Is there a difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved on credit card offers?

I received a credit card offer that states that I am pre-qualified but I don’t know if that means the same as pre-approved and I don’t want them to run my credit unless I am certain that I will be approved. Then they say that balance transfers are at a fixed rate of 5.99 until 2013 but they don’t state the amount I would be accepted for except that it is for a “generous” amount. How do I know what they consider generous?

By | 2013-08-27T05:19:14+00:00 August 27th, 2013|Mortgages Home Loans Interest Rate|5 Comments

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  1. Sgt Big Red August 27, 2013 at 7:14 AM - Reply

    There is NO difference. You still have to fill out the application and send it in for approval. It’s mass mailing at it’s finest.

    There is no guarantee of getting the card. And if you send in the application, then they will pull your credit report in full, which means it is a “hard” hit, and too many of these can lower your score.

    If you really want the card and have a good credit report, then fill it out and send it in. But remember read all the fine print. Most of those offers start you will a low credit amount and some charge monthly or yearly fees just to have the card.

  2. bobby d August 27, 2013 at 6:57 AM - Reply

    You are right to be cautious. As I found out once – that’s just a “teaser” rate. Once they actually process your application they can come back and tell you that you have been approved, but at a higher rate. The problem is they can’t tell you what rate until you actually apply.

  3. Christina C August 27, 2013 at 6:54 AM - Reply

    “Pre-Qualification” or “Pre-Approval”.

    Best answer for you to be taken seriously – Pre-Approval trumps ALL other forms. This means you’ve actually APPLIED for and received loan approval. It means a formal application and all supporting documentation relative to your job, residence and savings have been verified. It means your full credit report has been retrieved and analyzed by an underwriter for layers of risk associated with carrying a mortgage. In essence, it means you have a “credit card” with a predetermined limit. It means you are a “cash buyer”. It means, you’ve done your homework and are considered GOLD in the eyes of anyone you present an offer to purchase to. You have reversed the tables and are now in control. NOT the seller, NOT the agent and NOT anyone else. You have the “thing” everyone wants. When you have what everyone wants, you’re the boss.

    So, what then is “Pre-Qualification”? AKA a “PQ”.

    Toilet paper. Garbage. Refuse. $1.00 a gallon gasoline.

    A PQ is nothing more than a piece of paper issued by who knows, which states you’ve been interviewed by a “lender” or “Loan officer” and they’ve looked at your income and you’ve told them of your expenses and based on their calculations, you qualify for a loan of “X” dollars. No credit report. No job or savings verifications. No professional underwriter.

  4. Sharon F August 27, 2013 at 6:40 AM - Reply

    there is a difference

    pre-qualified basically means nothing and they are not guaranteed to approve you

    pre-approved means that “AT THE TIME” they screened your credit file, you met their requirements for approval

    the catch is “AT THE TIME”….your score may have gone up or down since they screened your credit

    but it’s likely that you will get approved if you get a pre-approved letter


  5. gr82cu August 27, 2013 at 5:58 AM - Reply

    There is no difference. They don’t know that you are accepted into the credit card of theirs until they run your credit, they are just using different terms as marketing.

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