once you submit an actual application though, you give the circuit board issuer permission to check your credit, which is called a hard inquiry ( or “ hard pull ” ). This can sometimes result in a slender ding to your credit score, which is why it ‘s recommended you only apply for a credit circuit board every six months. Applying for many cards at once is a red flag to issuers and can have a bigger impingement on your credit score .
How to pre-qualify for a credit card
Using a pre-screened offer
You may receive target offers in the mail or via electronic mail saying you ‘ve been “ pre-screened ” or “ pre-selected to apply ” for a credit calling card. These offers typically provide an invitation code that you enter on the tease issuer ‘s web site and a date when the offer expires. These offers can help you kick-start the recognition card search work, but you should however compare other cards to find the best fit for your needs. A pre-screened offer may seem tempting because it ‘s personalized, highlights the main perks of the batting order and is time-sensitive. That does n’t necessarily make it the best choice of accredit card for your life style, however. As with any fiscal product, you should do your research and make sure the card is a effective match for you before submitting an application .
Using the card issuer’s website
many card issuers provide pre-qualification links where you can check if you may qualify for a credit wag. When you click on the radio link, there ‘s a statement that says checking your qualification chances does not affect your credit score. These on-line forms typically ask for your mention, address and the last four digits of your social security number. At the end of the form, there is besides a disavowal that you need to acknowledge that expresses this is not an official application and if you submit an application, your credit will be pulled.
here are some calling card issuers that provide pre-qualification forms :
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Credit One
Does pre-qualification mean approval?
Pre-qualification is not a guarantee of approval. There ‘s a opportunity you ‘ll pre-qualify for a calling card and even be denied during the official application process. A pre-qualification human body only provides the lender with partial information. If you decide to submit an actual application, lenders will receive a more holistic word picture of your finances. multiple factors, such as your monthly house requital and use status, are taken into consideration .
What to do if you pre-qualify
When you submit a pre-qualification form, you ‘ll typically receive several credit wag offers that you have good approval odds for. Once you choose an offer, you still need to submit an official application. here are two steps to take after you pre-qualify for a card :
- Compare credit cards. Pre-qualification is a great way to shop around for the best credit card offers without hurting your credit score. We recommend submitting multiple pre-qualification requests so you can compare the fees, rewards and added perks to find the card that provides the most value for your needs.
- Submit an official application. Once you decide which card is the best fit, submit an official application. You’ll typically receive a decision immediately, though it can take longer in some cases. If you’re approved, great! If you’re denied, you can submit an application for one of the other cards you were pre-qualified for.
What to do if you don’t pre-qualify
If you were denied, it ‘s not the end of the world — you still have options. After all, pre-qualification only looks at separate of your finances. An official credit card application provides the lender with more information on your fiscal situation. here are some actions you can take if you did n’t pre-qualify for a wag :
- Apply for the card anyway. While this is an option, you most likely have slim chances of approval. Still, an official application takes more factors into consideration, such as income and employment status, which may improve your odds. Just beware that each application you submit results in a hard credit inquiry and may lower your credit score by a few points.
- Try to pre-qualify for different cards. If you were denied pre-qualification by one card issuer, try another and you may have better luck. Since it doesn’t hurt your credit score, you can submit multiple pre-qualification forms to increase the chances you’ll pre-qualify.
- Improve your credit. Take some time to work on raising your credit score. Practice responsible credit behavior, such as making on-time payments and using a small amount of your credit. If you don’t have a credit card yet, ask a family member with good credit if they’ll add you as an authorized user. This allows you to piggyback off their positive credit. After you’ve seen improvements in your credit score, try to pre-qualify again.
- Consider applying for a secured card. If you don’t have much credit history and are struggling to get approved for a credit card, another option is signing up for a secured card. With a secured card, you put down a deposit (typically $200) and have access to a credit limit up to that amount. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card, for example, requires at least a $200 deposit, but you have the opportunity to earn rewards while building credit. Starting at seven months from account opening, Discover will automatically review your credit card account to see if they can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit. This takes the guesswork out of wondering when you’ll qualify for an unsecured credit card.
- Prequalified vs preapproved: What you need to know about your approval chances for a credit card
- Here’s who’s eligible for a credit card and what factors card issuers consider when you apply
For rates and fees of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, cluck here. Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select column staff ’ randomness alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third gear party .