|Photo by Charles Williams|
If you missed Step 1, click HERE.
This is possibly the most important step in your journey to Junk Mail Freedom: opting out of credit card offers (as well as insurance offers). That's because this is an identity theft issue. We actually opted out several years ago. If you currently get these credit card and insurance offers in the mail, I hope you are shredding them before you recycle them.
There are several ways to opt out of credit card offers, all through the website OptOutPrescreen.com, which is funded by Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion (the four major credit monitoring agencies). This website exists not because of the goodwill of the credit agencies, but because the ability to opt out is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you'd like to verify that OptOutPrescreen.com is the official website (which is what I would do, if I didn't know me), check out this FTC webpage, which has other good information about your rights as a consumer.
Here are your choices for opting out of credit card offers:
- Electronic Opt-Out for Five Years: All you need to do is visit this link, select your choice, and fill out the online form. You do have to provide your Social Security number and birth date, in addition to your address.
- Permanent Opt-Out by Mail: All you need to do is visit this link, select your choice, and fill out the online form. I assume you then have the option of printing out the form and are given the address to mail it to. This is a good option if you are planning on living in your current residence forever, or at least more than 5 years.
- Phone Call: If you don't like providing your private information online or by mail, you can contact OptOutPrescreen by phone. The phone number is 1–888–567–8688 (from Contact Us page). According to the Bay Area Junk Mail Reduction Campaign, if you choose this option, you will not have to provide your Social Security Number.
Completing any of these 3 options will take you less time than reading this post. Please leave a comment after finishing this step so that I can congratulate you! And, remember, keep saving (or keeping a record of) all junk mail you receive.
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