Are you tired of getting new credit card offers every day in the mail? Worried someone might steal one, fill it out, and steal your identity? Tired of your existing credit card sending you blank checks that you never use? Well if you are, it might be time to work on stopping this junk mail from both wasting your time and filling up your trash can – and here are some very easy ways to do so.
Stop The Blank Checks From Your Credit Card
For years, all of my credit cards send me those blank checks I could use for balance transfers or depositing cash into my checking account, and I continually had to open them up, shred them, and add them to the recycling pile. But for some reason I never thought to call the companies up and ask to be taken off their marketing/offers lists! So once the light bulb went off in my head, I called each and every one of them up and asked to be taken off any lists like these so I would stop receiving these offers. There are too many stories of mail being stolen and blank checks being used to steal money; I didn’t really want to go through that ordeal. Besides, if you ever do want a balance transfer or something like that, you can just call them up and ask what offers they have. (From my experience, Capital One will not stop sending offers, even if you keep asking. I asked every month for 7 months until I finally just closed the account. They didn’t listen to me, so I took my business elsewhere.)
Stop The New Credit Card Offers
While there is no surefire way to stop credit cards from sending you applications in the mail (other than destroying your own credit), there are a few things you can do to slow down the onslaught. First of all, you could head over to Opt-Out Prescreen and request that you are taken off all lists that are used by creditors to make offers of credit. If you choose to Opt-Out, you will no longer be included in firm offer lists provided by these four consumer credit reporting companies. Signing up on this site (which is free), you can request to:
- Opt-Out from receiving firm offers for 5 years
- Opt-Out from receiving firm offers permanently
- Opt-In and begin receiving firm offers
Another option you might want to consider, if you are really getting inundated with offers, is to place a fraud alert on your credit report. While this doesn’t always work, you can do this yourself by contacting each of the credit bureaus. Alternatively, you could sign up for an identity-theft service like LifeLock, which both places fraud alerts on your credit report every 90 days (they expire every 90) and monitors your credit for you. I did used to have an account with them a while back when we thought my identity had been stolen, and it was pretty cool to know that they were watching my back. Neither of these options guarantee that you won’t get offers in the mail, but they will probably lessen the number of them that you get.
No matter how you get started, it’s a good, positive step to stop the flow of credit card information to your mailbox. Between identity-theft worries, money and paper waste, and the time you have to spend dealing with them all, stopping the credit offers from coming to your house is worth 5-10 minutes of work. So get started!