Coping with credit card applications

Published: Monday, January 22, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 10:51 p.m.
It often seems as if prescreened or pre-approved credit card offers for new credit card accounts and insurance policies arrive in the mail daily.
Many people dismiss these offers as simply junk mail and trash them, while others read the material before deciding what to do with it.
Prescreened solicitations can arrive by mail, phone or in an e-mail. If you're uncertain how to treat a prescreened offer, the Better Business Bureau provides the following tips:
  • If you choose to respond to a prescreened offer, make sure to verify the legitimacy of the company making the offer. You can contact the Better Business Bureau for a report (
  • Prescreened offers are based on information in your credit report that indicates you meet criteria set by the offer. Prescreening does not affect your credit record or credit score.
  • You can opt out of receiving prescreened credit and insurance offers for five years or permanently through the major consumer reporting agencies. You can call (888) 567-8688 (toll free) or by visititing for details. The information you provide is confidential and will only be used to process your "opt out" request. Removing your name from prescreened lists will not affect your ability to apply for or obtain credit or insurance, but it might have an impact on your access to favorable terms of credit.
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