Pre-approved Offers

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by rick, May 8, 2000.

  1. rick

    rick Well-Known Member

    Can someone explain pre-approved offers? When someone receives a "pre-approved" credit application, doesn't that mean that the card issuer is obligated to offer you some type of credit line?
  2. Eric

    Eric Guest

    Sort of.

    99% of the time they will. All offers I have seen have an escape clause that says they don't have to issue it if your credit changes out of their criteria parameters since they sent you the offer.

    Usually they will just give you an absurdly low limit if they don't like what they see when they actually pull the report.
  3. Steven Z

    Steven Z Guest

    At one time "pre-approved" really meant pre-approved until some of the shadier banks tried to weasel out of that and got busted by the post office for what amounted to mail fraud. So they resorted to what they usually do and that is to pay off congress to basically loosen in 'truth in advertising' as far as credit offers are concerned.

    On the letter, a true pre-approval offer is required by law to have text informing the consumer that their consumer credit report was used in conjunction with the
    pre-approval offer. It also must list the number to the credit bureau(s) that supplied the information in case the consumer would like to opt out of future offers.

    Now the majority of offers should by right called "pre-selected" or "pre-qualified" which could be literally pinpointed to specific areas of a town where demographic information has revealed that this is a well off area to mass mailed to the whole country. These offers aren't worth the the paper their written as filling out the form guarantees you nothing but another negative inquiry on your credit report. These mailings should be stamped for what they are which is JUNK MAIL and you know what to do with that.

    Now as for pre-approved this usually means that they have purchased the list from some data or marketing firm or from the Credit Reporting Agencies with the criteria "anybody without a bankruptcy" or some other variation. Naturally the more "prestigious" cards use a more selective criteria such as no 30 day lates, no public records, sufficient number of tradelines, a credit history of minimum X amount of years, a good credit to balance ratio, the variables are endless.

    You'll find by and large that the more prestigious creditors such as Discover will more than likely make a bona fine offer though this by no means is a hard and fast rule as many here have discovered upon being declined for reasons and codes that must have obviously come from a hat as they have no basis in reality.

    Again the key thing is right there in the 'very small print' have the notation that the credit report was used in conjunction with the offer. If you don't see that trash it.

    Furthermore, as Eric points out many of the worst creditors state that your credit offer may be anywhere from X% to XX% with assorted fees and having a grace period and that you will not know which until AFTER you have sent in your application. I consider this a particularly odious method as the experience has conclusively demonstrated here and other credit sites that the card you'll wind up being sent you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.
  4. Momof3

    Momof3 Well-Known Member

    Sorry but i don't think it is 99% of the time. A preapproval only means you meet the general credit criteria, meaning no BKS no judgements etc. It does not mean guarantee a
    approval, and I'm sure most would agree here.
    Like Eric said read the fine print, I have had several preaprovals and have been denied.
    If you have some negative credit, you may want to wait b/c it will be a wasted inquiry. you might want to check the link about pre approvals at, it will explain it better than me!
  5. RichGuy

    RichGuy Guest

    I have had experiences that indicate the definition of "preapproved" has actually been tightened up a bit. My Capital One, Providian, and Texaco/Associates offers were all preapproved, and I received each card with fair but not great credit. Of course, the limits were fairly low, and the Capital One limit absurdly so.($200) Each of these offers asked for very little employment information. I don't think any of them called my employer. Providian has never ever inquired about my income, relying solely on the credit report prescreen. As others have mentioned, a real preapproval states that you already met certain criteria and will be approved if you continue to meet them.
    In contrast, a preapproval used to mean that they had simply decided to ask you to apply. The offer comes before the approval, hence you had been "preapproved" because they had completed a step that could lead to approval. I believe that we actually see less of this particular trick, from reputable banks that is. I used to get offers all the time from magazine mailing lists. Forbes readers get a lot of offers. I received gold card offers that were "preapproved" ten years ago, and it meant nothing. Now it seems to mean quite a bit.
  6. Yigal

    Yigal Guest

    Actually I've gotten pre approved offers in alias names, with NO credit histories (or social security#s for that matter). Alot of it is on socio-economic/racial profiling, I hate to say. In other words, all my names were Anglo sounding and the areas were the "rich" or at least "nicer" areas. (maildrops no less, which are usually redlights).

    Just for fun I filled out a few, made up a a SS# for each, and mailed them in. Needless to say, all were declined.
  7. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I got a Cap One card two months ago with a $200 limit. I called them up and told them to cancel it, and they immediately boosted it to $500.

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