A pre-approval letter from any credit card company can feel exciting. After all, the word “pre-approved” must mean you’re already accepted into the loan, right? Actually, no. When you get a mailer that says you’re pre-approved for a credit card, the truth is, you’re only approved to apply for that card.
To really know what each advertisement is offering, you should read the fine print carefully. There, you’ll usually find that your information (mailing address, name, maybe even general credit rating) has been given to the creditor, and based on this preliminary data, they’re offering you the chance to apply for a line of credit.
Should You Apply?
Of course, the next question is whether you would benefit if you take the bait, and that’s a great question. Knowing what happens next can help you decide.
If you get a letter that says you’re pre-screened for a credit card, a different offer is being made. Somehow, a creditor has gotten your permission to do extensive research on your credit history, and has deemed you worthy of a new card. The offer is firm. And unless you’ve moved away or fraudulently altered your credit history somehow, the offer stands. It’s valid. But should you take it? That is a good question for your nonprofit credit counselor.
To Your Credit
There’s a lot of uncertainty around how handling credit cards can affect your financial future. Although, one thing is for sure --- doing your research diligently will always pay off in the long run.
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY