Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Signing up with businesses like Lending Tree may be a bad idea

In the age we live in, you’d be surprised what your phone number is worth. Or, maybe you wouldn’t. It depends on how often you’ve been on the receiving end of a dozen or more unsolicited telemarketing phone calls a day. If you’ve ever signed yourself up with a service like Lending Tree, then you know what I’m talking about. Depending on your current credit situation, the type of loan you’re looking for, and a few other things, you could find yourself dealing with hundreds of potential creditors calling you to offer you loan products.

When a company calls your number from the phone book, without any knowledge of whether or not you’re interested in their service, this is called cold calling. It’s a thankless job that might earn a telemarketer one lead among a thousand calls, and a single sale among hundreds of leads. For obvious reasons, businesses wanted a better way to find consumers who would already be interested in their product, whittling down the list of potential leads, and allowing them to focus on a targeted sales strategy, rather than having to invest in a cold-calling office. The internet allowed corporations to do just that- whittle away the troublesome cold-calling aspect of sales, and produce hundreds of thousands of what are called “Hot Leads” every day.

A hot lead is the exact opposite of a cold call, and that’s why companies love them. For starters, they have the opportunity to use a much, much smaller call center, saving them money on employee wages! That’s just the cream on the cake, though. Hot leads are essentially customers who are already interested in the service or product being offered. They know this by the very fact that the potential customers entered their own name into the website to receive information regarding that credit product. Instead of just guessing about whether or not a customer might be interested, they know that the customer is already interested. 

So, why might this not be for you? For one, there is a very small, and very useless filter that prevents every creditor on the planet from getting hold of your phone number, and calling you constantly. Granted, the filter tends to keep those creditors limited to just those who specialize in the product you might be interested in, but it can still be very annoying to be at work and get two calls per day every day from a potential credit company you don’t want to have to deal with. 

Basically, you want to make sure that you don’t just sign up for these services on a whim. If you’re interested in refinancing your home, try sites that list just the banks in your area or who can offer you loans, their current rates, and don’t ask for your personal information. Then, when you’ve got a pretty good idea what the best rate is, give that company a call or apply using their own online application tool. This way, you’ll be covered by their privacy policy, rather than just adding your name to a list of prospective clients!

Getting credit is a stressful task when you take the time to do it right, and it can be made worse, if not downright confusing, when you throw a handful of credit companies into the mix vying for your attention. Rather than trying to get yourself a great deal by what seems to be the easy way, do yourself a favor, and just take the time to vet out a few of the higher rated companies yourself. Believe me when I say you won’t regret it.

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