Are you tired of receiving 10 pre-approved credit card offers in the mail every week? How about those dinner time phone call solicitations? I hated those! Notice, I wrote that in past tense. That is because I don’t get them anymore. Here is how:
Opt Out of Prescreened Credit Offers
The best way to stop the junk mail is to call the official hotline to opt out of pre-approved credit card offers (it will also stop firm offers for insurance). The number is 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). This hotline will send your information to the main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Innovis, TransUnion) so you will need to submit your SSN. You can also opt out at the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website – OptOutPrescreen.com.
After collecting you information, the bureau will send you a form to sign and return. Without signing the form, calling the number will remove your name from the list for 5 years. By signing the form, you remove it permanently.
Does it work? Yes! I was getting approximately 10 pieces of junk mail per week, and am now down to about 1 piece. Doing this only stops firm offers for credit and insurance, not offers of “you might be eligible for…” So it might not stop everything.
As a side note, when I get those other solicitations from companies I am not currently doing business with, I take the pre-paid return envelope and return it to them stuffed full of any scrap of paper I can find (that doesn’t have my personal info)! I figure I should support the US Postal System.
Stop Telemarketers with the Do Not Call List
How abut those annoying dinner time phone calls? Call 1-888-382-1222 or register at www.DoNotCall.gov. This should remove your phone number from most, not all, unsolicited phone calls. It then becomes illegal for businesses to make unsolicited phone calls to the number you register. It does not apply, however, to companies you currently do business with, or non-profit organizations. So you still might get that opportunity to support the State Trooper’s Scholarship Fund. And you should. They will send you a nice sticker to put on your bumper – it’s good for one free “get out of a speeding ticket” card.
Here is more information about your rights covered under the Do Not Call List.
Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft
Limiting the number of pre-approved credit offers and phone calls you receive limits your risk for identity theft. The less personal and financial information out there in your name, the better!
In addition to removing your name and number from these pre-approved lists, you can sign up for credit monitoring service such as Credit Karma, which allows you to check your credit reports and scores for information about recent activity on your credit report. Credit Karma is a free service; they do not require a credit card.