Is your mailbox constantly filled with offers from credit card companies? "Pre-approved" credit card offers can get are annoying, especially when you're not on the market for new credit.
Another great reason to stop credit card offers: to prevent identity theft. If you don't shred or tear up the applications before throwing them away, there's a chance a thief could steal the application from the trash, mail it in, and intercept the card. It could be months, years even, before you discover the violation, especially if don't regularly monitor your credit report.
How To Opt-Out of Credit Card Offers
Many offers are sent based on credit bureau pre-screening. The credit card issuer asks the credit bureaus to send back a list of consumers who meet certain criteria. Then, the card issuer sends out credit card offers based on that list. If you're the type of borrower the credit card issuer is looking for, you'll probably get a credit card offer, too.
Fortunately, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act gives you the right to opt-out of this type of prescreening. You can visit www.optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) to keep your name off prescreened lists for a certain number of years or indefinitely. You can also use these options to opt-in again if you've previously opted-out.
Regardless of which method you use - visiting the website or calling - you will have to provide some personal information. Your name, address, social security number, and date of birth are required to confirm your identity.
Some Mail May Fall Through the Cracks
While this process will stop most unsolicited credit card mail, it doesn't stop all of them. You may continue to receive offers from companies with whom you already have business, e.g. your current credit card issuers. Also, companies that do not go through the pre-screening process may still send offers to you. Still, opting out will eliminate the bulk of your credit card offers and save you the headache of trashing them.