7 On Your Side: Opt-Out Notices - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/12/05-Tyler

7 On Your Side: Opt-Out Notices

"Pre-approved!... Guaranteed!" East Texas consumers receive these credit cards offers in the mail by the dozens, and it could be an instant way to put yourself in debt. "The more lines of credit you have open probably the more you're going to spend," says Glyndel Corzine, Manager of Consumer Credit Counseling Service in Tyler. If you're receiving these offers it's because your credit has been prescreened and 7 On Your Side has learned you can now put a stop to what, for most people is, unwanted solicitations.

It's called opt-out. Companies are now required to include these notices on the front of the offer or on the back, informing you that stopping these prescreened letters from showing up in your mailbox is just a phone call away at 1-888-5-OPT-OUT. You can also opt-out online at www.optoutprescreen.com. There, you can also choose to opt out for five years or permanently.

Corzine has been helping people manage their debt for years. She says she's not surprised people are receiving so many of these offers, especially this time of year. "Because we know that this is the time that more people are planning to buy gifts and maybe haven't planned that into their budget. That offer comes and it's real easy to take that offer to those things that we like to get," says Corzine. So if you don't want to ring in the new year with credit card bills, opting out may be the best Christmas gift that will last year round.

According to the Federal Trade Commission website (www.ftc.gov), it typically takes up to 60 days for you to stop receiving prescreened offers. You can choose to opt back in at anytime by calling that same number 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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