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Applying for a credit card FAQ


You can use Credit Karma to look for and compare credit card offers that suit your financial goals. You may see options for 'Top Picks For You', 'Rewards', and more. 

Does shopping for a credit card on Credit Karma hurt my score?

Checking your credit reports and looking for credit card offers on Credit Karma doesn’t affect your credit scores. In fact, we work hard to help you minimize risk while you’re shopping for the right financial product for you. But Credit Karma is not a bank, so if you see an offer you like on Credit Karma and decide to apply, you can click through to the lender’s site to fill out an application.

Once you submit an application for a new credit card, it triggers what’s known as a hard inquiry on one or more of your credit reports. A hard inquiry can lower your credit score by a few points and may stay on your credit report for as long as two years. The good news is that a hard inquiry might not affect your score as much as you’d think, and the damage usually decreases or disappears as time passes.

Which credit card is right for me?

You may also find it helpful to see reviews other Credit Karma members have left about products you are considering.

As you review offers, please keep in mind that we can't know for sure if lenders will approve or decline applications. However, we do the best we can to help you narrow down your choices. For more information you can check out this article on What your Credit Karma Approval Odds Really Mean.

You can check out these articles for additional insight:

Credit Karma Guide to Credit Cards
What is the Best Card for Me?

What if my application is denied?

A pre-approval badge indicates that you meet certain criteria determined by the lender for a pre-approved offer. This typically means you have about a 90% chance of being approved for the offer, but it’s not a guarantee of approval. The lender will also need to verify your income and other information before you can be approved.

If your application for a new personal loan gets denied, don’t panic. Though the hard inquiry necessary for the application may affect your credit scores, getting denied doesn’t further hurt them. The impact on your credit from the application may be small and can improve over time.

However, be very selective about additional applications as each one may cause another hard credit inquiry and multiple hard inquiries can hurt your credit.

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