When companies check your credit report, there are two ways it can be done: through a hard inquiry, or a soft inquiry. A hard inquiry, or pull, generally involves a lender (or another party) requesting your complete credit report. A hard pull will usually leave a small negative mark on your report that comes with a matching decrease in your credit score for up to 24 months.
A soft inquiry, on the other hand, does not affect your credit score or report, but it doesn’t contain as much information as a hard pull. Soft inquiries are often made during background checks, but can also be used by credit card companies to pre-qualify, or pre-approve, a credit applicant.
Pre-qualification is a great way to test the credit waters and see the likelihood of being approved by an issuer. For a Credit One Bank credit card, the fast, easy pre-approval process can be completed entirely online.
Step 1. Go Online to the Credit One Bank® Website
Everyone who applies for a Credit One credit card goes through pre-approval, particularly in light of the fact that Credit One specializes in subprime — bad credit — consumers. This helps ensure that everyone who applies for a credit card meets at least the minimum standards for approval.The pre-qualification process starts by heading to the Credit One website.
You can start the pre-approval process by clicking the link above, then moving on to Step 2. If you’ve already received a Credit One credit card pre-approval offer in the mail, you can skip the next step and instead use this link to enter your approval code.
Step 2. Enter Your Information into the Pre-Approval Form
The straightforward pre-approval form takes just minutes to complete. You’ll be asked all the basics, like name, address, and phone number, as well as your annual income and Social Security number.
Make sure that the information you enter is accurate; any missing or incorrect information could lead to a false rejection, making you think you don’t qualify for a particular card when you really do. It could also lead to an incorrect pre-approval, causing you to apply for a credit card — and endure a hard credit pull — for which you don’t actually meet the minimum requirements.
Step 3. See Your Pre-Qualified Credit Card Offers
After you’ve completed the pre-qualification form, simply press the “See Card Offers” button to, well, see your card offers. The pre-approval process generally only takes minutes and will reveal the Credit One cards that are the best match for you.
Once you’ve selected the pre-approval offer that suits your needs, you can complete the official application. Keep in mind that this application will result in a hard credit check, which will impact your credit score.
Top 5 Credit One Offers
To get an idea of which Credit One credit cards you may qualify for, or just to see our expert’s take on each card, check out our Credit One card reviews. Our expert’s top five Credit One cards are below to get you started.
Each offer may have different terms and fees associated with it, so make sure you read the entire offer before accepting it.
Things to Keep in Mind Before You Apply
While pre-qualification can be a great way to check if you’ll be approved for a credit card without impacting your credit score, you should always remember that pre-approval does not guarantee approval once you apply. Your complete report may reveal additional risk factors, or your income may not meet the qualifications.
Additionally, keep in mind that the Credit One Bank credit cards are designed for those with poor credit, so the fees and interest rates will be higher than those for cards that require higher credit scores. The specific terms you are offered will depend on your score and income level.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.