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What Does Equifax Do?
Equifax is a credit report agency; one of three massive credit bureaus, Equifax collects data about consumers and sells it and other services to businesses. Some services include credit monitoring, fraud prevention, and connections to pre-qualified offers. Otherwise known as prescreened credit card offers, these may come from financial, vehicle, or insurance companies. These are offers curated for the consumer and often have better rates than publicly available options and are also called "firm offers".
Firm offers give the consumer purchasing power through comparison products. The selling of this information is legal under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA is the same act that gives consumers the right to "opt out" of firm offers. In the case of Equifax, opting out may take a few months before its impacts become clear; in this time, the consumer may continue to receive offers, due to mailing lists curated by outside purchaser parties.
Requirements to Remove Myself/My Name From Equifax
Many opt-out processes involve requirements or access to a verification method like emails or phone numbers. Equifax does not require access to an email or phone to verify the change in data; however, their process asks for both basic and personal information. The personal information they request is unnecessary, your Social Security Number and date of birth; entering your personal information is optional, but there is a higher chance of the opt out request being completed.
Note: Opting out does not mean opting out of having creditors report to other companies. Regardless of the suppression, they will continue to report your data to necessary parties.
Where to Start
When we speak about opting out of Equifax, we're talking about two types of opt-out; the first is opting out of the firm offers, while the second is opting out of company-specific materials. The three credit bureaus have an interesting way of opting out; they all use a website called Opt Out Prescreen.com. Consumers can opt out in two ways:
- A temporary (5-year) stop on all firm offers, completed over the Internet.
- A permanent stop on all firm offers, completed over the Internet and by mail.
Notably, the permanent option is a two-step process, requiring an online form, printing out of a (different) form, and mailing a physical document. The steps of all three opt-out procedures are listed below, alongside screenshots and detailed guidance.
How to Opt-Out of Equifax:
A Detailed Guide
Use Opt Out Prescreen to Stop Offers for Five Years
Instead of beginning the process on Equifax's website, starting from Opt Out Prescreen.com is easier. Open the link in a window beside this one and follow along as needed, or jump down to the permanent section for a long-lasting impact.
After going to optoutprescreen.com, scroll to the bottom of the main page. A blue button reads, "Click Here to Opt-in or Opt-out", click that, and the screen will refresh to a new, internal web page. Take note of the highlighted bit below, too; by opting out, you are opting out of firm offers from all four credit bureaus (for five years).
The new screen will read "Opt-In or Opt-Out", a preliminary page for the form ahead. The upcoming form has a 15-minute time limit; fear not, though, if it takes a little longer, the system prompts the user with a question about continuing the session.
Note the highlights below: your personal information is unnecessary to complete the suppression request, it helps the chances of success. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find three options and a button.
The options are "Opt-In, Electronic Opt-Out for 5 Years, and Permanent Opt-Out by Mail"; for the current procedure, select the second option, and click "Continue".
The newest page before you is the "Electronic Opt-Out for Five Years". Only fill in the information you are comfortable sharing.
As you fill out the form, scroll down. After the "Address" section will come a security CAPTCHA and a "Confirm" button. Fulfill the CAPTCHA and click the button.
After clicking "Confirm", you'll be redirected to the "5 years opt out confirmation" page. This page outlines their side of the process; it takes about five days to complete the request, and seeing the impact may take more time.
This page also gives an informative summary. This is a list of all the available information in the system and what you have entered on the form.
An "End Session" section and a corresponding button are below the information summary. You can use this button to log out securely from the website or close the browser.
Use Opt Out Prescreen to Stop Offers Permanently, Mail-in Required
The other option is to opt out permanently; although, as mentioned above, this process takes two steps, the first is online, and the second is a mail-in form. The mailing address for Equifax is listed at the bottom of this procedure.
Head to the Opt Out Prescreen main page.
As before, scroll to the bottom and hit the button that says "Click Here to Opt-in or Opt-out".
You will be redirected to the "Opt-In or Opt-Out Form" again. Read through the page if you haven't already, then scroll to the bottom. This time, select the option marked "Permanent Opt-Out by Mail", then click the "Continue" button.
This selection will take you to the "Electronic Opt-Out Permanently" form, which looks much like the one filled out for the five-year opt-out above. Fill out the form, only entering the information you are comfortable sharing.
You'll visit the security section after filling out the address. Take special note of the highlighted bits in the shot below. After you click confirm, you'll have access to a form. Fulfill the CAPTCHA and click confirm.
The page will redirect you immediately to the "opt-out permanent confirmation" page. Don't stop here; there is more that must be done. Look at the blue "click here" in the second section. Marked blow with a red arrow:
This will automatically open your printer preferences, allowing you to print out the needed form and the information summary. Print out the form and continue to the next step.
If you scroll down on the "opt-out permanent confirmation" page, you'll see the entered information from the contact form above. Double-check this information before sending the form.
Below the information summary is a curated "Permanent opt-out election form" generated by the automatic system. It lists the date, reference number, QR code, and your information at the bottom. Towards the last lines are open sections for your signature and the date. Ensure you fill in these blanks since they grant a qualified team member agency to take the necessary steps.
Take your information summary and the election form, and mail to Opt-Out offices at:
PO Box 530200
Atlanta, GA 30353
Users can Opt Out of Equifax's Sharing and Selling of Data
Alternatively, if you want to opt out of Equifax sharing and selling your data, follow this procedure. It's a fast in-browser form and only takes a few minutes from start to finish.
After going to the Equifax Opt Out Form (above), scroll down to the personal information section; first and last name, address, city, state, and zip code are all you need.
You'll be redirected immediately to the "actions you can take" page. This page gives you an overview of the options you have to edit the status of your data.
Scroll down, and you'll find three options; select the "Right to Opt-Out" option. Click on "Continue" when ready.
After this, the page will change, giving a "Confirmation" page, as well as a 15-day processing time:
Processing Will Take Time
As mentioned, if an individual opts out of credit card offers, they may still receive offers for a few months. Further, the offers will continue if you have signed up for them directly; you'll need to contact the company to limit or remove yourself from those mailing lists.
The process to remove information from Equifax is easy, especially because email verification does not exist. Unfortunately, this also means there is no way to verify the request until or unless Equifax responds. Remember when your opt-out should take effect; check back if the offers are still coming after six months.