Always assure the borrower that the calls they get after we pull their credit are the fault of the credit bureaus selling their information, not because of the Fairway inquiry.


Would switching to a different credit vendor lessen the number of trigger leads that fire to our competitors? 

No.   It is not our credit providers selling trigger leads, the credit bureaus sell these leads so it does not matter which credit provider is used.  Advantage Credit, Factual Data, Factual Data by CBC, Credit Plus or Universal CIS now known as Xactus . 

The only step that that helps prevent triggers to our competitors is if consumers Opt Out and are actively registered in the DoNotCall registry.

Can we reduce the number of trigger leads that fire to competitors if we withhold the borrower’s phone number and email address when we order credit reports? 

No.  That data does not transmit with the credit report request.   

Only borrower name, SSN, birthdate and residence address fields flow over with credit report requests. 

How long does it take once the borrower registers with Opt Out and DoNotCall before the unwanted soliciations will cease? 

Requests to opt out are processed within five days, but it may take several weeks before consumers stop receiving prescreened offers.  

This is because some companies may receive information before the site processed their opt-out request. 

It may take up to 31 days for sales calls to stop once consumers register with DoNotCall.