Yesterday I posted an article about whether or not I should purchase identity theft insurance and/or pay for credit monitoring services. Knowzy, a very helpful reader, left a comment with links to a whole bunch of interesting information on the subject.
Many of the links discuss things you can do to prevent identity theft. Among the list of preventative steps is opting-out of pre-approved credit card offers. Thieves can steal these offers right out of your mailbox, thus getting credit cards in your name and ruining your credit.
How pre-screening works:
A creditor or insurer establishes a set of specific credit criteria, (ex. minimum credit score), and requests the list of names, addresses, and other information for consumers’ who meet this criteria. The creditor can also supply CRA with a list of potential customers and ask CRA to determine which individuals meet the specified criteria.
Why do creditors use pre-screening techniques:
Creditors use pre-screening techniques because it saves them money. It limits the costs associated with direct marketing as well as costs associated with rejecting consumers who would not qualify for the advertised offers.
After reading the article I called the Credit Reporting Industry Pre-Screening Opt-Out Number and added my name and my husband’s to the opt-out list. My husband and I get pre-approved credit card offers at least once or twice a week. It’s frustrating because the offers are usually from the same credit card companies week after week. Eliminating junk mail and protecting our identities with one quick phone call definitely seems worth it.
To read the article on ways to prevent identity theft and to find the number to opt-out of pre-approved credit offers click here.
Also if you are interested in learning more about the pros and cons of receiving credit card offers check out the
“Report to the Congress on Further Restrictions on Unsolicited Written Offers of Credit and Insurance.”
CNNMoney.com has a great run through of the 25 Rules to Grow Rich By. The article discusses the best home improvements for your money, when to refinance your mortgage, how much life insurance one needs, and how much to invest in stock and company stock, just to name a few. I think my favorite rule is: “Never hire a roofer, driveway paver or chimney sweep who is going door to door.”