A promotional inquiry is a credit check by a lender for the purpose of soliciting your business. It is normally a result of your name appearing on a marketing list that was sold by one of the three main credit bureaus.
All promotional inquiries are a type of soft inquiry, in which the credit check is recorded but does not adversely affect your credit scores. They may be recognized by the label “PRM” which identifies the inquiry as promotional in nature.
One of the methods in which credit bureaus earn revenues is to sell marketing lists to lenders. These lenders may specify certain criteria that must be met for a particular offer.
For example, a lender may be marketing a credit card that is reserved for consumers with excellent credit. They may purchase a list of consumers with credit scores that exceed 760, as these are the consumers that would most likely qualify for the offer.
Another lender may be looking for consumers with credit scores between 590 and 620 for a particular subprime credit offer. They may even have additional criteria that they are looking for within that group.
The lender is granted access to your credit report to determine if they want to extend a credit offer to you. This is how you receive those “pre-approved” offers of credit. Of course, pre-approval does not mean you will automatically qualify, rather you appear to meet their initial criteria.
These promotional inquiries are recorded on your credit report so that you may see who is reviewing your credit for potential offers. They remain on your credit report for 2 years. Again, since there is no impact on your credit scores for promotional inquiries, they do not factor into the FICO scoring factor that penalizes consumers for having too many recent inquiries in the last 12 months (Code 8).
You do have the right to opt out of these pre-screened offers by taking your name out of these marketing lists. To do so, simply call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or opt out online.
Opting out does not eliminate all credit offers that you may receive, but it does substantially reduce these solicitations. It will also prevent these promotional inquiries from appearing on your credit report.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."