Tired of getting unsolicited credit card offers in the mail? You’re not alone. If it seems like unsolicited credit card offers pop up every other day telling you that you’ve qualified for a credit card offer, well, chances are you’ve been pre-screened for one.
Many financial companies mail potential customers pre-screeened credit card offers based on information in a consumer’s credit report that indicates he or she meets a set of criteria. Sometimes, you might even get offers via a phone call or email.
For consumers who aren’t in the market for a new credit card, though, it can be incredibly irritating to receive these offers in the mail. If you’re not interested in receiving the offers, want to cut down on mailbox clutter, or just want to limit the access creditors have to your credit information, consider opting out.
However, you should note that these pre-screened offers do provide some benefits. They allow you to see what options are out there and might offer great bonuses. Plus, pre-screened offers might be more favorable to you than other options offered to the general public.
If you’re still looking to opt out, here are a few things you should consider first:
How do those offers end up in your mailbox?
First, a creditor has to establish a set of criteria, such as a minimum credit score. Then the creditor asks a consumer reporting company for a list of people who meet the criteria. Or the creditor provides a list of potential customers to a consumer reporting company and asks it to identify people on the list who meet the criteria. If you meet the criteria, you receive an unsolicited credit card offer. Note that while there might be “inquiries” listed on your credit report showing which companies obtained your information for pre-screening, they won’t have a negative impact on your credit report or score.
How can you stop from receiving them?
There are three ways you can stop receiving unsolicited credit card offers.
1. If you want to opt out of receiving offers for five years, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) toll free or visit OptOutPreScreen.com, the official consumer credit reporting industry website to accept and process requests to opt out of credit or insurance offers.
2. If you want to opt out of receiving offers permanently, begin the process by visiting the OptOut site. After initiating the online request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form.
3. You can also send a written request to the major consumer reporting companies. Include your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth with the written request. To prevent this information from falling into the wrong hands, you might want to certify or insure your mail.
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013
Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094
- Equifax, Inc.
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
- Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0495
How long will it take to stop receiving offers?
Once received, companies should implement opt-out requests within five business days. It could take up to 60 days for you to stop receiving offers. Your name might have been provided to companies who have yet to mail their offers, so you could continue receiving some for a period of time.
What if you keep receiving offers?
If you’ve tried all of the opt-out options listed above without luck, your offers might be from companies that don’t use lists compiled by the major credit bureaus. If you want to stop receiving those offers, contact the Direct Marketing Association. The DMA creates opt-out lists for consumers who prefer not to receive commercial mail or phone offers. Call 212-768-7277 or visit DMAChoice.org for more information.
If you want to stop receiving telemarketing calls, you can register your phone number by calling 1-888-382-1222 or visiting the website DoNotCall.gov. Note: you might continue to receive offers if a company has obtained your information through other sources. The best method is to contact the source directly.
What if you want to opt back in?
Use the same number or website if you change your mind and want to receive offers.