A stop to pick up the mail usually means a bill or two, perhaps a letter from a dear friend, several credit card offers, an offer for a pre-qualified home equity loan, and a sweepstakes offer. We expect to receive notices that we own someone money (our bills) and a little junk. If you are overwhelmed or just annoyed by the amount of offers you receive, you can eliminate much of the extra in your mailbox and even reduce your email volume and unwanted telephone calls.
Pre-screened or pre-qualified offers of credit are based on information from your credit report. To get your information, creditors search the credit bureau databases for names and addresses of consumers who meet their selection criteria. The people they find receive credit card, loan, insurance offers, etc in the mail or even email.
If you decide you do not want to receive these offers, you have two opt-out options: five-year opt-out or a permanent one. For either option, you can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT. This service is operated by the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Opting out removes your information from the database creditors use to get information. Or, you can contact the credit bureaus directly by mail.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) maintains a service that lets you opt-out of direct mail marketing from many national companies for a five-year period. This only covers mail from companies that are registered with DMA. It can still help reduce the junk in your mailbox. To register for the service free-of-charge, send a letter with your name, address and signature to:
Direct Marketing Association; Mail Preference Service;
The CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) of 2003, established requirements for senders of commercial emails. An opt-out method must be included in each email message. Once the company receives an opt-out request, the law allows ten business days for the emails to cease.
The National Do Not Call Registry covers unsolicited telephone calls. This is a free service provided to reduce telemarketing calls. To register, call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register or visit www.donotcall.gov. Registration lasts as long as the number is valid.
Opting out only takes a few minutes of your time. In addition to putting an end to communications you really do not want, opting out helps to reduce opportunities for your identity to be stolen, too. Questions??? Call me in Columbus at 706.653.4200.