Being pre-qualified for a credit card means the issuer has done a soft pull of your credit history and concluded that you are a good fit. It also means you have an 80%+ chance of acceptance if you decide to apply for the card in question. It’s very similar to pre-approval in those regards. The main difference is who makes the first move. If a credit card company sends you an offer, it’s probably pre-approval. But if you check yourself, on an issuer’s website or by visiting a branch, it’s pre-qualification. However, the distinction is small enough that people often use the terms interchangeably.
Some issuers let you check of pre-qualification online, while others only send offers in the mail. And if you don’t want to get offers, you can opt not to receive them at OptOutPrescreen.com But prequalification can be a big help in choosing which card to apply for, since it helps you limit applications to your most likely options.
Here’s what getting pre-qualified for a credit card means for you:
American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, and Discover all let you check for prequalification online. You’ll need to provide your full name and Social Security number. You may also have to provide your birthday and home address. You’ll then be shown which cards (if any) you prequalify for, along with an application link.
If you get a pre-approved offer in the mail, it will come with a code that you can use to respond to the offer on the credit card company’s website. But they’ll also send you a paper application that you can fill out and mail back if you prefer.
Whether you’re pre-approved or pre-qualified, you still need to apply, and you aren’t guaranteed acceptance. But you do have a very strong chance.
Getting pre-qualified for a credit card means you can apply knowing that you probably aren’t wasting a hard inquiry on a long shot. And if you sign up for WalletHub, you’ll get personalized credit analysis with card recommendations tailored to suit your circumstances as well.
Being pre-qualified or pre-approved for credit card offers typically means that the credit card issuer has determined that you meet certain criteria by doing a soft credit check, which doesn’t impact your credit. It basically says that the bank believes you’re a good candidate for the credit card, but it doesn’t mean you’re automatically approved.
Prequalified means you've got a better shot at getting approved for one particular credit card. It doesn't mean you're sure to get it, but it does mean your odds are pretty good.
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