If you've opened your mailbox in the last month it seems like all we get are those junk mailers, Christmas cards, bills, and pre-qualified/pre-screened credit offers. My wife, who works for a financial institution, told me to call a phone number to get my name on a list that will end these offers for 5 years. I was really doubtful and told her that this seemed like the best way for someone to steal my information, but after I did some homework I felt better about it and went through with the phone call. 

First off, for those that don't know what a pre-screened offer is the Federal Trade Commission defines it as "information in your credit report that indicates you meet criteria set by the offeror."

If you decide that you don't want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently.

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.

Opt Out
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013

Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094

Equifax, Inc.
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123

Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0495

You should know that you won't stop getting the offers right away as the FTC website says that the requests to opt out are processed within five days, but it may take up to 60 days before you stop receiving prescreened offers.

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