To receive a pre-approved credit card, applicants must submit the application form enclosed with the offer of credit sent by the credit card company. Even though applicants receive a pre-approved credit card offer, creditors may decline to issue credit after thorough credit history checks.
Before sending pre-approved credit card offers, creditors contact credit reporting agencies to request lists of potential applicants within specific credit score ranges. Creditors may also provide lists of potential applicants to reporting agencies to determine which applicants meet the minimum credit score requirements.
To qualify for pre-approved credit card offers, applicants must meet additional approval criteria, such as remaining in good standing with other creditors and lenders. Applicants must avoid negative financial situations, such as a bankruptcy or a tax lien, for approval as well. Specific approval criteria varies depending on the creditor and the credit card offer. For example, based on credit report information, certain credit offers may be sent to those with good credit, those with poor credit or those trying to establish credit.
After receiving pre-approval credit applications, creditors request in-depth credit reports from credit reporting agencies. With each request, an applicant's credit score falls temporarily. To avoid significant credit card score decreases, applicants should contact credit card companies prior to applying for a pre-approved credit card to determine the criteria necessary for approval and if they meet the criteria.