Monday, August 23, 2010

Junk Mail Be Gone

Yesterday I decided to run our credit report to make sure we didn't have anything suspicious going on since we recently had a fraudulent charge on one of our credit cards. Plus it's good to do it at least once a year just to keep on top of your financial health. I was shocked to see how many companies have requested my credit score in order to send credit card offers which I'll never accept anyways. Not only is this intrusive but it puts us at risk for fraud since an identity thief can easily steal these out of the mail and have the credit card sent to their address. I did a little research and found Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are allowed to put your name and address on a list to be distributed to credit card and insurance companies so they can make you offers aka send you junk mail. The FCRA lets you "Opt-Out" of being on this list and all you have to do is visit the website, fill out the info, and you will be removed for 5 years. If you want to be removed from the list permanently, you'll need to fill out a form and mail it. Here's to five years of no more 0% APR mailers wasting both paper and space in our lives.


  1. I did this a while ago and forgot about it. Now that you mention it, I am realizing that we haven't gotten an offer in a LONG time. SO nice!!!

  2. i agree with your comments and by law (FCRA) we have rights. just a couple of FYIs...

    the consumer reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) do not proactively send your contact information to third parties. third parties request such information (and pay for it) from the consumer reporting agencies based on the type of consumer they are interested in acquiring. it can actually be a positive thing that you are receiving such offers, knowing that you are qualified as a valuable potential customer. and just remember that if you opt out, you could miss out on an offer that you might have otherwise been inclined to take advantage of (e.g. - a 0% interest rate for a year versus the 13% you pay today).

    also, when companies review your credit information, they look at all of your history including positive payments, negative payments, balances, etc. a credit score is only calculated at the exact moment in time a credit report is accessed, and many times while reviewing your report it is likely that a company is not even interested in your score. these 'inquiries' in to your report (called 'soft inquiries') do not affect your credit report in any way and do not put you at fraud/id theft risk either. i do agree that having mail in an unsecured mailbox is risky, and that opting out of prescreen offers or getting a PO box could help.

  3. thanks for the info la mariposa verde. you're right about the downside to not receiving the offers.