I want to share a "free insurance policy" that will help you protect your credit. It involves opting out of those pre-approved credit offers.
Best of all, it's free, simple, fast and efficient. You can eliminate more than 90 percent of those pesky offers you're being bombarded with if your FICO score is 700 or above.
Simply go to OptOutPreScreen.com or call 888-567-8688. It is a joint venture of the credit bureaus that lets you tell them you don't want their junk mail!
Be aware that you'll be required to give your Social Security number. That's how credit bureaus track people, so it's a necessary part of the process. This is a legitimate request for your Social Security number!
Special note: Opting out of these offers is especially important if you move and your mail goes to an old address, or if you have a jointly shared mailbox.
You also can eliminate other kinds of junk mail for free at DMAChoice.org. In fact, you can even choose to get more junk mail if you want! But who would want that?
Meanwhile, there's a site in beta that can help cut down on the number of catalogs you receive. The address is CatalogChoice.org -- which has been recently rebranded as TrustedID -- though the jury is still out on how well the system is working.
Finally, there's a low-tech kind of way that works to de-clutter your email inbox. Simply go to the search bar on your email client and enter keyword "unsubscribe."
Your email will then pull up all the mail from legitimate companies that offers an unsubscribe link. You can quickly go through it and unsubscribe from whatever you no longer want to receive. It's that easy!
For further reading:
- Beware of automatic renewals on magazine subscriptions
- Facebook wants to use your likes in advertising
- Opt out of Google's invasion of your privacy
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Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert