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A Credit Report Bureau You Didn’t Know About
How credit card companies get your name for their mailing lists.
For many years there were only three national credit reporting agencies. Now we have a fourth one to deal with - Innovis Data Solutions. However, unlike the big three, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion who are “business to consumer” agencies, Innovis has been more of a “business to business” company. They specialize in helping creditors compile mailing lists. They provide information that eliminates people with a poor credit history from receiving direct mail solicitations of credit offers.
They became a major player in early 2001 when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two biggest buyers of home mortgages, started requiring mortgage companies to report payment history to Innovis.
The federal government also sends payment history to Innovis, but only for individuals who are late with payments to them.
Innovis offers two products to creditors:
There is very little information on their website. Just a short statement “About Innovis” – its founding in 1970, how its been sold a few times and has changed its name over the years. It has a privacy statement and a section for consumer assistance, which really doesn’t tell you much either, except how to request your credit report and how much it costs (from $3.00 to $9.50 depending on the state where you live. They have one address listed:
Innovis Consumer Assistance
However, after fervent searching, we also found the following addresses:
Innovis Data Solutions
Credit Card Opt Out Prescreen - Stop Credit Card Offers
There is a way to stop receiving most credit card offers in the mail. It's called Opt Put Prescreening. Next time you get a credit card solicitation, look for a box that looks something like this:
Prescreen and Opt Out Notice
Opting out eliminate will most credit card applications received through the mail. It will not stop credit card offers which come from stores you have bought from, your bank or the school you graduated from, for example. They do not get their lists from Innovis. Rather, they use their own data bases.
It is a good idea to stop credit card solicitation since mail can be stolen by people wanting to open credit cards in you name which they will use themselves. If you get an application you do not want, be sure to shred it before discarding it. At least shred your contact information.
Phone Number to Stop Credit Offers
If you call the opt out phone number for credit cards, 1-888-5OPT-OUT, you can choose to opt-out for five years or opt-out permanently. If you opt-out for five years, the credit reporting agencies will start prescreening you again after five years. If you want to opt-out permanently, the credit reporting agencies will send you a form in the mail to fill out.