Opt out of prescreened credit and insurance offers.

If you’re like most people, you, your spouse, maybe your kids, and perhaps even your dogs get pre-approved credit card and insurance offers.  Did you know you can opt out of receiving these?  I highly recommend doing so for two reasons:  First, you reduce the amount of junk mail and paper coming into your home, and second, you avoid some of the risk of ID theft associated with these.

If you inspect the fine print of these offers, you’ll frequently find a phone number you can call to remove yourself from the mailing list.  Better yet, you can opt out online at OptOutPrescreen.com, either permanently or for five years.

Sorry, but you have to opt out again every time you move and at every mailing address.  So even though you may have opted out of prescreened offers at your physical address, you could also need to opt out at your post office box.

One more thing:  For my household, opting out of prescreened offers has proven far more successful than the “do not call” list.  (Your mileage may vary.)  The process does take a few weeks to take effect, so you’ll have to be patient in the meantime.  And sadly, opting out will not remove you from every single piece of annoying mail you receive.  (I’ve been amazed to find out the entities that have sold my information.  More on this tomorrow.)

Time required:  About 5 minutes.

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