No matter how many tantalizing credit offers banks dream up, you can minimize the clutter in your mailbox, thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This law permits you to opt out of pre-screened credit offers, thereby greatly reducing the amount of “pre-approved” credit offers that come to your home.
It’s worth it to opt out of getting these pre-approved offers, for many reasons.
1. For starters, you’ll keep yourself from going deeper into debt by limiting the number of credit cards you have.
2. Additionally, you’ll protect your credit score, because every time you apply for a new credit card, an “inquiry” goes on your credit file.
3. Reducing the number of credit card solicitations you receive can reduce your risk of being victimized by identity theft.
4. By opting out, you will also save yourself the time and effort of having to deal with so much junk mail day in and day out.
5. And last, you’ll put an end to being frustrated by credit card companies that ultimately decline your application or turn you down for the amount of credit they originally used to tempt you.
For example, have you ever received a credit card offer in the mail, promising you “up to $20,000?” Then when you finally take the bait, and go ahead and apply for the blasted card, you wind up getting approved all right – but the limit is more like $2,500 or $5,000.
If you ask why you didn’t get the $20,000 limit or whatever was originally indicated on the credit card offer, the bank’s reply will always be the same: “Our decision was based on your credit history and current credit use.” Sure it was. But they had a sense of your credit history when they first solicited you. You fit a certain profile, and that’s why they made you the offer in the first place. So who needs that kind of tease – only to be disappointed? Do yourself a favor, and instead of getting frustrated with this system, opt out instead.
To opt-out of credit card offers, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or visit the OptOutPreScreen.com website.
Excerpted from Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide To Financial Freedom.