Are you tired of unsolicited credit and insurance offers and want to end financial junk mail? Do you know that you can exclude your name from mailing lists sold by the credit bureaus and others. To learn how, let’s take a closer look at the Credit Monkey’s Four Easy Steps to End Financial Junk Mail.
The Safeguards Rule
Creditors, insurers, and others purchase your personal credit information from the credit bureaus for targeted solicitations. That sounds bad, but, to help consumers credit reporting agencies must follow the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Safeguards Rule. The Safeguards Rule requires lenders and credit reporting companies to protect your private financial information. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Maybe, but maybe not. Let’s look further.
The credit bureaus and similar companies make obscene amounts of money selling your name and credit information to direct-mail marketers. Rather than give up that income because of the Safeguard Rule, the credit reporting agencies sought ways around it. And predictably, they found one.
Broad credit ranges, search criteria variety, and the large numbers of consumers who fall within the purchaser’s criteria skirt the Safeguards Rule. The Courts and the FTC agree that large pools and broad ranges mask a single consumer’s personal credit identity. Accordingly, the credit reporting agencies still get to make big bucks on your personal information. While you, unfortunately, continue to receive credit and insurance offers in the mail by the arm load.
For example, the credit bureaus searches for consumers with credit scores between 620 and 720, whose mortgage is at least 10 years old, and who live in certain regions. The results of search like this would be ideal for a lender selling home equity loans. If you fit that criteria, guess what? Who would get another junk mail solicitation.
Don’t fret though. Even with all the advertising money passing hands, there are still easy ways to stop the financial junk mail offers from landing in your mailbox.
End Financial Junk Mail by Opting Out
Every unsolicited offer of financial services must include a toll-free telephone number for you to call if you want your name and address removed from future mailing lists. The number is not always easy to find, but it’s there in the small print. When you find it. Call and request that your name be removed from future mailing lists either permanently or for five years. If you select permanent removal, you will be mailed a Notice of Election to Opt Out form. Complete the form and return it. In case you can’t find the toll-free number on the marketing piece, the opt-out number for all the national credit reporting agencies is 1 888 5OPTOUT (1 888 567 8688).
Should you ever change your mind and decide that you want to receive future offers that may interest you but have previously opted out, call 1 888 5OPTOUT (1 888 567 8688) and select the option for opting in from the menu.
End Financial Junk Mail by Opting Out of Other Junk Mail Offers
FTC rules also require that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), a national professional organization, compile a broader list of consumers who choose not to receive direct-mail solicitations. If you opt-out on this registry, you will not receive offers for various other non-financial products and services. DMA members, including the credit bureaus, use the DMA list to purge names from their own mailing lists. Yes! It’s an indirect way to end financial junk mail..
You can register for the DMA Do Not Mail List online at www.dmachoice.org. Or, you can request that you be added to the list by writing to:
DMA Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
If you call or write the DMA, you’ll be removed from DMA member mailing lists for five years.
Do Not Call Registry
While you are at it, you may also want your telephone number removed from telemarketing lists. You can do that by adding your name to the National Do Not Call Registry. To add yourself to that list, visit www.donotcall.gov or call 1 888 382 1222.
The Do Not Call Registry will not end all telephone solicitations. Local merchants, religious and charitable associations, professional and alumni associations, politicians, and companies with which you conduct business may still call. Also, the Do Not Call Registry does not protect you from unscrupulous companies who mask their telephone numbers or whose call centers are in other countries.
End Financial Junk Mail by Opting Out of Firm Credit Offers
A firm credit offer is a letter or email that goes to a potential borrower letting them know that they most likely qualify for credit offered by a particular lender. The offer permits a consumer to contact that lender for additional information. Firm offers of credit are not available to the general public. They are usually consumer specific.
Firm credit offers can not be Opted Out using 1 888 5OPTOUT. These solicitations flow from lenders to consumers through the credit reporting agencies. That doesn’t mean you can’t opt-out of those offers. It simply means that you must take an extra step.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) rules, the credit bureaus must still provide a means to exclude your name on lists used by lenders and insurers to make firm offers that are not initiated by you. If you choose to opt-in or opt-out of firm offer lists, you should visit www.optoutprescreen.com to make your request online.
If you are like the Credit Monkey, you want to be freed from daily credit card, refi, and insurance offers clogging your mailbox and trash can. By following these Four Easy Step to End Financial Junk Mail, you too can be free.
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If you like this post, you may als0 enjoy reading 9 Simple Rules to Maintain a High Credit Score.