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How to boost your credit card approval odds

minute read

    It can feel intimidating to apply for a credit card, especially if you're unsure of the qualifying factors that lenders use to approve or decline someone. Perhaps you're also unsure of your credit score at the moment. If you've closed old credit cards or paid off debt in recent months, your credit score may have fluctuated.

    In this article, we'll share some ways to increase your odds of getting approved for a credit card. You'll learn:

    • How to increase your odds of getting approved for a Chase credit card
    • How to know if you'll qualify for a credit card
    • How to find out your credit score
    • What information you'll be asked to provide on a credit card application

    Do I qualify for a Chase credit card?

    Chase often sends credit card offers in the mail to prequalified or preapproved candidates. If you've received one of those offers, it's a good sign you qualify for a Chase credit card. A lack of card offers in your mailbox doesn't mean you don't qualify though. Preapproval offers can also be delivered by email or provided verbally through a phone call.

    A preapproval offer suggests you've passed the first step in the screening process. But remember—you can't actually be approved for the card unless you continue with the application process.

    How to increase approval odds for a Chase credit card

    It's easy to doubt your credit card approval odds when you don't have information about your credit health. Following a few simple steps can help you understand your credit and how lenders use it to make decisions. Knowing this information may help you to better understand which cards you're more likely to be approved for.

    Here are a few ways to increase your odds of being approved for a Chase credit card.

    Enroll in Chase Credit Journey®

    Credit Journey is a free resource offered by Chase for managing your credit score. It's a way to assist you on your journey to building and maintaining good credit—and you don't need to have a current relationship with Chase to get started. Here are a few benefits you'll get with Credit Journey:

    • Monitor your credit score without impacting your credit.
    • Get alerts when there are changes to your credit report.
    • Monitor your identity and receive alerts if your data is breached.
    • Get round-the-clock support.

    Learn more and enroll in Credit Journey today.

    Open a checking account

    There are several reasons why opening a checking account is a beneficial step to take before applying for a credit card. Not only does it make paying your bills much easier, but the account statements provide a record of activity during a certain time prior, so you can review your spending.

    Furthermore, because a checking account is often required to make credit card payments, having an account in your name before you apply may help your odds of approval. If you have a checking account, you may be more likely to receive prequalified offers for credit cards. A prequalified offer is based on a simple review of your information, called a soft inquiry, and therefore doesn't affect your credit. Keep in mind that having a prequalified offer does not mean you'll be automatically approved.

    Sign up for direct deposit

    Besides being a convenient way to receive your paychecks, direct deposit also creates a record of your employment income. This is a great way to show lenders you have a steady stream of income and may pose less of a risk for defaulting on your credit card payments.

    Having direct deposit is not a requirement for credit card approval, but giving the card issuer access to the information may help.

    How do I know if I'll qualify for a credit card?

    When credit card issuers review a credit card application, they're looking at an applicant's credit profile and history. They're attempting to assess your creditworthiness, or reliability as a borrower. Before applying, you may want to find out your credit score to estimate the odds of being approved for a card.

    Credit score ranges

    Your credit score is one of the most important factors that a lender will consider before approving someone for a credit card. It's a descriptive indicator of your credit health. Scoring models vary, but for example, VantageScore® uses the following ranges:

    • Excellent: 750 to 850
    • Good: 700 to 749
    • Fair: 650 to 699
    • Poor: 550 to 649
    • Very Poor: 300 to 549

    When your credit score falls into one of the higher ranges, your odds are higher for being approved for a credit card.

    Factors that affect credit score

    There are several factors that make up your credit score, each with slightly different weights. These include:

    • Payment history
    • Age of credit accounts and types of credit
    • Percentage of credit used
    • Total balances and debt
    • Recent credit applications
    • Available credit

    For a deeper dive into how each of these factors affect your credit score and tips on how to improve your score, sign up for Credit Journey.

    What information do I have to provide on a credit card application?

    Curious what you'll be asked on an application? Card issuers want to get a full picture of your financial health before lending you credit. In addition to reviewing your credit history, most credit card applications will want the answers to the following questions:

    • Your full legal name. This is the name you use on your official government documentation, like your driver's license and passport.
    • Your Social Security number and/or ITIN. The Social Security Administration provides SSNs, while the Internal Revenue Service issues ITINs. A credit card application typically requires only one or the other.
    • Your mailing address. This is the address where you expect to receive your credit card statements.
    • Your gross annual income. "Gross" refers to your income before taxes. Card issuers use this information to estimate whether you can pay off your card debt and determine what your credit line will be.
    • Your employment status. This identifies whether you are employed, unemployed or self-employed. You may need to provide your employer's phone number (or, if you are self-employed, a tax document) for verification purposes.
    • Your housing costs. Your application may ask if you rent or pay a mortgage and if so, how much you pay each month.

    Being clear on the answers to all these questions will help you feel more prepared when you fill out your application.

    In conclusion

    There are several ways to increase your odds of being approved for a Chase credit card. Improving your credit health is a big one. Enroll in Credit Journey, a free service, to better understand your credit and how to improve it over time. Knowing where you stand may empower you to take control of your credit health and confidently apply for the credit card you want.

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