One of the best ways to avoid credit card debt is to not acquire any more credit cards. Just stop charging, and do not accept any credit card offers. This seems simple enough, but if you're receiving phone calls at dinner time from telemarketers and an influx of "pre-approved" credit card offers in your mailbox or your email inbox, the temptation is there, staring you in the face, begging you to sign up.
Americans suffering from the credit crunch are in such overwhelming debt that they are particularly seeking debt-relief options such as debt consolidation, debt settlement, and in the worst cases – bankruptcy.
The first, and most obvious, step to avoiding debt is to not accept more credit cards that allow you to charge yourself all the way to bankruptcy. Here are a few tips on how to avoid unsolicited credit card offers and keep temptation at bay.
There is a way to get rid of telemarketers' phone calls. In June of 2003, the federal government set up a "Do Not Call" list. If you sign up for this list, telemarketers are legally required to remove you from their call lists. This list has been so successful that in its first year there were 63 million subscribers, which has blossomed to 149 million today.
This new law has been successful in keeping the phone quieter at dinner time although it has not been a complete success. Some companies are not obeying the new law. However companies who do not adhere to the law face citations and or enforcement actions.
Additionally, companies with whome you have a prior relationship, politicians, survey takers and charities are not required to remove you from their call lists.
Register or re-register your phone number at DoNotCall.gov. Numbers registered in 2003 will expire in the summer of 2008, so if you wish to stay on the list, be sure to re-register by next summer.
You can "opt out" of credit card offers filling your mailbox by contacting the company directly. Or, you can visit this website, or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.
For other junk mail, visit the Direct Marketing Association's website to have your name removed from its members' mailing lists. It will cost you $ 1, but it can cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive.
It can be difficult to turn down a new credit card offer. So, place yourself in a position that keeps you from having to make the choice – do not even get the offer.