If you are like the average American, chances are that your mailbox gets filled with offers from various credit card companies, with each of them sending you multiple offers constantly for their latest and greatest cards. While you may be “pre-approved” and “specially selected” for the offers in question, the truth of the matter is that if you already have a necessary amount of credit, these pieces of junk mail serve only to clog up your mailbox and further contribute to the wasting of natural resources. The following outlines some simple steps you can take to eliminate unnecessary offers from being mailed to you.
Have Fun At Their Expense
While this might not be the most effective way to remove yourself from subscription and mailing lists, one way to deal with spam is to fight back by sending your own. Many offers include a pre-paid postage stamp to be used to send back any completed applications. Instead of sending back a completed application, you can do what I do and find a large box. Fill that box with junk and heavy objects (I personally like to place rocks in it) and slap the postage label back on it. Drop them off at the post office and let the credit card company pick up the tab for it! Just remember to keep the total weight of any one package under 75 pounds (the maximum weight that can be mailed without freight options).
Contact the Credit Bureaus
Each credit bureau – according to federal law – can distribute pre-screened lists of consumers eligible for credit cards to all the major credit card companies. You can request to be removed from these lists by inquiring in writing to each major credit bureau (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). There are also instructions in fine print on each credit card offer you receive; you may have to scan for the instructions, but they’re there. Normally people just throw out the offers without looking for a way to remove themselves from the list.
Opt Out Formally
Since 1990, there has been the option to “opt out” using a national database. You can either visit their website or call directly (1-888-5-OPTOUT) to file a formal request to be removed from these pre-screened lists. This service is operated by the main credit bureaus and filing with them should take care of the problem if the other methods above do not work.