Your Less-Crowded Mailbox

If you dislike finding your mailbox stuffed with offers for credit cards, you’re likely enjoying one consequence of the economy’s current travails. The credit crunch has brought a sharp decline in the number of offers mailed out by credit-card companies, according to a Synovate report.

In the first quarter of this year, the number of such solicitations received by U.S. households was down 18 percent from the figure for first-quarter 2007 — though at 1.13 billion mailings, it still entailed felling whole forests. The Synovate report says cutbacks in offers to low-income households have driven the overall decline.

Looking at direct mail for financial services in general, a separate report by Mintel notes a 13 percent decline in the first quarter of 2008 vs. first-quarter 2007 in mailings from banking, credit-card, investment and mortgage-and-loan companies. The fall-off was steepest in the credit-card category, with the mortgage-and-loan sector a runner-up.