Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stop Credit Card Offers

Elder Hartman Rector, Jr., of the Seventy, taught an important principle for overcoming temptation:
“In my experience, I have found that it is very, very dangerous to fly just high enough to miss the treetops. I spent twenty-six years flying the navy’s airplanes. It was very exciting to see how close I could fly to the trees … , and it is extremely dangerous. When you are flying just high enough to miss the trees and your engine coughs once, you are in the trees" (Conference Report, Oct. 1972, p. 172; or Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 131).

Are credit card offers tempting to you? Would you like to "fly" as far away from them as possible? How would you like to stop receiving them in the mail?

There was a time in my early 20's when I got a LOT of credit cards offer in the mail and opened every single one to see where I could next float my debt. Nowadays, I get one every so often. Is it because the credit card companies decided I'm too old for credit cards? (Don't you answer that!)

Credit card offers get in the way, they make a mess in your kitchen/car/office, waste your time having to handle them, can become a temptation to incur debt, and can expose you to identity theft. Did you know that credit card offers are one of the ways identity thieves get your information? You may not be interested in opening a new account, but a thief who steals your mail can use the blank application addressed to you to open an account.

Let me share some simple things you can do in less than 10 minutes to dramatically reduce credit card offers from filling up your mailbox and wasting your time.

Credit Bureaus Opt-Out Line
Call 888-567-8688 (888-5-OPT-OUT) from your home telephone (so it can be checked against an address database) or visit to stop pre-approved credit card and insurance offers from reaching you by mail or phone.

Do Not Call Registry
If you haven't done so already, by all means, register your phone number with the "National Do Not Call Registry" maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. Once you have registered your telephone numbers at or by calling 888-382-1222, most telemarketers are barred from calling you.

Interrupt Telemarketers
It takes some time for the "National Do Not Call Registry" to be updated in all companies' databases, so you may still receive some phone calls. You may simply interrupt the telemarketer by saying, "Please, put me on your DO NOT CALL list." They must comply immediately and end the phone call. If the same company calls, they are violating federal law. Ask for their company name, supervisor name, and telephone number. Report this to the Federal Trade Commission.

You already have so many things you are trying to keep out of your home, why not simplify financial matters a little more by keeping out debt temptations? Reducing the amount of credit card offers coming to your home is just another way to confirm to yourself that you vow to live a debt-free life!

“Debt can be a terrible thing. It is so easy to incur and so difficult to repay. Borrowed money is had only at a price, and that price can be burdensome” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Thou Shalt Not Covet", Ensign, Mar. 1990, 4).

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