Credit Repair Articles

When Should You Opt Out of Credit Offers, And When Should You Not?

Credit Repair Articles - Identity Theft

For years we have strongly discouraged opting out of credit offers for most consumers who are trying to rebuild credit. There are a couple of main reasons for this:

1. The offers you receive are somewhat of a gauge for your credit repair success. The better the offers get, the better your credit is looking to potential lenders.

2. Legitimate Pre-Approved offers means more opportunities for new credit lines with which you can build a new positive credit history. This is an important part of the process of rebuilding credit.

But is there a time when you would want to opt out?

Yes, there is.

The most important time to consider opting out of credit offers is when you have been a victim of identity theft.

Pre-screened offers give ID thieves the opportunity to open credit accounts in your name. If they can get an alternate address listed with a creditor or "hijack" your credit by changing your contact details with a creditor, they could get pre-approved offers to open up new credit lines that they would then have full access to and you would know nothing about.

You might think that possibility is slim, but it could certainly happen.

Credit card companies are known for being quite careless and having generally low standards for approval and acceptable practices regarding pre-approved credit card offers.

As an example of such carelessness, one consumer told the story of having "tested" the system by tearing a pre-approved credit offer into small pieces, and then taping it back together and filling it out, but changing the address and phone number before sending in the offer. Guess what happened next? They got approved!

If someone can get away with this, imagine what ID thieves could do with your pre-approved credit card offers.

For this reason, if you have been a victim of identity theft, opting out is probably a smart move.

The only other case in which you would want to opt out is when you truly have "enough" (or too much) credit available to you. This is rare, and not something we've seen, but it's possible. If you just don't "need" any more credit, then opting out is fine if you choose to do so.

For everyone else, we recommend opting in because of the two reasons stated above. You have an easy and automatic thermometer for your "credit hotness", and a simple tool for getting lenders to send offers directly to you.


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