When is having good credit a bad thing? When it contributes to wasted paper and jamming your mailbox with junk mail. If you, like many others, are cursed with good credit, no doubt you've been hassled with these come-ons everyday. Apparently the credit card companies are so desperate for new customers that even those with marginal or no credit receive copious offers every week, if not multiple invitations every day.
The recent tactic is stuffing the envelopes with real-sized sample credit cards and printing "Do Not Bend" on the outside to make them seem like important letters. There are now so many of these envelopes floating around that it is inevitable that some would fall into wrong hands and that's a recipe for a long nightmare.
As usual, these institution are too happy to offer you credit when you don't need it. Of course, if you ever needed a credit card, they would be happy to provide one for exorbitant fees and high interest rates. So what is a consumer to do to stop this avalanche? I suppose one way to fight back is to return the pre-stamped envelopes empty. Nowadays, however, many issuers have barcoded the return envelopes so they can identify the senders. You could cut out the barcode before mailing the empty envelopes back, but why should they be allowed to take up so much of your time to begin with. Besides, unless everyone started to send back the empty envelopes, they would just write that off as the cost of marketing and the junk mail would continue to flow.
That's why I was delighted to finally find out a relatively obscure Web site, ran by the major credit bureaus, to stop them from sharing credit data with the issuers. You see, the issuers routinely pay the bureaus for lists of people with good credit to mail their junk mail to. The practice is known as pre-screening. Without such a clean list, their cost of marketing could become prohibitively expensive, and they would stop the practice. By opting out of such lists, you would forbid the bureaus to share your information with the issuers and your name would be eliminated from the list, hence the junk mail should logically subside.
You can opt out by calling 888-5-OPT-OUT (888-567-8688), or visiting the Web site at https://www.optoutprescreen.com/. I can't say with confidence whether opting out of pre-screening would help reduce the amount of credit card junk mail. But given no other alternatives, I decided to add my name to this list and see what happens. Even if it cuts down the junk mail by a small margin, it would be a welcome relief.