How Do I Stop Receiving Credit Cards Offers in the Mail?

Ever wonder, “How do I stop receiving credit card offers in the mail?” George answers that question and sprinkles in some additional thoughts on managing and eliminating credit card debt!

Feb 22, 2024 | Blogs, Podcast

About the Episode

Ever wonder, “How do I stop receiving credit card offers in the mail?” The quick answer is to go to OptOutPreScreen.com

George answers a question from the mailbag, talks about managing and eliminating credit card debt, what it takes to actually do it, and how to get the support you need! 

 

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher

Host

Episode Transcript

nd into the mailbag. We go, this week’s letter comes to us from little Janie. Little Janie says, Dear George, gee, I’ve got a big, big, big, big problem. How can I get credit card companies to stop sending me offers in the mail out? What a great question. Little Jamie, thank you so much for taking the time to put pen to paper. Put that paper into an envelope, put an amp envelope, stamp on the envelope. You understand what I’m saying? Thanks for the participation in the effort. Little Janie. Yeah. Wonder if the problem is that you are accepting every single credit card offer that you’re getting in the mail? Is that what’s going on here? Do you feel obligated that they’re sending the letter C say yes. So the short answer to the question is, stop replying to the letters, stop accepting their offers just thrown in the garbage? But whatever the case may be, maybe you are maybe you’re not. It’s a great question. Thanks again, for the letter, the answer to the question is to go to there is an actual website that will allow you to get out from underneath all of that tend to have credit card companies stopped sending you these offers. So you go to www dot opt out pre screen.com, opt out pre screen.com. And you can get it all taken care of then. So pretty awesome. Another answer is to say that credit card companies and their offers are not the problem. Reality is the fact of the matter is that that certainly while I do think that credit cards are one of the worst things in the world, specifically that credit card debt. More specifically that credit card debt rolled from month to month, is one of the worst problems that is afflicting certainly Americans right now. It was one of the worst problems that afflicted me from roughly speaking about 23 years old, 24 years old to about about 30. So there was a good six, seven years there where credit cards ate my lunch, just ate it up. They drank my milkshake. I drink your milkshake. Fortunately, I was able to get up from underneath there. But why is that important is that I’ve been there. And I have firsthand personal experience with that. So the offer isn’t necessarily the problem. It’s not even the credit card. It’s not even the credit card debt. It’s you. It was me it’s not money. Money’s neither good nor bad. A credit card is neither good nor bad. There are scenarios and situations where credit cards are the most important thing in the world. If you have absolutely no cash, no money, no recourse or other option for getting money. And you can put your emergency on a credit card then it is a lifesaver. So they’re not the problem. We we will Janie or the problem our inability to control ourselves and our impulses, our inability to go without to make sacrifices or investments to understand the difference between wants or needs or to simply just not care. That’s it’s sort of disingenuous thing to say, isn’t it? I don’t understand the difference between a want and a need. Well, I clearly understand the difference between those two things I intellectually get it. That’s the problem right there. The behavior gap between what I intellectually know and then what I actually do. Financial wellness or financial literacy is what I know. And financial wellness is what I actually do. So I can know full well that I ought not carry credit card balances over from month to month they ought not get kicked in the teeth. Balls. Insert other uncool place to get kicked. Yet I still do it yet I still do it. So we’ll circle back on that I am all about opting out of these payments. I’m all about positioning oneself for success. I’m all about knowing myself. Another example of this is that if I keep ice cream, or cookies just in the house, I’ll eat them. I will absolutely eat them. And I am a pretty self disciplined person. But I also know that I’m a human being and my ability to be undisciplined to make stupid decisions is a feature not a bug of of human Unity and humaneness. So let’s let’s position ourselves for success Let’s Let’s stare into the eyes of human nature and and embrace all of it. So if you can get yourself to, and pretty simply go to that website and earn your information and they will stop showing up at your house. So easy to do, just make it happen, pull the trigger, let’s go. So while we’re talking about credit cards on the topic of credit cards, you can also be proactive, and work to reduce your APR, your annual percentage rate that you are paying, should you have a credit card balance. So I would rather have a 0% APR or a 1% versus a 25%. Or I’m sure that there’s credit cards out there that have even higher APR, which is the rate of return that the credit card company is making on you and me making us they’re lending money. So it’s fine that they get to charge interest on it. And if we go into it with eyes wide open and we accept their terms, well, then that just is what it is. But back to reducing the APR. How do you do that? How do we get a credit card company to reduce the annual percentage rate? Well, well, Janie, they call me ask them to you call and you ask them to. So you pick up the phone, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring? Hi, credit card company. It’s George, how are you? Great. Janey and I are wondering if you could reduce our Annual Percentage Rate or APR? You can? That’s amazing. Awesome. Thank you. You can’t tell? Well, you know, I tried. Is there anything that I can do to get you to bring the APR down or to reduce any other fees that you’re charging me? So there you go, all you can do is ask the worst that can happen is they can say no. Well, if you are, let’s go through some different scenarios, if you do find yourself in credit card debt, and you disregard everything I just said about credit cards being bad. You can also see if you qualify for a zero 0% APR or a lower APR with a different credit card company. So see, I’m able to talk out of both sides of my mouth right there, get rid of credit cards, don’t have them. But then see if you can get another one, kind of the reality here. I do have the ability like everybody else to talk out of both sides of my mouth. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. But the better answer is to improve your credit score so that you can get a lower APR, and even better answers that you get out of any credit card debt. So you’re not paying any APR to credit card companies. But meanwhile, in the regular world, the real world, here we are. So improve your credit. How do we do that we pay our bills on time, we bring our credit utilization below 30%. So how does that work? Where does credit utilization, if you have $10,000 worth of credit across all of your credit cards, let’s say you have five credit cards and you have a $2,000 limit on all of them. That means your total credit is 10 grand, if you have $4,000, in, in balance, so 4000 spread across five cards, I’m not capable of doing that math, ever, even if you gave me a calculator probably would be able to figure that out. You’re at 40% of your utilization. If you had 3000 across the five, then you’re at that 30% Bring it down below 3000. If at all possible, of course yes, pay it all off, I get it, you get it.

But that’s another way to reduce or rather to improve your credit score which will potentially have the impact the of reducing your APR. You’re also rewarded for the length of credit you’ve had. So how old your credit is, which is just demonstrating that you are a good steward of credit. If you’ve been able to maintain these accounts for a long period of time, you are rewarded for it. So that’s one of the one of the variables one of the bogeys that goes into your credit score utilization, paying your bills on time, and how long you have been using credit. So if you’ve got an old account and old credit account that it’s has a 0% as has no balance on it, should you keep it or should you pay it off. Well if there’s no fee on the account, then go ahead and keep it just leave it there. If you have an old credit card that you’re not using, but you’re paying a fee on it well then you might want to consider getting rid of that card because the There’s no reason to pay for something that you are not using. So if you are in a position, we just keep going through all these ifs Janie, even though you asked me just to help you stop receiving credit card offers in the mail, but I feel like I’ve done that. So now I’m trying to provide extra value to you, you went out of your way to write this nice letter. So I’m going out of my way to give you additional information and more value to value explosion of value grenade just went off. And now we’re all covered in value. It’s amazing. Amazing. So, service of helping you do that if you do find yourself in a position where you say, You know what I’m interested in moving from financial literacy to financial wellness, I’m interested in getting out from underneath this credit card debt. I’m interested in being a good steward of my credit and moving in the direction of my dreams and not having them be trampled on because of this credit card debt. That follows me around everywhere I go, like a rain cloud. Stressed freaking out and paycheck to paycheck, blah, help. I know that’s not you, Jamie, I know you didn’t ask. But should you find yourself in that position? You’ve had it up to your eyeballs. With all of this, and you want to get out of your credit card debt once and for all, I have a good news, I have a good news, I have many good news is I have a variety of good news is available to you. I’ve got a course I put my money where my mouth is and my time and my resources to help you get to where you want to go. I created a course which you can access for free. It’s called get out of debt. It’ll walk you through the process of doing that you can access that at money, alignment, academy.com, money, alignment, academy.com, go to Courses, find the get out of debt course and be on your way. All right, meeting credit card debt is the worst. It’s very human to blame others for why it is that we are struggling, but usually it’s self inflicted. You know, it’s been said that when you point the finger at somebody else, you’ve got three other fingers, maybe even four, three and a thumb pointing back at you. That can’t be a mistake. When it? No, I spent a good amount of time in my 20s, which I just told you about a minute to go in and out of credit card debt. And again, I know how sucky it is and I know how hard it was to get out. But it was always always my fault. And not anybody else’s. Maybe it’s yours as well. We have very little control over the circumstances of our lives. But we have absolute control over how we think, feel and respond to those circumstances that little genie is a superpower. I think a lot and talk a lot about our MV ours our most valuable resources, assuming you are like me, and yours are finite, our most valuable resources, our time, attention, energy, and money. That’s what they are. They’re extremely valuable. They’re limited, they are finite. Therefore, I want to be a good steward of how I allocate and use them. Doesn’t mean I’m like a monk or a saint or I’m perfect. It’s okay to eff off. It’s okay to, to screw around, it’s okay to Netflix. And it’s okay to waste time it’s okay to blow money. But if I can get it 90%, right, and screw around for 10% of it. That’s way better than than any other ratio. there’s math involved there. But you’re smart, you’re keeping up. So because these things are finite, and because there are literal army of marketers, and algorithms and subscriptions and whatever, following us from device to device and listening and watching and paying super close attention and extracting our data, or data, somebody tells me if it’s data or data, we need to make good decisions. When we make good decisions, our life gets better. Not a game of perfect, but I can get better than I was yesterday, and then I’m just closer to the life that I really want. That sounds good. But how do I do it? Number one is you must decide what is of the greatest value to you. Not everything can be the most important thing. Not everything can be number one priority number one just can’t be. There’s only one thing that can be priority number one. And I don’t know how you feel about hierarchies. But this is an example where it’s important to have a hierarchy that at the top of our hierarchy, the things that are of greatest value and at the bottom are the things that are of the lowest value. So do you know what is of the greatest value? to you. So the first step in this is just understanding what you believe to be of the greatest value. And then you need to start paying closer attention, which is also known as fancy term, being mindful, paying attention. What’s going on when I want to buy stuff? am I buying stuff because I’m stressed because I’m sad because I’m mad because I’m bored, because I’m angry. So much of this comes down to how I feel. Again, I’m not making awesome decisions, because I know it’s a good idea. I’m making questionable decisions and sometimes bad, sometimes awful decisions. Because it feels like doing it. Some feeling bummed out, or I’m feeling sad, or just whatever. Okay? So pay attention what’s going on? When you’re purchasing and you’re buying stuff, be mindful, pay attention. Think about who it is. That is giving you the feelings or causing you or influencing you. Maybe that’s the term, you have agency, you’re in charge. But we are certainly acted on by outside forces. So asked to the who, what, when, where, how, why, who, what, when, where, why. Be an investigator, be a detective. We all like police shows and murder mysteries, and murder mystery podcasts. Like we love them. Those are some of the top shows. So we obviously want to investigate. So let’s turn that keen, investigative eye on ourselves for a little bit. So figure out what the circumstances are. What’s the fact pattern when you find yourself making stupid decisions with your money? Why are you doing that? And you only do this, if you want to change if you feel like things are going awesome. Just keep good going then buddy, just keep going all gas, no brakes. Let’s go. Well, for the rest of you that say you know what? Gosh, I could shirt do it’d be benefit me to start making less stupid decisions? less stupid decisions? Maybe that’s the maybe that’s the title of this episode. How to make less stupid decisions. Okay, maybe, then we want to make a plan. Do you know maybe it’s a simple thing. Like, let’s sleep on it before I make a buying decision. You know, it’s super awesome that I can just buy something with one click. And it shows up and I can put it in my mouth or put it on my head or put it wherever I can shove it somewhere immediately. And if it doesn’t, if it doesn’t fit, right, you know that I have the ability to return it oftentimes for free. What a time to be alive. Little Janie, do you even believe it? It’s possible though a little Jamie you were not around back when we had to actually go to the store. And if we didn’t have a receipt, we couldn’t return it everything else bla bla bla bla bla. But whatever isn’t working for you come up with a plan. Maybe wait 24 hours, wait 48 hours. And if you still really want it, you still really want to buy the thing if you must possess this thing. Well then do it. Least you gave yourself a little bit of time and potentially consider paying cash whenever it’s possible. Can you just pay cash?

Tell you what though. When you accept personal responsibility for a situation you make a plan for getting out of it. He put that plan to work, lots of virtuous things begin to happen. All kidding aside, little Janie, I believe you are perfectly capable of becoming financially successful of managing your credit and your credit cards and any credit card debt you may have. Once you do put your plan into action so many virtuous wonderful things are going to start happening. You will begin to develop self confidence and a strong belief in yourself you will make progress you will gain momentum you will learn you will start breaking bad habits creating good ones. And

Speaker 1 19:04
little Jamie that’s good. So Janie,

george grombacher 19:09
position yourself for success by reached out to the credit card companies take a hard look in the mirror and then get to work. Get to Work little Janie, friendly reminder. Never going to be anybody more interested in your financial success than you are. So

 

 

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