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Prequalify for credit cards without affecting your credit score

Find out your chances of credit card approval before you apply.

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Some credit card providers let you find out whether you qualify for certain credit cards without affecting your credit score. This is an excellent feature because you can prequalify for multiple credit cards and apply for the one where your chances of approval are highest. Here’s how to prequalify depending on your card provider.

How to prequalify for a credit card

The process varies between card providers, but in general, here’s how to request prequalification:

  1. Visit the provider’s prequalification page.
  2. Fill out the application form with your personal information.
  3. Choose a credit card you wish to prequalify for, if possible.
  4. Review the form and submit.

Click any company logo below to find out more details on how the prequalification process works with that provider.

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What is prequalification?

Credit card prequalification is a process where the card provider determines whether you qualify for their card products. This is done with a soft pull on your credit, not a hard pull.

What’s the difference between prequalification and preapproval for credit cards?

A common difference between prequalification and preapproval is in how thorough the provider has checked your finances. During a prequalification, a provider typically just looks at your basic finances and may perform a soft pull on your credit score. Think of a prequalification as an invitation from the provider to see if you’re more qualified.

The preapproval process tends to look at more details of your finances and may prove a better indication of your approval odds. Preapproval offers are also often sent by the provider to the consumer, rather than the consumer seeking out their prequalification offers. Either way, neither prequalification or preapproval guarantees you’ll actually qualify for the card.

Some providers tend to use these terms interchangeably as well, so don’t sweat it if you get a prequalified offer instead of a preapproval offer or vice versa.

Why prequalification doesn’t affect your credit score

When you apply for a credit card, the card provider will make a hard pull on your credit, which will cause your credit score to drop by around five points.

On the other hand, prequalification has no effect on your credit score because the card issuer makes a soft pull on your credit. Consider this a simple glance at your credit score that helps the card issuer determine if you’re a good fit for a certain credit card.

Check your prequalification

The CardMatch tool below can help you identify which cards you prequalify for. Click on See offer below to get started.

Bottom line

Prequalification can be a powerful tool when looking to acquire new credit cards without affecting your credit score. Keep in mind, each card provider has its own prequalification process, so make sure you compare all credit cards until you find the right card for your needs.

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