Opting Out Of Credit Cards

My 20-year-old daughter receives three to five unsolicited credit card offers daily. We have written the consumer reporting agencies to opt out of these offers, but the letters keep on coming! Is there anything we can do?
— L. Houston, Via the Internet

Congratulations on your efforts to shield your daughter from the onslaught of credit card offers. Go to www.ftc.gov/ bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/optoutalrt.htm, where you’ll find a consumer alert from the Federal Trade Commission with strategies to stop telemarketers as well as unsolicited mail and e-mail.

You’ll have to be persistent, but if you follow their recommendations, you should see a significant drop in the number of credit card offers in your daughter’s mailbox.

However, the most important thing is not to stop the offers (which is nearly impossible to do indefinitely), but to educate your daughter about credit so that she is not tempted to take on credit obligations she can’t handle.

After all, just because a company makes her an offer doesn’t mean that she has to accept it. I urge you to have your daughter read Everything You Wanted To Know About Credit But Were Too Ashamed to Ask by Renee Crenshaw and Anthony Miles (Rising Star Foundation; $29.95). This is a great book to help her understand the credit system and how to use credit responsibly.