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Limiting Affiliate Marketing Offers

You can opt out of receiving most unsolicited credit card applications, insurance offers, and similar junk mailings by using the opt-out procedure I’ve previously covered. One limitation of that program is that you may still receive offers from companies that you do business with and their affiliates.

Help in that realm has been in the works for nearly a year now. Effective January 1st of this year, a rule imposed by the federal financial regulatory agencies changes how companies can use information received from their affiliates. You may start to hear more about this rule in the coming weeks because although the rule has been in effect since the beginning of the year, mandatory compliance with the rule isn’t required until October 1st.

Affiliate companies are those owned by the same parent company. So if your bank is owned by a company that also offers credit cards, brokerage services, insurance, or other services through other companies it owns, those other companies could send you unsolicited mail. Under the new rule, companies would have to notify you before they could use your personal information that they received from one of their affiliated companies.

The company that you have a relationship with will also have to provide you with the opportunity to opt-out of having your information shared with affiliated companies. Monitor your mail closely and be on the lookout for this disclosure, which is typically titled “Federally Required Affiliate Marketing Notice.” Within that notice should be instructions for how to opt-out. The letter from my bank had a phone number to call. The procedure was very quick and will be in effect for five years. Before the limitation expires, companies will be required to send out renewal notices. Don’t miss this opportunity to further reduce the junk mail you receive.

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