You have the ability to opt out of the unsolicited credit card offers you receive in the mail or over the phone. If it seems like your mail box is over-flowing with offers of pre-approved credit, you probably resent the excess mail and worry about someone stealing the information. If you would like to put a stop to all the offers, keep reading.
As a consumer, you can take steps to be removed from unsolicited insurance and credit card offers. The companies sending out these offers utilize marketing lists from the credit bureaus to identify credit-worthy people who might be interested in their offer.
Since these marketing lists come from the credit bureaus, the first step is to tell them not to include your name on the list. You can do this directly by mailing the credit bureau or using OptOutPreScreen to do it automatically.
You can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) to have your name removed from direct marketing lists. When you do this by phone, you'll automatically be opted-out for five years. Once the five years is up, you'll probably start receiving offers again.
You can also make your preferences know online at OptOutPreScreen.com, which is the official consumer credit reporting industry opt-out website. This site was set up to meet requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to notify all the credit bureaus of your marketing preferences.
You will be given the option to have your name removed from marketing lists for either five years or permanently. You also have the ability to opt in if you wish to start receiving preapproved credit or insurance offers.
When you contact the credit bureaus directly, you will need to include your First, Middle, and Last name, Social Security number, date of birth, mailing address, telephone number and signature with your request. Generally, once you request that your name be removed from pre-approved offers with one credit bureau, they will notify the other credit bureaus of your request.
To get the opt out process started, you can mail your request to any of the following addresses:
PO Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
TransUnion Opt Out Request
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094
Experian Marketing Services
PO Box 80128
Lincoln, NE 68521
Attn: Opt-out services
Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230
Even after telling the credit bureaus not to include you on their marketing lists, you may still receive offers. This is because not every company uses credit bureaus for their information. To help further screen out unsolicited offers, you should register with DMAchoice. This an online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail.
This site divides direct mail into four categories including credit offers, catalogs, magazine offers and other mail offers. Once registered at the site, you can request to start or stop receiving mail from individual companies within each category - or from an entire category at once. After you've designated your preferences, it can take up to 90 days for the change to take effect.
To register your preferences concerning direct mail, go to www.dmachoice.org. You can also contact the company at this address:
Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
You can stop the majority of unsolicited calls by registering your telephone number online at WWW.DONOTCALL.GOV. You can also call toll-free at 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236), from the telephone number you wish to register. Both land lines and cell phone numbers can be added to the do-not-call list.
Registration is free and will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. It can take up to a month before you start noticing a decrease in the number of calls.
It's important to remember that registering with the registry won't stop all unsolicited calls. You may still legally be contacted by anyone you have done business with recently, charities, polling companies, and political organizations. Unfortunately, it also won't stop the robocalls and scammers. These types of companies generally don't comply with the Do Not Call Registry.
Choosing to opt out of credit card offers not only frees up your time and mailbox, it also helps remove the temptation to get further in debt. If you have had your share of financial troubles, check out the following sections: