Opt Out of PreScreen Credit and Insurance Offers

Do you guys also get constant offers for credit cards in the mail? I’m always receiving pre-approved offers for 0% balance transfers and purchases for 12 months, umbrella insurance (not what it sounds like!), and 99% of the time they go right to the trash.

The other 1% of the time happened during the last round of junk mail. I opened one up and quickly scanned to see if this “too good to be true” offer was for real, and besides finding that there was a fee on the balance transfers, I also found a little notice on the back saying that if I wanted, I could Opt-Out of these and all future notices.

Are you kidding me?? As nice as it is to receive what I consider fan mail (please don’t burst my bubble) I straight up feel bad for all the wasted envelopes and paper! My decent credit score is destroying the rainforests!

To do my part, I followed the instructions and headed over to OptOutPreScreen.com. The site lays out the advantages and disadvantages of having offers mailed to you, as well as the steps necessary to actually do it. Let’s take a look:

“Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors and insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you.

“The FCRA also provides you the right to “Opt-Out”, which prevents Consumer Credit Reporting Companies from providing your credit file information for Firm Offers.”

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of Opting-Out?

According to the site:

Advantages:

-No more junk mail (yay rainforests!).
-No more offers that may seem to good to resist (do you really need a new credit card?).

Disadvantages:

– Consumers no longer know about the product choices. (if you looking for a new card, this is a good way)
– Consumers no longer learn about and have an opportunity to take advantage of offers that may not be available to the general public. (this is probably only true if you have good credit)
– Consumers can no longer comparison shop, giving them more buying power. (go online, there are a ton of free tools!)

Show Me How!

There are three options on OptOutPreScreen that you can choose:

Opt-Out from receiving Firm Offers for Five Years (can be done online)

Opt-Out from receiving Firm Offers permanently (must print out and mail in form)

Opt-In and be eligible to receive Firm Offers (For people who previously Opted-Out – can be done online)

The process of opting in or out is very easy: Select the option you’d like, enter your information (contact information, birthday, and social security number) and you’re done!

Readers, now that you know all about Opting-Out of pre-screen credit and insurance offers, will you? Let me know in the comments!

*I get nothing in return for sharing this with you. I just found a sweet free tool and wanted to share it with you all.

9 Responses to Opt Out of PreScreen Credit and Insurance Offers

  1. Evan says:

    I never REALLY understand the opt out. How hard is it to throw something away? I like knowing what products are out there and who is interested in me.

    • Daniel says:

      @Evan, I absolutely hate all the junk mail I get. I don’t like getting enticed to visit a store with a “great” sale. When I need to shop, I can go and find what I’m looking for.

    • Oblio says:

      @Evan,

      The opt-out is great for people who are confident they have the ability to seek products on their own without receiving a deluge of wasted paper clog their mailbox.

      At a minimum, opt-out saves paper. More importantly, it may prevent credit fraud if some crook intercepts an unsolicited credit card offer.

  2. Everyday Tips says:

    I will be opting out as soon as I finish this comment. I am very content with my current credit cards and I can do research if I ever get disgruntled.

    I also think these cards should not be send to those under the age of 21. I think credit is too darn easy to get and abuse when you are in college.

  3. I did this a few years ago. While it’s great I get less junk, I kinda miss the 0% transfer promotions I don’t get anymore. :-(

  4. ira says:

    I did follow the link and opted out (5 years – not sure why I didn’t just opt out for life – I guess I figure I could always re-opt out in 5 years). I used to like getting these 0% offers when they were real. But, over the past year or two, all of the 0% offers come with a 4-5% balance transfer fee. Since you pay that fee up front, the APR is even higher. I think it’s a scam to call it 0% and then have a “fee” – by definition it’s not 0%!

    Ira

  5. Aaron @ Clarifinancial says:

    I have to disagree. I don’t think there are any disadvantages. In fact, if I could opt out of these local “newletters, magazines, and newspapers” I would. The ones that contain content beyond advertisements are only good for a laugh on their way to the bin.

    If you decide it’s really time to comparison shop, there are lots of websites out there: creditcardchaser.com and nerdwallet.com come to mind right away.

    @Evan I see most mail as a distraction from what’s really important. I want to get my bills, Netflix, and my Automobile magazine. That’s about it. So when I get it, I sort into three piles: one for me, one for my wife, and one for trash. Then I take care of my mail, if any and move on with my life. My goal is to make this as easy and quick as possible. It’s easier to avoid something than to throw it away every time – like having a pop-up blocker on your browser.

    • Oblio says:

      @Aaron @ Clarifinancial,
      Great points Aaron!

      @Evan,
      I only want items in my mailbox from parties with whom I have specifically provided my name and address. Furthermore, it is somewhat insulting to receive unsolicited offers for credit or insurance – as if I am some person who is desperate for short-term loans or who is incapable of choosing products on my own. I am neither of those things.

  6. @Aaron While I agree web sites you can find any public offers. Banks (at least used to) offer private deals to the high FICO score people that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

    I had a 4.9% fixed rate (that they decided to change to variable on me but is another story) that I got in the mail 6 years ago. Credit card rates were much higher and the best public offers out there were not as low.

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