If you have a credit card and a decent credit record, chances are that you receive dozens of “pre-screened” or
“pre-approved” offers for credit cards every month.
There’s nothing wrong with these offers. You get them because companies that solicit new credit card accounts have asked a
consumer reporting company for a list of people in the database who meet certain criteria or who have a certain credit score. Receiving pre-approved offers-or rejecting them-does not have any effect on your credit rating. In fact, prescreened offers can be useful if you are in the market for a credit card. They can help you learn about what’s available, compare costs, and find the best product for your needs. Because you are preselected to receive the offer, you can only be turned down under limited circumstances.
However, preapproved credit card offers do contain sensitive personal information.
If other people have access to your mail, or if you dispose of preapproved offers in the trash without shredding them, then they can put you at risk for identity theft. If you decide that you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you can opt out of receiving them by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT or 888-567-8688. This telephone number is operated by the major consumer reporting companies.