You can stop prescreened credit offers

There are options to stop preapproved offers for credit from cluttering your mailbox.

Prescreened offers – sometimes called “preapproved” offers – are based on information in your credit report that show you meet specific criteria set by individual companies. The criteria may be a minimum credit score for example. The company asks one of the credit reporting bureaus for a list of people who meet the criteria. The solicitations may come by mail but may also arrive via phone or email.

If you decide you don’t want to get prescreened offers of credit or insurance, you have two choices. The first is to opt out of receiving them for five years and the second is to opt out of receiving them permanently.

To opt out for five years you can call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit Opt Out Services website. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer credit reporting companies.

To opt out permanently, you need to begin the process online with Opt Out Services. To complete your request, you must return a signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided to you after initiating your request online.

When you call or visit the opt out web site you will need to provide certain personal information which includes your name, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth. Your information will be kept confidential and will be used to process your opt out request only. If you opt out and later change your mind, you can use the same toll-free number to get your name back on the list.

If you don’t have Internet access, you can send a written request to permanently opt out to each of the major credit reporting agencies.

  • Experian                           
    Opt Out                             
    P.O. Box 919                    
    Allen, TX 75013        
                                         
  • TransUnion
    Name Removal Option
    P.O. Box 505
    Woodlyn, PA 19094
  • Equifax, Inc.
    Options
    P.O. Box 740123
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0123

What other opt-out programs are there?

  • National Do Not Call Registry

    This service is free and can reduce the number of telemarketing calls you get at home. Call 1-888-382-1222 or visit the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service

    This lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, visit their website or mail your request with a $1 processing fee to:
    DMAchoice
    Direct Marketing Association
    P.O. Box 643
    Carmel, NY 10512

    DMA also has an Email Preference Service (eMPS) to reduce unsolicited commercial emails. Visit the Direct Marketing Association website. The opt out is free and good for six years.

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