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Prequalify for credit cards for bad credit

See your credit card approval odds before you apply.


Fact checked

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A prequalification can be a useful process because you can see your chances of credit card approval without taking a hit on your credit. This can be especially useful if you can’t afford a ding on your credit and are looking for a credit card for bad credit.

Unfortunately, not every card provider offers prequalification for its products.

How to prequalify for a credit card for bad credit

  1. First, choose a credit card you’d like to apply for and visit the provider’s prequalification page.
  2. Next, fill out the prequalification form with personal information such as your name and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  3. When ready, submit.
  4. If you prequalify for a credit card, the provider will let you know.

Compare credit cards for bad credit you can prequalify for

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
1% cash back on all purchases on eligible purchases
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Official NASCAR® Credit Card from Credit One Bank®
Up to 1% cash back on eligible purchases determined by Credit One and double cash back at the NASCAR Shop
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
Get up to 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases determined by Credit One and double cash back rewards at the NASCAR Shop.
BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
22.99% variable
Helps establish, strengthen and even rebuild your credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

Benefits of prequalifying for a credit card for bad credit

Credit card prequalification is a useful financial tool because it allows you to:

  • See your approval odds.
    Knowing your approval odds means you can limit the cards you apply for to one that is most likely to approve your application.
  • Prequalify for multiple credit cards.
    Instead of applying for multiple credit cards and risk getting declined, you can see if you prequalify first. If you do, apply for the card that make the most sense for your financial situation.
  • Minimize the risk of hard pulls.
    Because prequalification only requires a soft pull, you won’t take a hit on your credit no matter how many prequalifications you request.

Soft pull vs. hard pull

When you request credit card prequalification, your card provider makes a soft pull on your credit. It’s a brief scan of your credit score that shows the card provider whether you are the right fit for their credit cards. A soft pull doesn’t affect your credit score at all, which is great news especially for those with bad credit.

But when you apply for the card, most providers will make a hard pull on your credit, which drops your credit score by around five points. Getting a single card application won’t make much of a difference, but if you apply for multiple cards, you can see a substantial hit on your credit.

Bottom line

If you have bad credit, consider requesting credit card prequalification before you apply for a credit card. This will show you the chances of credit card approval without affecting your credit score.

However, some credit cards let you apply without doing a credit check. Whichever path you choose, make sure you compare your credit card options and apply for the right card for your needs.

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