What is a prequalified offer?
Prequalified offers are how credit poster issuers let you know that you ’ ve met their initial criteria for approval before you apply for a card. You can check for prequalified offers on many issuers ’ websites, or you may receive prescreened credit tease offers in the mail that have been put together by issuers in partnership with credit chest of drawers. Since they only trigger a “ soft ” pull of your credit report and have no impingement on your credit score, prequalified offers can help you get a sense of your approval odds without putting your credit score at gamble. You ’ ll only face a “ hard ” pluck if you submit a formal card application. While it ’ sulfur no guarantee of approval, getting a prequalified offer for a given circuit board means you have very good odds of being approved should you apply .
What’s the difference between prequalification and preapproval?
The deviation between prequalification and preapproval may be unvoiced to decipher as they are frequently used interchangeably. however, there are some flimsy differences between the two that are deserving noting. Prequalification normally refers to a less formal screen that looks at your basic credit history and other personal information. Preapproval typically results from a formal prescreening on the issuer ’ mho side and could signal the highest blessing odds an issuer can offer without pulling your credit. Neither offer will affect your credit score nor do they guarantee approval .
3 ways to see if you prequalify for a credit card
- Prescreened offers via the mail. Prescreened offers show up in your mailbox because lenders are working to identify consumers who qualify for certain credit products. If you choose to apply for a credit card offer after receiving a prescreened offer in the mail, you’re likely to get approved, however it is not guaranteed. Be sure to make sure the offer is legitimate. If you don’t recognize the issuer, do some online research before applying.
- Check to see if you are prequalified online. A few third party sources, including Bankrate’s CardMatch, offer online tools for consumers to check to see if they prequalify for any offers from the site’s partners. Once again, there is no guarantee you will be approved once you formally apply.
- Go directly to the issuer. If you already have an idea of what issuer you would like to bank with, go directly to the source. Many of the mainstream credit card issuers offer prequalification tools on their sites. However, we will get more into the specifics here shortly.
Use CardMatch to compare your prequalified offers today
Along with keeping an eye out for prescreened poster offers in the mail and checking issuer sites, you can take advantage of third-party prequalification tools like CardMatch to search for cards that fit your goals and credit rating profile. The key advantage of CardMatch is that it allows you to streamline your search by reviewing prequalified offers across poster types, credit tiers and issuers, all in one place. You ’ ll barely need basic information like your name, address, e-mail address and the last four digits of your Social Security number. once you create an bill, you ’ ll see a list of matched offers from Bankrate issuer partners, which include American Express, Chase, Credit One Bank and more. You may flush qualify for exclusive or limited-time special offers .
How to boost your chances of scoring a prequalified credit card offer
Issuers typically consider factors like credit score and history, income and debt obligations when screening customers for prequalified offers, with many offering an array of products for different types of customers and stages of credit-building. And while each issuer—indeed, each individual card—has its own approval requirements, there are a few basic steps you can take to improve your odds of getting a prequalified propose .
Pay on time
One of the beginning and most authoritative steps you can take to improve your credit profile and your approval odds is to keep up with payments on your existing accounts. payment history makes up a whopping 35 percentage of your FICO citation score, thus if you have any payments outstanding or have recently been late paying your credit cards, retail accounts, episode loans or other bills, be certain to pay on time, every time going forward. While you can try out prequalification tools with no impact to your credit score, repairing credit damaged by recently payments takes time, so you may want to hold off on actually applying for new cards while you work to establish a incontrovertible lead record. You can ’ thymine easily undo the negative impact of former late payments, but several months of on-time payments can go a retentive way toward improving your score and showcasing your creditworthiness .
Keep card balances low
Another cardinal step is to pay down vitamin a much of your existing menu balances as you can—and to pay them off completely if possible. That ’ sulfur because credit rating utilization —the come of money you ’ ve borrowed relative to your total available credit—is one of the biggest credit scoring factors, accounting for 30 percentage of your FICO recognition grade. additionally, gamey credit utilization that ’ s negatively affecting your score can be resolved within just a few weeks, while the credit impact of missteps like recently payments or bankruptcy can take years to fade. While you should aim for a depleted a credit utilization proportion as possible, a good principle of thumb is to try for a proportion of 30 percentage or less. In other words, if you have a total recognition terminus ad quem of $ 10,000, aim to keep your card balances below $ 3,000. To promptly determine your current ratio, check out Bankrate ’ s credit use proportion calculator .
Check your credit report
If you aren ’ thymine getting a prequalified crack on the card of your dreams, it ’ randomness worth requesting a free replicate of your credit report and reviewing it to get a better common sense of where you stand. not only will this allow you to see any negative items that may be holding you back and better focus your credit rating rectify efforts, but you may besides come across credit report errors that need to be disputed. Credit report errors are all excessively common, and you may even find you ’ ve been a victim of identity imposter .
Improve your credit with more accessible products
If your credit rating score is in pugnacious form or you have a limited citation history, many of the prequalified offers you ’ ll experience will carry coarse terms and high fees. These alleged “ fee-harvester ” cards often do more damage than effective. alternatively of going with whatever issuer will have you, it ’ randomness judicious to take your time to build or rebuild your recognition with a safe option, like a no annual fee secured card or a credit-builder loan. These options are typically easily to qualify for, relatively humble cost and, in the subject of secured cards, sometimes offer you a prospect to upgrade to an unbarred product after you ’ ve demonstrated responsible use .
Update your income
While income is not included in your credit report, it can still be a factor when it comes to getting prequalified card offers. Card applications about always ask for your income when you apply, but you can besides update your income with wag issuers voluntarily once you become a customer. If your income has increased since you first became a customer of your current card issuer, updating it may get you more prequalified offers for higher-tier cards .
Prequalified credit card offers by issuer
Each issuer approaches prequalification in its own way, with some giving applicants an easy direction to check for prequalified offers across cards and others only featuring this option on choice cards or via prescreened offers they put together themselves. Prequalification tools typically ask for basic information such as your name, Social Security number, income and employment condition to determine your eligibility. here ’ s a spirit at how some of the major issuers handle prequalification .
Chase offers prequalification on entirely a choice few of its cards. You can check for a prequalified offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® using the issuer ’ s on-line tool, but you ’ ll have to hold out for a target offer on most early cards.
To use the Chase prequalification joyride, you ’ ll need your first and last name, street address, city, submit and zip code code, american samoa well as the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you don ’ triiodothyronine find any prequalified offers from Chase it ’ s likely because your credit profile doesn ’ metric ton match the requirements, you ’ ve recently applied for or received a Chase card or you ’ ve opened five or more tease accounts in the last 24 months ( a disqualifier per Chase ’ s “ 5/24 ” rule ) .
American Express besides offers a prequalification cock on its web site, with a robust tilt of cards eligible, including the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express. not merely will the Amex instrument get you know whether you ’ re prequalified for a given circuit board based on your credit profile, but you may besides find you ’ re eligible for a personalize offer, such as a higher welcome offer or lower APR. To try out the tool, you ’ ll need your name, address, travel rapidly code, city and country, adenine well as the stopping point four digits of your Social Security number. You can besides provide your sum annual income and non-taxable annual income ; while it ’ south knowing to include them to ensure Amex has the most accurate movie of your fiscal profile, both of these items are optional. You can besides find particular “ Just for You ” offers on individual card land pages, then if you prequalify for a card, it ’ mho worth checking out that card in a private browse windowpane to ensure you ’ re apply for the highest possible offer. final year American Express launched a number of preapproved offers through Bankrate ’ s CardMatch tool. In accession to improving your blessing odds, there ’ sulfur another argue to check CardMatch for Amex cards. For exemplify, there are reports of some CardMatch users getting offers for 125,000 or 150,000 welcome offer points alternatively of the current offer of 100,000 points for the American Express Platinum wag .
Like Amex and Chase, Capital One offers a prequalification tool on its web site that lets you see cards you may qualify for with no impingement to your credit score. unfortunately, the Capital One prequalification tool presently entirely lets you check your eligibility for three of its cards—the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Credit Card and the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card —all of which are geared toward credit-builders or those with a fair credit score. If you have your center on a higher-tier capital One tease, you ’ ll have to accept a hard question and submit a ball application. To use the Capital One prequalification tool, you ’ ll need a spot more information than is required by some other sites. Along with the basics like identify, date of parentage and address, this tool requires your e-mail address, primary phone count, full moon Social Security phone number, employment status, full annual income, monthly rent or mortgage requital and which types of bank accounts you have .
Bank of America
Bank of America besides offers a prequalification tool on its web site, and if you already have a recognition wag or banking kinship with the issuer, you can get customized card offers by plainly signing into your account. differently, you ’ ll need to provide your name, date of give birth, address, city, submit, energy code and the last four digits of your Social Security number. You ’ ll besides be asked what you ’ rhenium looking for in a recognition card and, if you have a preference, can choose from cash rewards, travel rewards, points rewards, a lower sake pace and credit-building. once you submit your information, you ’ ll get a list of cards you ’ re prequalified for, with a top recommendation based on your credit profile and favored calling card type. Bank of America offers a broad range of cards for prequalification, including the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit poster, Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit wag and BankAmericard® accredit circuit board ( secured and unguaranteed versions alike ). Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit poster last updated on January 14, 2022 .
Wells Fargo is one of the few issuers that doesn ’ triiodothyronine offer prequalification with lone a easy inquiry. If you ’ re in the commercialize for a Wells Fargo tease and want to protect your score, you ’ ll want to do your inquiry about each card ’ sulfur credit requirements and take your chances with a formal application, or hold out for a target offer or menu invitation via mail or e-mail .
Discover besides lets you check for prequalified offers on its web site with no shock to your credit score. You ’ ll need to provide quite a bite of information, however, including your name, address, date of parentage, highest level of department of education, sum annual crying income, monthly housing requital, whether you rent or own, bank accounts owned and full Social Security number. The form, like Bank of America ’ sulfur, besides lets you choose your preferable card benefit, whether that ’ s cash spinal column, travel rewards or a symmetry transfer put up. You typically have one week to claim any Discover prequalified offers you receive. If you aren ’ t prequalified for any of Discover ’ second cards, the issuer will give you a reason and allow you to check again in eight days .
Credit One Bank
Credit One Bank specializes in cards for people with poor credit, but some of its cards require a higher sexual conquest. The issuer features a soft rend prequalification tool on its web site and besides lets you check for prequalified Credit One offers via Bankrate ’ s CardMatch creature. If you try out Credit One ’ south tool, you ’ ll need to provide your list, address, e-mail address, telephone total, full Social Security number, date of parentage and total monthly income ( be careful not to enter your annual income here ).
After submitting your information, Credit One directs you to a page that gives you the option of getting a preapproval decision immediately or via mail .
The bottom line
Whenever potential, try to prequalify for a new credit card before you apply. It costs nothing, has no impact to your credit score and is normally a easy as entering in a few bits of personal information and click “ submit. ” Prequalification will not entirely give you a good sense of your chances before you apply but may besides allow you to score a better sign-up bonus or APR. That said, barely because you prequalify doesn ’ triiodothyronine mean you need to apply. Be selective with your new batting order applications, as excessively many unvoiced inquiries and besides many new accounts can hurt your credit score and keep you from qualifying for other cards in the future. And if the wag you ’ re after doesn ’ metric ton offer prequalification, be indisputable to read up on its credit requirements and check where you stand before you put your score at risk .