By Mike Aux-Tinee
Do you have a pet peeve? One of my many is receiving something I did not ask for. More specifically, the flood of unsolicited credit card applications and insurance offers that flood my mail box every day. I had no idea how or why they were coming until I did a little home work and here is what I discovered.
A financial institution or insurance company can call up the three credit bureaus; Experion, Transunion or Equifax and ask for a list customers with a credit score between X and Y in a specific geographic region. The credit bureaus forward along the list to the company, for a price. Your information is being sold left and right, the credit bureaus are making money and the requesting company is hoping to make money; everyone is making money on the deal except you. All you get is a mail box full of junk and the planet is short a few million trees.
This is one of the many reasons Americans have 5,8, 10 or more credit cards. The banks are placing a bet that once those credit cards are in our hot little hands we will not be able to resist the temptation to go shopping at the mall or on-line. By the obscene amount of credit card debt we are carrying, they made a good bet and are cashing in at our expense.
What can be done about this? You can exercise your right to opt out! By federal law, we can opt-out or block the credit bureaus from selling our information. It even gets better, you can either opt-out for either 5 years or forever! YEA!
Here are the steps you can follow to eliminate this burden:
- Call 1-888-567-8688
- Provide the information required
- You can select the five-year or lifetime option (which is my personal favorite)
- When you select the longer option, you will receive a post card in the mail, just fill it out, sign it and sent it back in
One thing about this process, it does take some time to kick in. You may still receive some offers for a month or two, but after that, the envelopes with these offers will stop. It is so nice, opening up the mail box and pulling out the weekly circulars from the grocery stores et al…. if I could only get them to stop… hummmmm.