I used to think that receiving pre-qualified or pre-approved credit card offers was a badge of honor, especially as my credit score increased over the past couple years and prime banks offered excellent sign-up bonuses with their best cards.
But in recent months, I've completely changed my opinion of such practices. First, its completely junked my mailbox. Not one day goes by in which I don't receive at least 2 offers. Second, and a bit more controversial, I consider it borderline predatory. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about personal responsibility and managing finances effectively, but I can't help but think that it's significantly contributed to the indebtedness average American's are in.
The nail in the coffin for me was when I pulled my free annual credit reports and saw a ridiculous amount of soft pulls across all the 3 CR's. It was quite scary. I was googling some of the companies listed, and was shocked. I had a random collection agency looking [I haven't had a baddie in 6 years and owe no money], a hospital was listed a few months ago [the last time I was in a hospital was 4 years ago and all bills were paid in full].
I was doing a bit more research and found this article from 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/business/22target.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&# on how banks do in fact seek out troubled borrowers. It was very eye-opening.
So long story short, I just recently opted out of prescreens. It should at the very least stop the junk mail and prevent illegitimate zombie CA's from purchasing bulk data and checking against their database. It should be especially effective when I start looking for a mortgage in the next couple years.
What do you guys think? Have you opted-out?
Good post! I've been opted out for years, mainly because I despise junk mail of any type. I was thinking about opting in for a few months later this year because I might be interested in acquiring new cards. But given what you just said about all those SPs from the strangest sources, I think I'll stay OUT.
I had similar thoughts too. At the beginning of my credit repair journey, I was excited to get offers in the mail. Shortly after, I got tired of the junk and really wanted to minimize my temptation to app.
I've been opted out for probably about nine months now. Don't miss the junk and I'm not sure if I would ever opt back in. I'm pretty sure of what cards I want in the future and I just don't really think I want the invitation to apply for others
Opted out years ago, I go back periodlcally and re-submit, just to make sure I don't get back on lists.
Also was on the "do not call" list when I had a hardwired telephone, since I went to cell, it's not needed (I know, some people think there's a directory of cell phones -- there's not!).
Made me remember why I canceled mine. Out of sight, out of mind, until the day it rang, and I realized I had to wipe the dust off to answer it.