Reducing Junk Mail

Many of us face the challenge of waste minimization every time we open our mail boxes. If you are getting more junk mail than you want to handle, this might be your key to waste minimization.

 Under one provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers can call toll-free numbers to remove themselves from lists used by credit-card companies and some direct marketers to solicit them by mail. Consumers need call only one of the three major national credit bureaus to get off all such lists.

The "opt-out" number for Equifax, Experian (formerly TRW) & Trans Union is 1-888-5-OPTOUT or 1-888-567-8688.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) describes the direct mail provision of the new law this way. "Consumers gain protections against unsolicited credit and insurance offers, including the multiple credit card offers that many consumers receive on a daily basis. Under the old law, creditors and insurers were able to use the credit reporting agencies' file information as a basis for developing lists of consumers to whom they send offers. Under the new law, consumers can follow a simple procedure to "opt out" of inclusion on future lists. They can call a toll-free number that each bureau has established (that will appear prominently on each offer), and have their name removed from these lists for two years. If they request, they will be sent a form that will allow them to take their names off of these credit bureau lists permanently."

The new law is primarily designed to make it easier for consumers to correct credit-bureau errors. For more information about FTC consumer activities, see:

Visit the Direct Marketing Association site at to reduce additional junk mailings.



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