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Are You Prequalified for a Wells Fargo Credit Card? Find Out Without Hurting Your Credit

Checking for prequalification could help avoid unnecessary dings to your credit score.

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If you have your eye on a particular Wells Fargo card, you could find out if you’re prequalified before submitting a formal application. Prequalification lets you gauge your approval odds without undergoing a hard check and damaging your credit score.

Although prequalification doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved when you officially apply, it can help you narrow down your card choices so you can apply with more confidence. Here’s everything you need to know about getting prequalified for a Wells Fargo credit card.

What is credit card prequalification and how does it work?

The prequalification process helps you identify cards you’re more likely to be approved for. The card issuer uses basic information, such as your income and credit history to determine your odds of approval. Prequalification offerings are meant to build your confidence in order to get you to apply for a credit card.

The prequalification process won’t damage your credit score, even though the issuer uses some of your credit history to make a decision. This is because the issuer will request a soft credit check, or a superficial check of your financial information, that doesn’t lower your credit score.

But prequalification doesn’t guarantee you’ll become a cardholder. You’ll have to fill out an application that includes a hard credit inquiry and offers the issuer more in-depth financial information, like your income, rent or mortgage payments and Social Security number. This can lower your credit score -- albeit temporarily -- by a few points.

Pros and cons of checking for prequalification


  • Avoid dings to your credit score

  • Get a better idea of your approval odds for the cards you want


  • Prequalification doesn’t account for all factors, so you might mistakenly think you won’t get approved for the card

  • Does not guarantee approval if you are prequalified

What is the difference between preapproval, prequalification and preselection?

Most credit card companies use preapproval and prequalification interchangeably.

  • Preapproval is typically based on third-party information collected by the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You may have a higher chance of getting approved for a credit card with a preapproval offer because the issuer pulled more information from your credit history.
  • Prequalification is usually based on financial information independently gathered by the issuer, without using a credit bureau.
  • Preselection generally indicates you’ve met some initial criteria for a credit card, but you may not have as high of a chance of approval compared to prequalification or preapproval.

Since Wells Fargo offers a prequalification tool, you’re slightly less likely to get approved for a card you’re preapproved for. However, it’s still a good way to make sure you’re not applying for a card that’s out of reach.

How to get prequalified for a Wells Fargo credit card

You can check if you’re eligible for prequalification on Wells Fargo’s website. You’ll need to submit your name, address and the last four digits of your SSN. Again, this won’t impact your credit in any way.

If you are prequalified for a Wells Fargo credit card, it’s not a guarantee of approval. To officially apply, fill out an application with all the required information, and Wells Fargo should get back to you promptly -- usually instantly -- with its decision unless it needs to verify your information.

Ways to increase your chances of approval

You’re more likely to be approved for a credit card with a good credit score. You’d need a FICO score of at least 670 to be considered to have good credit. If your score is slightly lower than you’d like, there are a few different ways to shore it up, such as paying your loan or credit cards payments on time and in full. Any on-time credit payment you make, whether for an auto loan, mortgage or student loan, can help boost your score.

If you don’t have any outstanding debt and want a way to boost your score, you could apply for a credit builder loan or a secured credit card. A secured credit card offers access to a credit line, and requires a security deposit to fund this line. 

A credit builder loan works a little bit differently. Unlike a traditional loan, instead of receiving the money upfront, your bank holds this money in a secure account, and you’ll pay off the loan -- and any interest -- each month. The bank will then report your payment history to the credit bureaus, so as long as you make your payments in full and on time, your credit score should grow.

Should I get prequalified for a Wells Fargo credit card?

Checking to see which cards you’re prequalified before formally applying can help you find the right Wells Fargo credit card for you. Prequalification tools are also free to use, so there’s no downside to checking your chances -- and it’s an easy way to avoid an unnecessary ding to your credit score.

The bottom line

Preapproval, prequalification or preselection all indicate that a credit card issuer matched some of your preliminary financial information with one of its credit cards and found you have a good shot at being approved. If you’re worried about your approval chances for a Wells Fargo credit card, checking your prequalification options first can help you apply with confidence. 


Most other credit card issuers like American Express, Citi, Chase and Discover also offer ways to check for preapproval, prequalification or preselection, generally by going to the respective websites or by contacting the issuers directly.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Evan Zimmer has been writing about finance for years. After graduating with a journalism degree from SUNY Oswego, he wrote credit card content for Credit Card Insider (now Money Tips) before moving to ZDNET Finance to cover credit card, banking and blockchain news. He currently works with CNET Money to bring readers the most accurate and up-to-date financial information. Otherwise, you can find him reading, rock climbing, snowboarding and enjoying the outdoors.
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