Every day you get home from work and, if you’re like me, you check your mail. It’s certainly no surprise to see your box full of credit card offers but have you ever wondered exactly why and how those offers find you? You might be shocked to learn that the credit reporting agencies sell your name and address to credit card issuers and that’s why your mailbox is filling up with those offers.
Credit card issuers are constantly looking to acquire new credit card customers. They do so by buying a list of consumer names who have met predetermined criteria, such as decent credit scores and no active bankruptcies. Imagine the following request made by a credit card company to any of the three credit bureaus.
“I’d like to solicit a new credit card to consumers living in these five states and have FICO scores of at least 680. I want 3 million names and addresses of consumers who meet that criteria. I also want these consumers to have no bankruptcies on their credit reports and no defaulted credit cards for the past 36 months.”
This is a simplistic example of how your name makes it on their pre-approval lists. Once your name and address has been delivered to the credit card issuer it’s only a matter of time before their offer finds its way to your mailbox. You can have your name removed from their lists by going to www.optoutprescreen.com and begin to enjoy a lighter mail load.
John Ulzheimer is the President of Consumer Education for Credit.com and owner of 2StepCredit.com. He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, credit score ratings, and identity theft. Formerly of FICO and Equifax, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. He is a weekly guest on FOX’s The Willis Report and is the credit blogger for the New York Times and Mint.com. He has served as a credit expert witness in more than 65 cases and has been qualified to testify in both Federal and State court on the topic of consumer credit.