One of the most common questions I get asked is if there is a way to figure out what your odds of getting approved for a new credit are before you even attempt to apply and well I have the best thing we have available to us as consumers and that is called a pre-qualified offer.
A pre-qualified offer allows you to insert in a basic amount of personal information (sometimes even full SSN) and then they do a “soft pull” on your report and give you a decision on if they think you will be approved for their cards and list out which ones. Keep in mind that ALL pre-qualified offers do NOT pull a hard inquiry, just a soft pull.
Lastly getting a yes or offer of one or more cards on a pre-qualified offer does NOT guarantee you will in fact get the card (I would argue that most of them do mean you get the card, but have to say it). I personally have a process I use which does increase the odds considerably but use this more as a gauge vs a definitive decision.
How To Find Pre-Qualified Offers
The easiest way to find pre-qualified offers is to go to a bank website and look at the menu options under credit cards and see if they have an easy link to spot right there for checking your pre-qualified offers. You can also check if you are using Credit Karma or even Experian paid, has offers/recommendations which are usually pre-qual offers.
What Information Do They Ask For?
They usually ask for full name, address, phone, DOB and either last 4 of your SSN or full SSN, along with a few questions on what type of care you are looking for.
Pre-qualified Credit Card Offers
Here is the most complete list I have on pre-qualified offers…
- Capital One: (even business cards require personal guarantor and all 3 bureau hard hit) https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/prequalify/
- Bank Of America: https://secure.bankofamerica.com/secure-offers/public/customizedOffers
- Chase Bank: https://www.chase.com/prequalified
- American Express (hardest cards to get): https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/check-for-offers/
- Discover: https://www.discovercard.com/application/website/prequal
- CitiBank: https://www.citicards.com/cards/credit/application/flow.action?isInvitation=N&OC=CC-CITI-3D5&JFP_TOKEN=DB8LPDXV
- HSBC USA: https://www.us.hsbc.com/credit-cards/
- BB&T Bank (only works in 17 states): https://www.bbt.com/offers/checkOffers
- Regions Bank (only works in 15 states): https://apply.regions.com/creditcards/gettingstarted
- Merrick Bank: https://onlineoffer.merrickbank.com/
- Deserve EDU (college student card) https://www.deserve.com (link on main page to pre-qual)
- Goldman Sachs Personal Loans: https://www.marcus.com/us/en/personal-loans
- Prosper: https://prosper.com (I don’t think too highly of this company, they are all about numbers/metrics now, no relationship just keep pumping more people in)
- Lending Club: https://lendingclub.com (seems to be better than Prosper)
Personal loan and debt consolidation sites like Prosper and Lending Club do also allow pre-qualifications, the thing I would suggest here is if you get denied by them, DO NOT agree to the suggested site they give you, which will do another pre-qual. Most people don’t know this, those are sub-prime providers, aka high interest rates and horrible terms. It’s not even worth it.
Store cards are run by the following banks; Synchrony (116 store cards) Comenity (91 store cards), Barclays and a few by Capital One (Kohls, Walmart). Synchrony cards tend to not have a pre-qualification offer, Comenity cards do, depending on the store and many of them allow for a last 4 SSN only and don’t hard pull (Victoria’s Secret for example asks for last 4 SSN and still hard pulls) Best suggestion here is to look around the site completely, if you can’t find the credit card offer in the footer then try to add a few things to the shopping cart and go through part of the checkout process and see if they offer a credit card, if not then cancel cart as they don’t offer a pre-qualified offer.
Credit Unions/Small Banks
A lot of banks are relationship based so they will require you to first get a bank account setup with them and let a certain amount of time pass before they will start showing you personalized offers. You will usually see this once you login, it will be called something like special offers, offers for you, etc. Security Services Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, DCLU and even Chase bank all work this way. Now, not saying you couldn’t just got apply for a card with 0 account right now, but if your score is below 720, it helps to create a relationship first.