Whether or not you will get approved for a credit card depends on what kind of credit card you apply for, your credit history, and how much income you have relative to any debt you owe. The most reliable way to tell whether you’ll be approved for a credit card is to check for pre-qualification with the bank or credit union that issues the card. Most major credit card issuers will let you see which cards you’re likely to qualify for by entering some personal information into an online form (usually name, address, and Social Security number). You can also go into a branch and ask what cards you pre-qualify for, or you might even receive pre-approved credit card offers in the mail.
If you want the highest credit card approval odds, you could simply apply for one of the easiest credit cards to get. You’ll know you’re almost guaranteed to get approved if you apply for a secured credit card, for example, especially one with no credit check. So you can be pretty confident in finding some decent credit card to approve you, but you’ll never be absolutely certain that you’ll get approved for a specific credit card before you apply.
The easiest unsecured credit cards to get generally work best for minor emergencies. You will only receive a small amount of spending power, after all.
Unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit also tend to be very expensive, charging lots of fees and high interest rates. So, if you don’t need a small emergency loan, the best course of action is to improve your credit inexpensively with a secured card. Secured cards are cheaper than unsecured cards, build credit just as effectively, and offer the closest thing you’ll find to guaranteed approval.
It can take anywhere from less than a minute to a few weeks to get approved for a credit card. The amount of time depends on how you apply, how good your credit is relative to the requirements of the card, and whether the issuer can immediately verify your information. You could be … read full answerinstantly approved if you apply online and are obviously qualified. But if you don’t get instant approval, it’ll typically take at least 7-10 business days to hear back.
Here’s what affects how long it takes to get approved for a credit card:
The way you apply. You can apply for most credit cards by mail, by phone or online. If you apply by mail, that’s going to add an extra 1-7 days just for your application to get there. The other two methods both allow for instant approval.
Your credit and income. No credit card guarantees instant approval. You’ll only get it if you exceed the issuer’s credit, income and other requirements. If you’re right on the border of qualifying, the issuer will probably take longer to consider your application. The typical wait time is 7-10 business days, which translates to around two weeks.
Your personal info. You’ll need to enter details like your name, date of birth, address and Social Security number when you apply for any card. That information also is present on your credit reports, which the issuer will check during the approval process. If the information on your application doesn’t match the information on your report, or if it gets flagged as fraudulent, it will hold up the process until the issuer can verify your identity.
So the standard timeframe in which you can expect to be approved for a credit card and receive it by mail is approximately 3-4 weeks. If you’re not approved instantly, count on 7-10 business days for approval and 7-10 business days for delivery. And if you’re itching to get your card faster, don’t forget to ask the issuer about expedited delivery.
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