How To Stop Credit Card Solicitations

Coworker Bill posted this helpful notice on our employer’s intranet this morning:

It turns out that it pays to read the fine print. Not a day passes that I don’t get at least one junk mail enticement to sign up for a credit card. Airlines, hotels, associations, the credit card companies themselves – they send out probably billions of these offers every year.

However – you can get off their lists, off their bull’s-eye. The answer, it happens, is right there in plain sight – if you take the time to read the fine print.

Those terms and conditions statements that accompany the mailings include instructions for opting out of what is called “pre-screened offers.”“Pre-screening” means that the credit card issuer has checked your credit rating and decided you might could maybe qualify for this card – the wording is weasely because they don’t want to be sued if you apply and it turns out you’re a deadbeat.

But, just as they have to check with the credit bureaus to determine your credit-worthiness, you can instruct those bureaus to tell the credit companies “no thanks.” Here’s how:

or write:
Equifax Options, PO Box 740123, Atlanta GA 30374-0123
Experian Target Marketing, PO Box 919, Allen TX 75013
TransUnion Opt out Request, PO Box 505, Woodlyn PA 19094-0505

It will take some time for your name to be purged from the lists, and for the junk-mail flood to diminish, as these companies line up mailings like bullets in a machine gun belt. Meanwhile, ALWAYS shred these offers, as they can be used in identity theft schemes. Also, when you apply for things like hotel loyalty programs, always check the no-solicitation options to forestall getting back on new lists.

Thanks, Bill, I’m doing this today. I hate those little fake plastic cards that I get daily.

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Nigel said,

    No, don’t shred the junk mail – just take out all the pieces with your name, address, or personal information, and send it back to them. Most junk mail is sent with postage-paid return envelopes, which means the companies that send them don’t pay for postage unless it is sent back to them. I say stuff the envelopes with your junk mail and send it right back… see how long they keep paying for envelopes of pizza coupons, credit card applications, and magazine subscriptions.

  2. 2

    Matt said,

    This is some very valuable info. Next time we write about Junk Mail we’ll mention this and refer back to this post. We recently posted on an initiative that may be of interest…

  3. 3

    John said,

    Ok I tryed all this already years ago, but it just keeps coming. I did call the credit agencies, I did send hundreds of envelops back. But no result what so ever.
    I even did sand in the envelops to make the envelop heavier. They must have paid thru the nose but its is still worth it for them.

    The solution of course is something similar to the do-not-call list. Simple and effective. If the address is in that list, guess what… I do not want your mail.

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