You might see these offers from lenders on a daily basis but do you really know the difference between the two? What you should know are the basics: Your credit score and other financial information matched at least some of the initial eligibility criteria needed to become a cardholder with this particular lender.
Understanding the distinction between the two however can be tricky because companies will and CAN use them differently. But don't worry, I got you!
Both pre-approved and pre-qualified usually means that the lender partners or works with a particular credit bureau and has taken a peek at your basic credit information. So if you get one of these offers, it means that the credit bureau performed a "soft inquiry" and relayed back to lender, "Hey, this a potential good customer to have!".
One thing to be mindful of is that even though we sometime use "pre-qualified and pre-approved" interchangeably, they could have slightly different meanings to different lenders.
Some of these offers could be reserved for people who meet a general credit score range with one lender, and more specific criteria like on-time credit payments with another lender.
In either scenario, it is always wise to know how each works on the marathon to excellent credit! If you receive these offers, kudos to you for managing your credit responsibly. And if not, get the ball rolling today with addressing the issues that are preventing your "pre-qualified and pre-approved" offers!