Stop the prescreened marketing offers to clean up your mailbox and limit access to your credit file.
Many companies that solicit new credit card accounts and insurance policies use prescreening to identify potential customers for the products they offer. Prescreened offers — sometimes called “preapproved” offers — are based on information in your credit report that indicates you meet the criteria set by the offeror. Usually, prescreened solicitations come via mail, but you also may get them in a phone call or in an email.
What It Means to Receive a Prescreened Credit Card Offer
- Companies make firm offers for credit and insurance using the information found in your credit reports
- Prescreened offers sometimes called “preapproved” offers are based on information in your credit report that indicates you meet the criteria set by the company.
- Prescreened solicitations come via mail, but you also may get them in a phone call or in an email.
- You have the consumer right to opt-out of prescreened credit offers or opt-in
You can opt-out of receiving them for five years or opt-out of receiving them permanently.
How to Opt-out of Prescreened Marketing Offers
If you decide that you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices:
To opt-out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
To opt-out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.
When you call or visit the website, you’ll be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt-out.
If you don’t have access to the Internet, you may send a written request to permanently opt-out to each of the major consumer reporting companies. Make sure your request includes your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. Send your letter as certified mail to confirm receipt.
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013
Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0495
Why is Your Name Shared with Marketers?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you (“Firm Offers”)
The Benefit of Prescreened Marketing Offers
Card issuers may use a credit bureau to make firm offers of credit to you. They use credit histories that meet the criteria asked for by the card issuer (for example, a minimum credit score). This does not mean the credit card issuer must provide you with a credit card. You must still apply.
Once you apply, the card issuer can review your application and other information, such as an updated credit report, employment, and income to determine whether your credit history and other criteria are met.
Being opt-in, you may have access to the credit and insurance products that may not be available to the general public.
If you choose to Opt-Out, you will no longer be included in firm offer lists provided by these four consumer credit reporting companies. If you are not receiving firm offers because you have previously completed a request to Opt-Out, you can request to Opt-In.
Remember to opt-out or opt-in, you can call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.
Even if you opt-out from prescreened credit offers, card issuers also may get your name from other sources and send you invitations to apply for a card.