How to check your credit card application will be accepted

Fact Checked

Before you apply for a credit card, you can find out which cards you are most likely to be approved for without affecting your credit record by using our eligibility checker.

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How to check your credit card application will be accepted

Why use our eligibility checker?

Applying for a credit card leaves a hard search on your credit file, which can impact your ability to get credit well into the future. Without using an eligibility tool, there’s no way of knowing if you are likely to be approved for a credit card, but an eligibility check can indicate which lenders are most likely to lend to you.

Using the eligibility tool can speed up the process of finding a credit card, allowing you to only consider the deals you’re likely to be approved for. 

Our eligibility checker:

  • Is free to use

  • Will not affect your credit score

  • Shows which cards you're most likely to get (and which might reject you)

You can use it to compare credit cards and check your eligibility

Does the eligibility checker harm your credit record?

No, using our eligibility checker will not affect your credit score or appear on your credit file. This is because it only requires a 'soft search' to check your credit history.

You'll be able to see that your record has been checked, but credit card, mortgage and loan companies will not.

When a lender sees lots of 'hard searches' (the result of formal credit applications) they might assume you are desperate for funds. This could suggest you're strapped for cash and would struggle to meet all repayments on time.

How to use the eligibility checker

Before using the eligibility checker, think about what the purpose of your credit card will be, e.g. do you need a balance transfer card, cashback, etc.

When you use the tool: 

  • Choose the type of card you want

  • Enter in your details

  • Get your results and compare cards you're most likely to get (shown as a percentage)

  • If any lenders pre-approve you for their cards, we'll show this too

  • Choose 'See deal' on your favourite card. You'll go through to the provider's website and can formally apply there

If you're not sure what type of credit card you need, this guide to credit cards could help.

Are you guaranteed to get the credit card you apply for?

Eligibility will be displayed as a percentage, showing the likelihood of an application being approved for each card based on the details you input into the eligibility checker. 

Some cards may also have a pre-approval label meaning that based on your details, you're highly likely to get approved for that card. You have the best chance to get a credit card if the lender offers you 'pre-approval'.

Once you're pre-approved, you'll still need to pass their identity and fraud checks to get the card, so pre-approval isn’t a guarantee.

But we cannot guarantee you'll be accepted for every credit card. We can only give you an idea of your chances of being approved.

Avoid applying for lots of cards at the same time, even if your results show you have a good chance of getting them. It will be very damaging to your credit score to have too many applications, especially in a short space of time.

The results are provided by a company called HD Decisions. They use all three credit reference agencies (CRAs) to run their credit checks:

What else do you need to know about pre-approval?

You should be accepted if you pass the lender's identity and fraud checks. This is provided you use the same details to apply for the card as you did for the eligibility checker.

What interest rate will you get when you apply for a credit card?

Some lenders tell you the interest rate you'll get upfront. Others only decide on the interest rate when you formally apply for a credit card. 

We'll tell you if the interest rate is guaranteed for each card you're pre-approved for.

What else can you do to get accepted for a credit card?

If it looks like you'll be rejected for all of the cards you want, you'll most likely need to improve your credit score. There are lots of steps that you can take to boost your credit score over time.

The improvements you make will not yield instant results, but they should help your chances of being accepted for a credit card.

What if a card does not show a score?

If a card does not show up in the results at all, it's because the credit card company has not signed up to our eligibility checking service. We have almost all providers, but we cannot show results for those that have not signed up.

These cards will not allow you to check their eligibility. We'll indicate any cards that we cannot provide results for.

If your eligibility checker results show no results at all, you may need to check that the details you've given us match those on your credit file.

Reasons for discrepancies on your credit file include:

  • You've given us a different name, used a middle name, nickname or alternative spelling

  • Your address does not match because you have recently moved or it's been formatted differently

  • You have no credit history because you've never had a credit product before

If you've not had a credit product before, you'll need to build up your credit history and get your first credit card.

Check your details are correct with all three credit reference agencies before you formally apply for credit. Amend any errors you find and do not apply for a credit card until these are sorted. Then run the eligibility checker again.

Find the best credit card for you, whether you're looking for 0% card for balance transfers or purchases or day to day spending and rewards

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