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The Silent Force Lurking Behind Credit Card Offers
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The Silent Force Behind Your Credit Card Offers

(Part 2: Credit and Debt in America)

Ever wonder how you get targeted for all those pre-approved offers, or multiple other offers and solicitations you get? Here's how:

Imagine one man or one woman sitting at a computer in a solitary room. No one else is around. No boardrooms, no phones ringing off the hook. No sense of chaos, organized or otherwise. Just one person peering into a monitor. One person who can have a major impact on your financial future.

Who is it that stares into a monitor all day, looking into your future? OK, maybe they aren't isolated in a single room, maybe they work in a series of cubicles, but you get the idea. In this case, we're looking at the world of a Marketing Risk Manager (MRM). MRMs work closely with Credit Risk Managers (CRMs) These are this century's version of the 49ers, except they're not looking for gold, they're data miners and they're sifting through vast amounts of, among other things, credit data: Your credit data, your credit history, your credit files, and your credit score. The new gold rush is on and you are the new gold, or put another way, the prized bounty that companies desire is a relationship with you.

How you navigate your world of credit and debt and the targeted offers that come to you courtesy of these number crunchers will go a long way towards determining your financial future. The fact is, the credit bureaus have nothing to do with lending decisions directly. It's the folks who purchase the data from the credit bureaus who are having a bigger and bigger impact in your life. Because this rich database of consumer information is readily available to Marketing Risk Managers, a whole world full of opportunities and offers will beat a path to your door!

The key is to separate the best offers, those that could truly be beneficial to your life, from the worst offers -- designed to make a quick killing. Offers with integrity and value will lead to a long term customer relationship. Companies that pursue you for the quick kill may make some money off you in the short term, but that's it. It's the difference from establishing long term customer relationships and one-time customer relationships.

"Marketing Risk Managers are so good at predicting how you'll behave financially that they are fast becoming the MVPs of the New Economy."

Beyond credit data alone, MRMs might know where you live, how you buy, when you buy, how you pay, what kind of car you drive, single or family details...wife, kids, how often you take a vacation, how often you get a get the idea. It's not easy keeping track of all this info, but they can do it with a little help from thousands of databases around the country. Sitting at a computer console that is virtually connected to every meaningful bit and byte of your life, they can make, with the click of a mouse, real profitable decisions predicting your future actions.

What is Predictive Modeling?

Without smothering you with too much info on MRMs, let's just say they're paid to predict how you will act based on mountains of historical data that analyzes how people of a similar marketing cluster group act. The whole universe is divided into clusters. You might think stars and galaxies, MRMs see people, geographical regions, income levels, drivers of small cars, big cars, people with high credit scores, low credit scores, etc. Armed with all this info, MRMs can use predictive modeling to decide who should get what marketing offer, what interest rate should be offered, who's most likely to accept the offer, how many who accept the offer will become long term customers, how many who accept the offer will go bankrupt, how many will pay their bills every month even if they are drowning in debt. They know. It's their job.

The Grand Total Is....

At the end of the day, Marketing Risk Managers come up with the final score that is likely to result: If you mail out offers to 2,456,892 people who live in X city, with credit scores between __________and __________, who drive ____________miles to work, who have nose hairs that average_____________in number, you will end up with X many new customers. Of these new customers, X number will default, costing you $7,945,989 in losses, but on the flip side, X number of people will remain as customers, earning company X who uses the services of the Marketing Risk Managers $21,984,689. in profit. It's all about profit and loss, managing risk is the bottom line.

It's Not All Bad

To a lot of people, this stuff can get kind of scary. But the fact is, if you understand what's happening here you can protect yourself. You might even get preferred offers that save you money because your credit profile or credit score puts you in a category to save. Companies offer better deals to people that are perceived as lower risk. If companies didn't have these MRMs or CRMs (Credit Risk Managers) helping them sift through this data, how could they manage their risk? Can you imagine how profitable it is for companies to establish one profitable relationship with a customer and then market to that customer for life? The stakes are very high for companies, particularly at a time in history when one company may handle multiple products and services. Time was when your bank was just your banker. Now, they're your banker, your insurance company, your financial planner, your credit card company, etc. See how knowledge of who you are and your risk profile can be used very profitably by a company who knows a thing or two about Marketing Risk Management? And you thought your credit report and score only came into play when you went for a new home loan, refi, or auto loan!

Here's Where It Gets Rough: Be Careful

Often times, people with less-than-perfect credit, or really rough credit, get targeted for offers, pre-approved and otherwise, that may look friendly enough on the outside of the envelope, but inside there's a shark looking for blood. Your blood. Sorry to say, but this is the fact. Often people who are the most vulnerable, struggling in debt, looking for a way out, will receive marketing offer after offer. These offers are very tempting, especially if you're relying on credit cards for survival. Be very careful about saying yes to new offers for credit when you are already in debt and having a rough go of it. Know how the game is played. Know that you have been specifically targeted because you fit the criteria for a particular marketing effort, not because company X wants to save you money, but because company X wants your money. That's the way it goes. Along the way, if they treat you fairly, you'll give them more and more of your business. If they don't, you'll take your business elsewhere, but in the case of credit card debt, it's not so easy to pack up and leave.

Credit Is a Two-Edged Sword

At, we often remind readers that credit goes both ways: Credit can be used to build lasting assets and improve lives, making it possible to finance a home or a car, or a child's education. Or it can used way too casually for impulse purchases that take years and years to repay. How do we know? Like a lot of people, we've been there, done that, and now is trying to educate more and more consumers on how the credit and debt game is played.

### provides you with a variety of important resources to help you understand your credit report, improve your credit score, and help you monitor your credit - so you get the credit you deserve. By the way, when is the last time you checked your credit report and score? Do you know that info is constantly being added to your report and ONLY you know if it is accurate? Here's a great way for you to check your credit report and credit score for free. Here's how this offer works: You get your credit report and credit score free for 7 days, along with free credit monitoring for all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) Even though this is a free offer, you must cancel your trial membership in the credit monitoring service WITHIN 7 DAYS, or you will be billed $12.00 per month for every month that you continue monitoring your credit. It's quite possible that you will decide to continue monitoring key changes to all three of your credit reports every day which is actually a very good idea, because it helps you stay on top of your credit and can also be the first line of defense to help you detect potential identity theft. If that is the case, $12 per month is a very small price to pay.

Take advantage of this free credit report and score offer now

Here's hoping you get the most out of your credit and the most out of your life! If this article has been helpful to you, please pass it on to a friend. As always, your comments are appreciated!

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