Unwanted credit card applications are terrible. They are wasteful, annoying, and present an identity theft risk.
I purchased a paper shredder to destroy the applications I receive (many from Chase Bank – I ignored your first 20 applications, why send me 50 more? The US Postal Service thanks you).
Finally I decided to read the fine print on one of these applications as part of a personal project I’m working on. I discovered an Opt-Out number.
I learned that credit card companies buy lists of people with decent credit, and send them applications. You can opt-out of these lists from the three major credit monitoring companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) by calling 1-888-567-8688.
The process is entirely automated, and very quick. The system had a hard time finding my address, but even with the hold up it took me no more than five minutes.
The catch is that the opt-out only lasts for five years, meaning you have to call back and do it again.
I’m cool with killing five minutes once every five years to save myself some hassles and limit the risk of identity theft.