Sick of junk mail cluttering your mailbox? Follow these simple methods to put an end to junk mail once and for all!
10. Register With the Data & Marketing Association
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) maintains a website that helps consumers manage the direct mail sent to them, including catalogs, credit card offers, and magazine subscription offers.
According to the association’s website, “you can request to start or stop receiving mail from an entire category or opt out from all.”
They’ll even let you put a stop to mail sent to deceased family members or a dependent in your care. Additionally, the DMA has an Email Preference Service that lets you get less unsolicited commercial email.
NOTE: You’ll have to pay a $2 processing fee to register on the website. Your registration will last for 10 years. If you want to register by mail, you’ll have to pay a $3 processing fee unless you include a printout of the online form.
9. Sign Up with CatalogChoice
CatalogChoice is a non-profit organization that works to stop junk mail from reaching your mailbox. They have nearly 10,000 titles in their database, ranging from clothing brands to credit card companies to charities.
All you have to do is gather your unwanted junk mail from your home or office, search for the sender in CatalogChoice’s database, and submit an opt-out request. Then, CatalogChoice will take care of the rest.
FYI, you can also use CatalogChoice to stop receiving junk mail meant for previous occupants of your home or deceased family members.
8. Opt Out of Prescreened Offers
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows credit-reporting companies to share information about you with lenders and insurers so they can send you prescreened offers.
Thankfully, this same law gives you the right to opt out of said offers. And, opting out of prescreened credit cards and insurance offers is easy.
Simply head over to OptOutPrescreen.com or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) to stop receiving these offers. You can opt out for five years, or you can opt out permanently. To permanently opt out of these offers, you will need to sign and return the Permanent Opt-Out Election form.
Suppose you don’t have access to a telephone or the internet. In that case, you can always submit a written request for removal to the three major credit reporting agencies and to Innovis Consumer Assistance, an identity and credit solutions company that helps consumers understand and manage their credit report information, place security freezes, and more.
NOTE: Opting out of these offers will in no way affect your ability to apply for or obtain credit or insurance.
7. Prevent Creditors from Sharing Your Information
Federal law allows banks, credit card companies and utilities to share your information with third parties for marketing or promotional purposes.
That being said, make sure you contact them and let them know you do not want them to release personal information about you to anyone for any marketing or promotional reasons.
The Harvard Law School Green Living Representatives recommend writing “please do not rent or sell my name” or “no mailing lists” next to your name whenever you give your name and address to a company or organization — whether it’s when entering a contest, subscribing to a magazine or ordering a product by mail.
6. Contact Publishers Clearing House
Most people would love to see the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol show up at their front door. But, for that to happen, you have to enter their sweepstakes. And, unfortunately, that means receiving countless offers from them in the mail.
The good news is that you can opt out of these offers by contacting Publishers Clearing House online, via email, by mail, or by phone. Here is the contact information:
Consumer & Privacy Affairs, Publishers Clearing House
300 Jericho Quadrangle #300
Jericho, NY 11753
5. Ask Companies to Stop Sending Their Catalogs
Have you ever received a catalog in the mail that you didn’t request to be sent to you? Of course, you have. It happens to all of us. And, while you may enjoy the first couple of issues, it can start to get on your nerves — especially when they keep asking you to purchase something.
The good news is that you can stop these catalogs from coming simply by calling the customer service number of the business or organization and asking to be removed from their mailing list. You could also submit a request via email or snail mail. And, that’s it. Problem solved!
4. Protect Student Education Records
Did you know that there’s a federal law that allows schools to disclose personal information about a student (and others in their household) to marketers, lenders and insurers without that student’s consent? Yep, it’s true.
It’s called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Unless the student requests not to have their personal information disclosed, any schools that receive funds under certain U.S. Department of Education programs can disclose said information.
That being said, you will need to ask whatever institution you or someone in your household attends not to disclose any personal information.
3. Return the Mail
If you get any promotional mailings sent to you, you can always mark the envelopes “RETURN TO SENDER” and put them back in your mailbox.
ALL TIME TIP: There’s an easy way to identify promotional mailings without even having to open them. Just look for the phrases “return service requested,” “forwarding service requested,” “address service requested,” “change service requested,” or “First Class Mail.” Also, keep an eye out for mail addressed to “resident,” “current resident,” or “current occupant.” These are all dead giveaways that what’s inside is nothing more than junk mail.
2. Opt Out of Subsequent Requests for Charitable Donations
Donating to a charity is a worthwhile cause. But, be warned: those charities need money, so they will continue to send you requests for donations in the mail.
With that said, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive soliciting donations from charities. These include:
- Enclosing a note requesting that they don’t rent, sell or exchange your personal information with anyone else
- Asking the organization to decrease the frequency of its mailings
- Asking for your name to be deleted from the organization’s mailing list
1. Opt-Out of Magazine Subscription Offers
When you subscribe to a magazine, you essentially permit them to share your name and address with other companies. But, thankfully, you can ask them not to rent your information to others.
On the downside, Reader’s Digest says that “your request may be ignored.” That being said, “it is best to contact them a few weeks later and make this request again.” And, if that doesn’t work, you can always try one of the other options discussed in this article.