I’m referencing three web sites here that you may wish to visit, or revisit if you haven’t been there lately.
Let’s start with the Do Not Call Registry. It’s important to keep those telemarketers at bay. Note that if you did this when it first came online, you are about to expire. You need to re-register every five years. Yes, there is a bill before Congress to make registration permanent, but that’s not likely to get through, and why take the chance.? Besides, you probably have a few cell phone numbers which you haven’t put on there anyway. Don’t forget that registering will send you an email for every number registered, and you won’t be opted out until you click the confirmation link in every email you get.
When you’re done with that, head on over to the Opt Out Prescreen site. Registering here will dramatically cut down on the number of offers for credit cards, insurance, and other financial instruments which clog up your mailbox and expose you to risk for identity theft. Note that this site also lets you opt-in for these offers, but what psychotic actually does that and how bored are they?? Also note that this opt-out also only lasts 5 years. Apparently you can mail them something which will make it permanent, but I haven’t tried that.
Finally, if you haven’t checked your credit report in the last year, you should do that. Yeah, yeah, I know. Television is filled with ads that offer free reports that aren’t really so free, but this one actually is. It will show you your report from the 3 big agencies at no cost. The only catch is that you can only do this once per year. But it’s better than nothing. Note that you don’t get a score, just the report. But it will show you any negative history, what your status is with each creditor, and who has been requesting your credit report over the past few years. Be careful though. They will try to sell you things along the way, but you don’t need any special talent or luck to navigate your way to the free stuff.
You should be able to accomplish all three tasks in 30 minutes, and you’re probably going to waste that much time on the Internet anyway, so why not do something productive?