There are two ways you can qualify for Discover pre-approval: You can either proactively check which credit cards you pre-qualify for using Discover’s free online tool, or you could receive a pre-approved Discover offer in the mail.
There’s a good chance you’ll be pre-approved for at least one Discover card, as Discover has cards for people of all credit levels. But it’s important to remember that pre-approval does not actually guarantee you’ll get a card. Your odds will be very high, but there’s a reason “pre” comes before “approval” with this type of offer. So let’s talk about not only how to get pre-approved, but also how to actually seal the deal.
Here’s how Discover pre-approval works:
- You receive an offer. Discover has an easy online form that will immediately let you know which offers you pre-qualify for, if any. Using this tool won’t hurt your credit score in any way. You could also get a pre-approved offer in the mail.
- You fill out an application. If you got an offer by mail, you can fill out the included application and send it back to Discover. You can also enter your invitation number online.
- Discover evaluates you. You’re likely to be approved, but it’s possible you could be denied after a more thorough look at your information. If you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card within 7-10 business days.
Although pre-approval itself is an automatic process, there are ways to improve your chances of qualifying. And they’re all very easy to do:
- Make sure you never opted out. Anyone can opt out of receiving pre-approved credit card offers at OptOutPrescreen.com. But if you want to receive a Discover pre-approval offer, you’ll have to either remain opted in – the default option – or opt back in.
- Confirm your address is correct. Do this both by calling the postal service and by looking at your credit report to make sure the credit bureaus have it right. If your information isn’t up to date, offers naturally can’t reach you.
- Improve your credit. The better your financial situation is, the more likely you are to get pre-approved for some kind of credit card. WalletHub has some easy tips for improving your credit score to help you get started.
- Pay down debt. Your disposable income helps determine whether you can afford a new credit card. So the less money you owe to other people, the more you can afford to spend paying credit card bills. Making a plan to reduce your debt will help you get more offers in the future.
Remember, pre-approval does not mean guaranteed approval. It just means the credit card issuer thinks you’d be a good candidate to apply, based on a brief initial look at your credit history.
Your odds of officially getting approved will be very good. But upon further inspection of your borrowing profile, the issuer may discover something that gives it pause. If you’re denied, you may want to think about putting a deposit on a secured credit card while you work on improving your credit standing.