Your Discover card approval odds depend mostly on your credit, income, existing debt obligations and, of course, which Discover credit card you have your eye on. Most Discover cards require good credit or better for approval. But the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is available to people with bad credit, and there’s a pair of student cards that don’t require prior credit experience. In any case, like with any other credit card, there are no guarantees that one will get approved when applying.
The best ways to estimate your approval odds are to check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub and use Discover’s online tool to see which cards you’re pre-approved for. Getting pre-approved means you have good chances of being approved for an account when you officially apply. And neither checking your own credit score nor getting pre-approved will hurt your credit.
Plus, if you don’t like what you learn about your approval odds, there are plenty of ways to boost your chances. We’ll highlight the most important below.
Here’s how to check & improve your Discover card approval odds:
1. See if you’re pre-approved. Being pre-approved means you’ve already met a lot of Discover’s requirements based on a harmless soft check of your credit. If you get preapproved for a card, there’s a good chance that you’ll be approved when you apply. You can check online to see if there are any Discover cards you’re likely to be approved for. This way, you can make sure to apply for a card only if your odds of approval are good.
2. Apply for cards with lower requirements. Discover it® Secured Credit Card has a good rate of approval because it’s meant for people with bad credit looking to rebuild. You’ll just have to put down a security deposit that acts as your credit line. Or if you’re a student, you could go for Discover it® Student Cash Back or Discover it® Student chrome, which both offer good approval odds for people with limited credit. The rest of Discover’s cards require at least good credit for approval.
3. Work on your credit. A few months of on-time bill payments, low credit utilization, and debt reduction can do wonders for your credit standing. WalletHub’s free personalized credit analysis can tell you where to start and what needs to be done.
4. Don’t apply en masse. Applying for numerous credit cards at one time does not boost your overall approval odds. Rather, it hurts your chances by causing a temporary decline in your credit score.
Discover card approval may happen instantly when you apply. But if Discover requires additional information, it can sometimes take up to 30 days to receive a decision by email. Your card should arrive 3-9 business days after you’re approved.