You check your mailbox, and you see it’s filled with letters. And you think there has to be something interesting. But then, you start checking each letter one after the other. After the whole checking process 19 out of the 24 letters in your mail were sent in by credit card companies trying to force their offers down your throat. If that sounds familiar, then you’d agree that it’s always frustrating.

And it could be very disappointing—especially when you have been looking forward to a more important letter that you still cannot find in the pile. Sometimes the stack of letters could be so high that your trash bin gets filled up quickly. And you’d start thinking of a way to stop those pesky credit card offers.

Fortunately you have a number of options for eliminating the wasted time and paper from your life. Here are six tips for stopping credit card offers from choking up your mailbox:

6 Fail-Proof Ways to Stop Credit Card Offers from Coming in the Mail

1. Opt out of credit card offers

Credit bureaus provide a toll-free number that you can call to opt out of credit offers that you have previously approved. Simply dial the number “1-888-5-OPTOUT,” and you should stop receiving credit card offers. Another way to opt out of the pre-screened offers is to visit www.optoutscreen.com and then fill out the opt-out form.

However, you must bear in mind that opting out using either the phone or website option will remain effective for five years, after which the offers will start landing in your mail box again. But if you want to permanently opt out of the offers, print out the printable version of the opt-out form available on www.optoutscreen.com, fill the form, and mail it in according to the instructions on the website.

2. Use the DMA’s mail preference service

Another way to stop credit card offers from landing in your mailbox is to put your name on the “do not mail” list provided to the direct-mail marketers by the Direct Marketing Association. All you have to do is pay the $1.00 fee for the DMA’s mail preference service.

However, not all direct-mail marketers subscribe to the DMA’s service. So, you might still receive mails from marketers who didn’t subscribe to the service. Nonetheless, since most direct-mail marketers do subscribe to the service, you will see a significant drop not only in the number of credit card offers, but also in the number of other junk offers that choke up your mailbox.

However, you must bear in mind that you will need to update your preference every three years. That is, if you add your name to the “do not mail” list, you will stop receiving junk offers for the next three years, after which you will start receiving them again unless you renew your opt-out.

3. Notify the major credit bureaus

Most of the companies that send you direct-mail credit card offers got your contact information from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, Inc. So, you can stop those junk offers by sending a letter to the three credit bureaus, stating that you don’t want your personal information shared for promotional purposes and direct mailing lists.

In the letter, include your current mailing address, your full name, your social security number, and your date of birth. It’s highly recommended that you keep a copy if the letter for record purposes.

4. Contact the FTC

If you have tried any of the methods explained above and the mailing doesn’t stop, lodge a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, stating what measures you have already taken to stop receiving unsolicited credit card offer letters in your mail box.

You must bear in mind, however, that most companies sending you the offers update their mailing lists on a quarterly basis. So, you want to give up to three months after taking any of the measures explained above to see the effects. If nothing changes after three months, you can contact the FTC.

5. Use a non-profit service

There are many non-profit services that will take up the task of removing your name from the mailing list of various credit card companies and other direct-mail marketers. 41Pounds.org, an example of such services, claims to be able to stop 80 to 95 percent of unwanted mail. Their service costs $41 for five years. Private Citizen, another non-profit service, offers the same service for a $10 annual fee.

Bottom line

You don’t have to live with the frustration of getting credit card offers you don’t need. Adopt the options discussed in this post, and you will see a reduction in the number of junk mails you receive.

Ajaero Tony Martins