Mail Call: Bills, a birthday card from Mom, a store circular, or your monthly bank statement. From time to time, you may receive “pre-approved” credit card offers in the mail, too. Do you ever wonder what they are and where they come from?
These credit card offers are not random, they are prescreened and targeted to you. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are allowed 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. Prescreened offers are based on information in your credit report that indicates you meet the criteria set by the offeror.
You have the option to opt-out of these offers, why might you? Some people prefer not to receive these kinds of offers in the mail to limit access to their credit report information for solicitations or to reduce some mailbox “clutter”.
As you consider opting out, you should know that prescreened offers can provide many benefits. These offers can help you learn about what’s available, compare costs, and find the best product for your needs. The terms of prescreened offers also may be more favorable than those that are available to the general public. Some credit card products may be available only through prescreened offers.
The official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website to accept and process requests to Opt-In or Opt-Out of prescreened offers is OptOutPrescreen.com or call 1-888-5-OPTOUT. Whether you call or visit the website, you will be asked to provide certain personal information. You will have two choices for opting out. The first is to opt-out for five years and the other is to opt-out permanently. You can always Opt-In and be eligible to receive prescreened offers again if you have previously completed an Opt-Out request.
A reminder that it may take up to 60 days for offers to stop being mailed. You may continue to receive mail from companies who send offers not based on prescreening.
How does this affect your credit report? There will be “inquiries” showing which companies obtained your information for prescreening, but those inquiries will not have a negative effect on your credit report or score. Removing your name from prescreened lists has no effect on your ability to apply for or obtain credit or insurance.
To learn more about Credit, visit our website at southwind.k-state.edu/home-family/financial/. Also follow us on Facebook @southwindextensiondistrict or Instagram @southwind_ext. For more information, please contact Joy Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 620-223-3720.