As the U.S. pulls further away from the worst of the credit crunch in 2008 and 2009, the number of credit card offers piling up in mailboxes around the country has started to climb once again. Americans are not necessarily doomed to the hassle of sorting through these offers, however, as there are ways to avoid at least some of these mailings.
The Dodd-Frank act from last year offered a variety of consumer protections, but Congress actually offered Americans the ability to opt out of direct marketing like telemarketing and mailed credit card offers. The Federal Trade Commission provides a range of different options for opting out of these kinds of marketing.
For pre-screened credit cards and insurance policies, the simplest option is to go through www.optoutprescreen.com. These offers make use of information obtained from the three major credit agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, but these companies are required by law to allow consumers to prevent third parties from accessing their information.
Other options include mailing these companies directly or calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT, a hotline established by the credit agencies for consumers without access to the internet.
The FTC also offers access to various "Do Not Call" lists for both telemarketers and commercial mailings.