Ever since the dawn of mail, e-mail, and every other communications network, there has been spam. Furthermore, it is even more prevalent now with the creation of online banking, and now that everything is online, this becomes more and more common every single day. One of the worst forms of spam that people deal with is whenever you receive a firm offer of credit, when you are not looking to take up that financial institution on their firm offer of credit. This is a guide on how to gracefully bow out of any firm offer of credit.
Understand the What and Why
You receive a firm offer of credit in part because financial institutions are legally required to use consumer reports and consumer data to make these firm offers, otherwise they can face litigation. On a more individual basis, you receive a firm offer of credit because your data has shown that you fit into the criteria that a certain account or offer requires. In that way, it is kind of an honor to receive a firm offer of credit.
Sometimes, you can be prescreened to receive these firm offers of credit. In this instance, companies screen your information and review your profile without your knowledge. This is so that companies can promote new cards and tradelines without sending mail to unqualified people, but it can feel strange to open a letter in the mail stating that you have been pre-approved for something you never even knew existed.
Pre-qualification is another way that this happens, but it puts the control in your hands. Here, you opt in to see all of the cards and tradelines that you could qualify to see. Personal loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit are two things that people most commonly pre-qualify for.
How Can I Opt Out if I Never Opted In?
This process looks different depending on the amount of time that you want to opt out of the process for. If you are still young, or you are still shopping for cards and tradelines, then you can choose to opt out for five years. You can call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or you can visit the website optoutprescreen.com to do the same thing. Consumer reporters run the lines of the website, and will process your request to have your information removed from their database.
If you would like to opt out of receiving firm credit offers for the rest of your life, then you can visit the same website, but you must then upload a signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, given once you start the process of opting out of receiving those firm credit offers for the rest of your life.
How Else Can I Opt Out?
Another way that you can opt out of being both pre-screened and pre-qualified is to change your credit and qualifications in the first place.
Use Your Credit Card
If you are receiving an especially high volume of firm offers of credit from credit card companies, then call your credit card company to adjust your limit so that you can adjust your credit utilization ratio accordingly. That is how much of the balance that you use compared to the limit on your credit card and the lower the ratio, the better.
In using your credit card and using it well, you can get your credit utilization ratio to the recommended five to six percent of your limit. You can use this ratio as a way to justify to yourself, and to these other financial institutions that opening a new credit card, or doing anything of that sort, will put you in the perfect place financially.
Take Out a Personal Loan
Personal loans are easy ways to get the money that you need while also repairing your credit, which are two of the biggest reasons that financial institutions send out firm offers of credit in the first place. By taking out a personal loan, you do not take on all of the responsibility that comes with opening a new credit card, but your credit will still improve, you and may even stop getting some of the firm offers of credit in the mail as well.
Personal loans may also show the financial institutions at the helm that you are already using your income to pay off many other debts, such as everyday expenses, loans, credit card debts. Because of your demonstrated ability to manage your debts, they may stop or slow down the amount of firm offers of credit that they give to you. These are perfect for diversifying the types of loans that you take out, which is nice for your credit score because the more types of loans that you take out, the more benefits that you will see on your credit score report.
Repair Your Credit
Some of the firm offers of credit that you are receiving may be for things to help you fix your credit, such as certain types of loans or specialized credit cards. However, you can repair your credit without having to be harassed through the mail. You can do this many different ways, but no matter how you do it, eventually you will stop having the criteria needed for the credit reparation offers of firm credit. This may not eliminate your problem entirely, though, as being out of one set of criteria may simply place you into another.
There are a lot of reasons that people have to deal with firm offers of credit, but they can be eliminated through multiple ways. Through the opt-out process and through altering your own financial habits, you can eliminate so many of the unwanted spam in your email inbox and junk mail in your own mailbox with a few clicks or a few phone calls to financial institutions. While you may not be able to avoid being part of a consumer report, you can avoid the feeling of being pre screened and live your life in fiscal peace and harmony.