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Finances & Money

Save a forest & protect your identity at the same time

Thanks to Shawn for reminding me about some web sites out there that help reduce that unwanted junk mail from your mailbox (the paper kind, not e-mail). I get at least 5-10 letters, mostly to me, some to my wife, each week stating “You’re qualified for a low-interest credit card, etc.”, and I just don’t want them.

Granted, sometimes I make use of the really good 0% offers, but that’s about once per year at most. The rest of the time, I really get tired of shredding and recycling all that useless junk. At year-end, it adds up to a serious pile of paper that could have been used to make useful items like many of the flimsy new $500,000 condos that are popping up all around D.C. (that’s a rant for a different time and place though).

Check out these official web sites for opting out of pre-screened offers (usually credit):

  1. www.optoutprescreen.com – this site allows you to submit, for free, your opt out. All 3 major credit bureaus use this site to back-check opt outs, BUT not all marketers use the credit bureaus to get mailing lists. This site also references the following URL to opt out from other mailing lists. Also, be aware that this site requires you to enter you SSN and Birth Date, so ensure you’re on a secure connection (see upcoming post).
  2. www.dmaconsumers.org – You can pay $5 to submit your info online OR you can enter it online for free, and pay $0.39 to mail the completed form to their office. The free option will take more time, but save yourself $4.61 by doing option #2. You only need to enter your name and home address to opt out of this site.

After opting out, it may take a few weeks, but you should begin noticing a sharp decline in credit card offers (and other offers like insurance). Now, you’ve just secured your identity that much more!

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Clever Dude

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