Another bundle of mail stuffed with five more offers from credit card companies. At this point you have stopped wondering if they will stop coming and you have stopped contemplating how many trees these companies probably destroy in a year. You have probably received at least a whole tree’s worth of credit card offers in your mailbox alone. You are probably like most Americans who have received a never-ending flow of offers and are now simply numb, not even paying attention to them. Did you know that there are actually several things that you can do to slow down and even stop the credit card solicitations altogether?
Send a Letter
Who is the company that sent you your latest offer? The most direct path is to contact them. You can send a letter and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Since, after all, this is an age where snail mail is not the only medium of communication, you can even try emailing them. Check the bottom of the solicitation you received or simply use a search engine to find them online. It shouldn’t take much digging to find them. But there is even more that you can do once you find them online…
Use Their Website
While you are at their website you might want to see if you can fill out an opt-out form. Many companies have a form that would be light years faster than sending a letter and also faster than emailing since it would go directly to the area of the company responsible for opt-outs. Look around their website or do a web search with the name of the company and “opt-out form” as your search terms. (Another possibility while you’re at their website is to see if they have a chat feature. Many companies want you to have quick access to them so that they can sell you stuff. Why not use those same channels to speed up the solicitation cancellation process?)
Now let’s get down to business! If you do not want to deal directly with each company you can actually be removed from all of the major ones with one fell swoop. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the avenue which allows companies to solicit you based on the prescreening of your information. The same act gives you the right to opt out. By going to OptOutPrescreen you can immediately be taken out of the crosshairs of four of the biggest companies: Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion.
There is more good news! All you have to do is fill out an online form to opt-out of credit card and other prescreening solicitations for five years. If you want to opt-out forever and ever, all you have to do is mail in a form with your request. This form can also be found on the website. (If you would prefer to call them to get the process started they have a toll-free number: 1-888-5-OPT-OUT [1-888-567-8688])
Okay, so now you have opted-out of prescreening and you have even contacted some of the tree-cutters directly, now what? After opting out of prescreening the next primary thing that you can do is not put yourself back into their crosshairs. If you are a sweepstakes junky, you’re going to have to go cold-turkey. The chances of you winning that vehicle are odds that no wise man would truly take anyway. Not if he intends to win! Avoid the companies who want you to enter a sweepstakes and “all you have to do is apply for their credit card.” Also avoid those check-out line offers that sneak up on you while you’re making a purchase. The cashier usually says something like, “How would you like to save 10% on this entire purchase today?” Pleasantly tell them, “No thank you,” or else the next thing you know you will be signed up for another offer that will be sure to lead to more mail box stuffing and tree chopping.
You can do it! You have the power to stop credit card solicitation by simply following this definitive guide. In the process you may even save a forest!
Chase Sagum is the author of this article.
AB here again – I decided to publish this guest post because before reading it, I had NO idea that you could opt out of receiving credit card offers! Mrs. Aspiring Blogger and I receive 5-10 offers a week and would love to reduce that to 0. As soon as I read the article I jumped over to OptOutPrescreen and it literally took me 52 seconds (I timed it) to complete and submit the form. If you receive any credit card offers and you would like to reduce that number – take a minute…literally, ONE MINUTE, and get it done! Thanks Chase, for another informative article!
Do you have any experience with opting out of credit card offers directly with the companies? Have you been successful? Let us know in the comments!