Anyone who's fed up with a mailbox crammed with credit card offers can take steps to stop them by getting on the credit reporting industry's "opt out" list.
To get on the list, call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.
You have the choice of opting out for five years or permanently. If you change your mind later, you can call back or use the same website to opt back in.
Getting on the list will prohibit the four major consumer credit reporting agencies from selling your name to companies for prescreened or "preapproved" credit or insurance offers.
These offers -- which are sent to you if you meet certain criteria set by the lender or insurer -- generally come via mail, but you also may get them by phone or in an email.
Some companies send offers that are not based on prescreening. Opting out will not stop those types of solicitations.
For more information on prescreened credit and insurance offers, visit www.ftc.gov and search for "prescreened offers."