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Pre-approved credit card offers are a pain to deal with. Many consumers have to sift through credit card offers to get to the important mail items that need to be handled accordingly. In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission has made it much easier to stop receiving credit card offers in the mail.

How Credit Card Offers Work

Banks and other lending institutions are always looking for ways to generate more business. Sending offers in the mail has been widely successful for them.

People receive credit card offers because banks pull their information from credit reports and other databases to see if they are qualified. Those who meet certain stipulations will be placed on a mailing list for future credit card advertising campaigns. Banks can find information about potential customers by purchasing lists from other companies or checking various databases.

Once the first credit card offer is sent out, banks will continue to send offers on a regular basis. In many cases, consumers receive two or more offers every week from the same bank.

Opt Out of Receiving Offers

The first method to try when you no longer want to receive offers in the mail is to call every bank and “opt out” of receiving the offers. Banks will normally put a phone number or website on the mail you receive where you can enter your information and remove yourself from the database.

If you receive a significant amount of pre-approved credit offers in the mail, this process can take weeks to complete, if not longer. Most consumers aren’t aware of all the banks that use their information for advertising purposes, so offers could still come trickling in, despite the number of phone calls made.

Call the Federal Trade Commission Phone Number

On the FTC website, consumers can access a phone number for the “Opt Out Pre-Screen” service. By calling this phone number, consumers have the option of removing themselves from credit card offers for five years or permanently. When using this process, you’ll need to give them some personal identifying information, including social security number, full name, address and more.

In addition to using the Federal Trade Commission for this purpose, consumers can call each of the credit reporting agencies: Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. Once the request has been received, allow 30 days for full implementation. If you still receive credit card offers in the mail after this time-frame, write a letter to the bank informing them of your current status on the list and notify the FTC about your situation.