Lending Club Blog

Opt Out of Prescreened Credit Card Offers

Some people have enough trouble with the credit cards they already have, let alone the additional ones that card issuers would like to send them.

If you receive unsolicited offers for new credit cards in the mail, you are likely getting them through a process called “prescreening.” Credit card companies will typically send out offers to people who meet a set of requirements, such as having a particular credit score.

While this practice is legal, receiving such offers could still lead to trouble. These letters are a favorite target of identity thieves looking to attain fraudulent credit. It doesn’t take a vivid imagination to envision the damage that someone could do if approved for a credit card with your name on it.

If you’re the type of person who might act on such offers, you may want to stop receiving them just to remove the temptation. You may also simply be tired of receiving so many of these letters. It seems that after critical life events, such as getting married or graduating from college, these letters start coming en masse.

Whatever your reason for not wanting to receive these offers anymore, the Federal Trade Commission has established methods to allow you to opt out of prescreened offers. In addition to requiring card issuers to clearly disclose how to stop receiving offers, the FTC endorses an official phone number and website to allow you to opt out. The FTC website recommends calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com for details. Through either method, you will have the option to opt out of prescreened offers for 5 years or permanently.

Even though your request to opt out becomes effective with the major consumer credit reporting companies within 5 business days, you may still receive offers that companies were already in the process of sending you. While you’re waiting for the flow of offers to subside, Lending Club recommends that you shred, burn, or otherwise destroy all prescreened offers that you receive, just as you should do with any sensitive material that you no longer need.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 at 7:14 am

Comments (6)

  1. Kevn:

    I read recently that the money to make them actually comes from
    consumers themselves. Credit card companies use the billions they
    make off of interchange fees (Visa and Mastercard banks made $36
    billion off them alone) to pay for these ads and most consumers
    don’t even know interchange fees exist. And the credit card also
    charges these hidden fees on debit cards now too – they are the
    reason small business don’t like to take credit cards on small
    purchases. The reason no one ever hears about them is because they
    don’t show up on statements, they are tacked on every time you make
    a purchase and passed on to business you purchased from who then
    turns around and raises the price of their goods to make up the
    loss – http://www.unfaircreditcardfees.com/dontfollow who I work with has
    a lot more details.

    July 18th, 2007 at 6:11 pm

  2. But how can they send these offers to those who are abroad users of
    mail services?

    December 3rd, 2007 at 6:25 am

  3. jackelope1:

    I joined a site called http://www.myjunktree.com/dontfollow to stop mine.
    worked wonders. check it out if you get a chance. Ended up to be
    great because it stopped more then just credit cards it stopped all
    the rest to. Even found out they do magazines to. Well good luck
    with it.

    July 24th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

  4. EeeZee:

    I must laugh at jackelope1′s response. Sure, pay someone $20 for
    something that should not be happening? Surely this person “fronts”
    for the website she/he cited. Scams abound!

    February 17th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

  5. Im dubious that how much someone spends on lunch in the company
    cafeteria is something that can be generalized

    July 27th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

  6. Robby:

    I have never quite understood why banks make it hard for people
    considering taking loans or issue a credit card for home based
    businesses. Even after providing them with a detailed plan for the
    intended business, they still find reasons to delay the process.

    March 28th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

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