Friday, April 08, 2005

Opt Out, Out I Say

We bought a house in July.

Since then, we've been deluged with credit card and life insurance offers, and offers to borrow against the value of the home.

Before owning a home, credit card offers that began with "You have been preselected. . ." were common enough. Now we're getting about 10 - 15 a week.

It's from these offers that a lot of theft takes place. Theives pull the offers from mailboxes and trash and fill them out, noting a change of address so the new card or loan check is sent elsewhere. Thieves spend the stolen money, and voila, the person in whose name they have swindled is stuck in a battle with credit card companies, banks and other loaning agencies, and the credit rating agencies to undo the damage. And it's not that easy to do undo the damage. It might take years.

Meanwhile, as one's financial life is locked-down frozen, real life still presents challenges that require financial flexibility.

While not as good as being able to put a hold on one's credit to prevent the issuance of credit in one's name, the credit reporting agencies will let you opt-out of being on those lists they sell to banks and insurance companies who can't wait to send you those "You've been preapproved to go deeper in debt" come-ons. To get off those lists, go here:

It only takes a few moments. If you prefer not do this over the WWW, call this number and Opt-Out by phone: 1-888-567-8688.

You can choose to opt out for a 5 years or permanently. You can also choose to opt back in.

I don't know why anyone would want to opt back in if they own a home; the debt only puts the ownership at risk, let alone the risk that a thief will intercept your mail before you get it, or, if you don't have a shredder or fire pit, after you toss it.

The solicitations aren't worth it.

If you need to borrow or want a credit, you don't need to be pre-approved. You can apply and ask for terms that you're willing to live with.

So opt-out today.