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