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Opting out of preapproved offers could be a financial mistake —
Have your customers consider these reasons to opt in again

Many people opt out of receiving preapproved credit offers to reduce “junk mail” or to prevent identity theft. However, they don’t realize that by doing so they are greatly reducing their financial opportunities and access to credit at a time when they may need it most. The following question submitted by a consumer to Ask Experian explains why you should think twice before choosing to opt out and how to opt in again.

Dear Experian,

I was worried about identity theft and got tired of all of those preapproved credit offers, so I opted out. But now I want a new credit card. How do I get back on the mailing lists?


Dear RML,

Opting out of receiving preapproved offers is common advice, but fraud caused by falsifying information in such offers is extremely rare. This is particularly true because lenders have improved their security and fraud prevention process in recent years.

"Reducing junk mail" is another common reason people cite for opting out. What they don't realize, and what you've discovered, is that when you opt out, you essentially remove yourself from the credit marketplace. A number of credit card providers today open accounts only through preapproved offers.

In this difficult economic environment, obtaining credit can be challenging. Preapproved offers can help you get credit you need. Additionally, they create tremendous competition among credit card providers, which results in lower costs and greater benefits for you. Preapproved offers also enable you to shop for the best deals from across the nation by simply opening your mailbox.

The good news is that you can opt in to start receiving offers again. To do so, visit http://www.optoutprescreen.com and follow the instructions provided to opt in, or call 1 888 5OPTOUT (1 888 567 8688) and select the option to opt in. The Web address and phone number are a bit counterintuitive, but they initially were established for people to opt out.

Be aware that the preapproval process can take time, so it may be several months before you begin receiving offers again.

Thanks for asking.

If you have any questions about Experian and what it can do to help you support your customer relationships, please send them to clientcorner@experian.com.


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