After I bought my house last year I started getting an insane amount of pre-screened credit card offers in the mail. I'm talking 3 or 4 per day. My paper shredded was overflowing at the end of every week. They haven't slowed down and I seem to be getting more and more everyday. Yesterday I received two from the same company -- the same envelope and same offer printed across the front. Enough is enough.

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Did you know these letters from credit card companies, called pre-screened offers, show up on your credit report? According to the Federal Trade Commission, they won't hurt your score, but you'll still see the entries clogging up your history.

There will be "inquiries" on your credit report showing which companies obtained your information for prescreening, but those inquiries will not have a negative effect on your credit report or credit score.

- Federal Trade Commission

So, how do you stop all these annoying letters (and calls and e-mails)? The Federal Trade Commission makes this a lot easier than you think.

You have two choices: opt out for five years or opt out permanently.

To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.

To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.

This site is provided directly by the Federal Trade Commission, but the opt-out service is managed by the major consumer reporting companies. You will be asked to provide certain personal information, including your social security number, but the FTC says it is used confidentially and securely only to process your opt-out request.