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What's the difference between pre-qualification, pre-approval and Credit Karma's approval odds?

On Credit Karma, you’ll see offers for financial products such as credit cards and personal loans. You might see your Approval Odds on an offer, or you may see a pre-qualified or pre-approved offer.

So what’s the difference?

Credit Karma’s Approval Odds

In order to determine Approval Odds, Credit Karma looks at how your credit profile compares to Credit Karma members who were approved for the same product.

Approval Odds are our prediction of the probability that you’ll be approved for a specific credit card or a loan from a specific lender. Of course, there’s no such thing as a sure thing, but knowing whether your Approval Odds are Excellent, Very good, Good, Fair or Poor may help you narrow down your choices.


Credit Karma can help you see if you have pre-qualified personal loan offers. When you’re pre-qualified for a loan offer, it means that the lender has reviewed your information and found a personalized offer for you. You’ll also see your estimated APR, which stands for Annual Percentage Rate and is the rate at which you’ll be charged for borrowing the money.

Getting pre-qualified won’t hurt your credit. Lenders will typically run a soft inquiry on your credit to determine if they can make you a pre-qualified offer. If the lender decides that they can’t make you a pre-qualified offer, they may send you a letter or email explaining why you weren’t pre-qualified. It’s called a “Notice of Adverse Action,” but don’t worry -- it doesn’t mean you credit was hurt.

Keep in mind that pre-qualification is not a guarantee of approval, and if you want that loan, you’ll ultimately have to apply for it directly with the lender— and opt into the hard inquiry that goes along with it.


You may also see pre-approved offers for a credit card or loan. This means that you meet certain criteria determined by the lender for a pre-approved offer and typically means you have about a 90% chance of being approved for the offer. Pre-approval is still not a guarantee of approval, the lender will also need to verify your income and other information before you can be approved. And remember, the application will result in a hard inquiry.


Much like pre-approval, a pre-selected offer means that you meet certain criteria determined by the lender. If you see that you’ve been pre-selected, this means you have about an 80% chance of being approved for the offer.

What about a Mortgage? Looking and applying for a mortgage has different considerations.

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