Author Topic: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous  (Read 6243 times)

With This Herring

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Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« on: November 01, 2015, 09:23:22 PM »
My boyfriend just got mail from his credit union with the front of the envelope advertising "A Spooktacular Deal for the Holidays" or something along those lines.  He assumed it was an announcement of a slightly-higher interest savings account or something of that ilk.  NOPE.

Inside is a pre-approved personal loan offer for $3,000 at 14% interest payable over 24 months for "holiday shopping," or vacations or whatnot.  The kicker?  The bottom third of the page is a LIVE CHECK.  It is not restricted to deposit only.  The only thing one need do to accept the loan is to cash/deposit the check.

If he had tossed this and someone had grabbed it out of the bin, what would stop them from forging a signature and cashing it?  How could we possibly prove that DBF had not received the money?  What if we had moved and the credit union sent this to an old address?  We could have this debt hanging around and not know about it until/unless we checked his credit report.

Pardon my naivete, but I thought that credit unions were supposed to be the good guys.

SwordGuy

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 09:35:52 PM »
HATE HATE HATE it when my financial vendors send me those checks in the mail.  If I could, I would make it illegal to do so without my explicit permission - per occasion.


Faraday

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 09:40:56 PM »
You can stop those pre-approved check-bearing credit offers two ways:

1) Putting a fraud alert on your credit reports. You contact each of the three credit reporting organizations and request a fraud alert be placed on your credit record. Last time I did this, they would do this for free. It stops the pre-approved offers.

2) You can also "freeze" your credit reports. That takes money and can be a massive pain when you do things like apply for credit or buy a house. But it works the best.

Either way, what happened is a damn piece of shit - a live check. Damn.

With This Herring

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 10:34:42 PM »
Faraday, would it not be enough to have him opt-out on that website https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t?

Cathy

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 11:25:35 PM »
...If he had tossed this and someone had grabbed it out of the bin...

Throwing away intact mail is not usually a good idea. If I receive junk mail, I immediately shred it with my cross cut shredder. If I receive mail that is not junk mail, I generally scan it in, file the scan into my electronic archival system, and then shred the original with my cross cut shredder (except for relatively rare cases where the original is significant and needs to be retained). In no cases do I throw away intact mail.

lthenderson

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 09:43:04 AM »
You can stop those pre-approved check-bearing credit offers two ways:

2) You can also "freeze" your credit reports. That takes money and can be a massive pain when you do things like apply for credit or buy a house. But it works the best.

My credit is frozen and I still get the pre-approved checks. The OP's experience is why I shred all junk mail with a heavy duty crosscut shredder.

antarestar

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 10:38:40 AM »
I used to get checks like that until I called my credit union and told them that I wanted to opt out of this "service". Yes, they called it a service.

cautiouspessimist

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2015, 12:27:31 PM »
I get 'cash advance' checks from one of my credit card companies occasionally. Also, sometimes the outside of the envelope actually says 'don't throw away - there's a check inside!' or some such nonsense. HATE IT.

I don't have a shredder, but I've started to rip these into several pieces. I've recently noticed an uptick in preapproved notices/blank checks in the mail. Rather disconcerting.

ROY2007

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2015, 12:59:03 PM »
Paper Karma is one of my favorite apps for unsubscribing from these offers and other junk mail. It has dramatically reduced the unwanted mail we receive.

https://www.paperkarma.com/

Faraday

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2015, 01:05:02 PM »
You can stop those pre-approved check-bearing credit offers two ways:

2) You can also "freeze" your credit reports. That takes money and can be a massive pain when you do things like apply for credit or buy a house. But it works the best.

My credit is frozen and I still get the pre-approved checks. The OP's experience is why I shred all junk mail with a heavy duty crosscut shredder.

I have a big shredder and I use it all the time. But this comment is making me think I should go buy a locking mailbox with a letter slot.......

cautiouspessimist

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2015, 01:36:40 PM »
Paper Karma is one of my favorite apps for unsubscribing from these offers and other junk mail. It has dramatically reduced the unwanted mail we receive.

https://www.paperkarma.com/

The funny thing is, I've received a lot less junk mail since I signed up for that. I've just also received a decent chunk more lately than I was getting. Perhaps I need to revisit?

gimp

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2015, 04:23:05 PM »
Discover used to send me those. Fuck off with that shit. Great way to induce a huge headache.

BlueMR2

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2015, 04:22:50 AM »
Pardon my naivete, but I thought that credit unions were supposed to be the good guys.

They are businesses, just like the banks.

Faraday

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2015, 06:20:03 AM »
Pardon my naivete, but I thought that credit unions were supposed to be the good guys.

They are businesses, just like the banks.

I was considering starting a thread about that. The biggest credit union in my state has turned into a giant monster sucking off the blood of the people.

Faraday

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2015, 10:02:28 PM »
I was considering starting a thread about that. The biggest credit union in my state has turned into a giant monster sucking off the blood of the people.

Eek. I'm in the process of switching my main accounts from Big Bad (Bank of America) to a local credit union. Hope I've picked a good one, plus anything should be better than BofA, right? Right?

Eirene, sorry, I don't mean to generalize and cast doubt. And honestly: I haven't left said-credit-union simply because they give me what I need in checking, savings and money market accounts. i just make sure to pay off my credit card every month and I don't get my mortgage from them any more.

I've heard good things about other credit unions from co-workers and friends. Your experience may be fantastic with the local credit union...

johnny847

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2015, 10:28:09 PM »
Eirene, sorry, I don't mean to generalize and cast doubt.

No worries, I was just sad to hear that some credit unions are starting to go evil as well. Power corrupts and all that.

The one I picked is good and I didn't see any ads that would give me pause.

Plus, I'm not joking when I say that almost anything is bound to be better than the Big Bad Bank. I tried to transfer money out of the account I'm going to close and it turns out that a) maximum amount to transfer in one go is a paltry $1,000 and b) you pay at least $3 per transfer.

So I had to go to the credit union and use my debit card to make the transfer.

Fuck you big bank.

You could write a check to yourself.

Or do a ACH pull from the credit union as opposed to a ACH push from BoA

With This Herring

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2015, 11:26:43 AM »
...If he had tossed this and someone had grabbed it out of the bin...

Throwing away intact mail is not usually a good idea. If I receive junk mail, I immediately shred it with my cross cut shredder. If I receive mail that is not junk mail, I generally scan it in, file the scan into my electronic archival system, and then shred the original with my cross cut shredder (except for relatively rare cases where the original is significant and needs to be retained). In no cases do I throw away intact mail.

We don't throw away intact stuff, but I know that some other people do.  We should be more immediate about it, but things tend to sit around in piles until DBF takes an hour to shred all that has accumulated.

I look forward to the day when I own a home so I can burn all this nonsense after shredding.  Then at least we will get some heat from it!

I appreciate all the advice people are giving.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2015, 12:24:47 PM »
Eirene, sorry, I don't mean to generalize and cast doubt.

No worries, I was just sad to hear that some credit unions are starting to go evil as well. Power corrupts and all that.

The one I picked is good and I didn't see any ads that would give me pause.

Plus, I'm not joking when I say that almost anything is bound to be better than the Big Bad Bank. I tried to transfer money out of the account I'm going to close and it turns out that a) maximum amount to transfer in one go is a paltry $1,000 and b) you pay at least $3 per transfer.

So I had to go to the credit union and use my debit card to make the transfer.

Fuck you big bank.

You could write a check to yourself.

Or do a ACH pull from the credit union as opposed to a ACH push from BoA

Yeah, it's really not difficult.  I use Bank of America checking as my first-stop bank, to where my paycheck is directly deposited and from where I pay all my bills except my mortgage.  From the Ally Bank website, I transfer well more than $1,000 twice per month from my B of A account into my Ally Savings.  Super easy, totally free, and just two days for full transfer to complete.

MgoSam

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2015, 01:35:33 PM »
How enforceable would this "check" be? It seems like this could be abused, a company could send out thousands of these and have a dummy cash them to claim that they were accepted.

Mr Money Mutton Chops

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Re: Pre-Approved Credit Just Got More Dangerous
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2015, 11:03:37 AM »
How enforceable would this "check" be? It seems like this could be abused, a company could send out thousands of these and have a dummy cash them to claim that they were accepted.

That's something I was thinking too. I really wonder about the legality of it, but I bet few people will take the time to look into it (including myself, I'm rather busy right now, so I'm not going to look into it)