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Established Member
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎07-15-2013

Preapproved Credit Cards Through the Mail

Hi everybody, first time posting and I've always wanted to ask this question on this site. I apologize if it has been asked before.

One thing I never understood is getting these preapproved messages through my mail. Recently over the past two months, I have received three of these pieces of mail; one for express clothing, one for discover, and one for American Express (although this is moreso an invitation to apply). My question is this; do these companies do soft pulls on your credit score to determine who to send these messages to? And if so, wouldn't this hurt your credit score?

Note: it does give me a number to call to opt out of these messages, but if these preapproved messages don't hurt my score, then I wouldn't mind getting them to see the deals and services each card provider has. Thank you.
Epic Contributor
Posts: 22,398
Registered: ‎01-17-2008

Re: Preapproved Credit Cards Through the Mail

Established Contributor
Posts: 911
Registered: ‎12-25-2010

Re: Preapproved Credit Cards Through the Mail

You're okay, nothing to worry about. Getting lots of soft pulls and Pre-approvals means yare are handling your credit well and you should be pleased. I have 14 credit cards and still have tons of Pre's in my mailbox each week. 

Starting Score: TU 686 EX 641 EQ 690
Current Score: TU 779 EX 767 EQ 740
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BCE $12.5K, 5/3 Sig $10K, Wally Discover 10K, Cash+ $9K Sam's Discover 10K, Freedom $6K, Zales $5.5K, More $5K, Cap one $5K, Barclay 2.5K, Household Plat $1.5K, Household Gold $1.5K, Credit One $1K, First Premier Plat $.675K First Premier Gold $.65K
Community Leader
Epic Contributor
Posts: 29,213
Registered: ‎03-19-2007

Re: Preapproved Credit Cards Through the Mail

Congress provided authority to creditors under the FCRA to make inquiry to the CRAs for a list of consumer names and addresses provided the creditor has established criteria for making them a "firm" offer for credit or insurance.

They do not get the consumer's full credit report, only a list of names and addresses.

Such inquiries are specifically barred under the FCRA from appearing in a consumer's credit report available to others, which is the definition of a "soft pull."

The exclsion from showing on credit reports available to others extends to those who do credit scoring, and thus such inquiries cannot, by statute, be included as part of your credit score.


The credtor hopes that the consumer will, upon receipt of their offer, make an actual application.  If the consumer appllies, that is a consumer intitiatted request for credit that then gives them permissible purpose to obtain the consumer's entire credit report.  That inquiry may then be shown as a so-called "hard" pull.







Senior Contributor
Posts: 8,517
Registered: ‎06-05-2013

Re: Preapproved Credit Cards Through the Mail

Kevinception wrote:

I have received three of these pieces of mail; one for express clothing, one for discover, and one for American Express (although this is moreso an invitation to apply).

Keep in mind that preapproved and invited to apply or preselected to apply are very different things.

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