Be smart about credit card offers

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Offers in the mail

Credit card companies, auto loan companies and other lenders can get a list of names for their credit card offers. They get information from credit reporting agencies about people who have a minimum credit score. Then, they use that list to send out offers for a new card.


Saying “no” to mail offers

If you are receiving credit card offers in the mail and don’t want them, there are two things you can do.


You can opt out of credit card offers for five years. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT  (1-888-567-8688) or visit To opt out forever, you must download and mail a signed paper form. You can get the form on the opt-out website.


Beware – the opt-out feature only works for certain credit card offers, though. Companies may get your name if they have done business with you before. They may also get your name from other sources that aren’t connected to the credit reporting agencies, such as memberships or subscriptions.


Why is my child getting a credit card offer?

Sometimes, a person under 21 years of age gets a credit card offer in the mail. This may happen if the company purchased a list of names and didn’t know that the person was not an adult. But, credit card companies cannot intentionally send their offers to people under 21 years old without permission.


Phone calls

Like mail offers, credit card companies can get your name from credit agencies and call you with an offer. You can register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry to stop these calls. Visit or call 1-888-382-1222 to put your phone number on the do not call list.


What is a prescreened credit card offer?

Credit card companies can find out if you have a certain credit score. Then, they can offer you a credit card based on that information. This is known as a prescreened offer because they already have some information about your credit. It is not a guarantee that you will get the card. You still have to apply for it and be approved.


Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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