Sign up for your free account    Sign Up Now
From the Experts at

The Credit Approval Process & What to Expect

Advertiser Disclosure

The Credit Approval Process & What to Expect

Here is a closer look at the approval process for credit cards, loans and mortgages.

Credit Cards

The fastest way to get approved for a credit card is to apply online. Many issuers offer instant approval to online applications. So you may know whether you have been approved for a credit card within minutes of applying. You can also apply by mail or phone. Once approved, it is likely a credit card will be sent to the mailing address that you listed on your card application within 10 business days. And if you need the card in a hurry, you can pay a fee for the expedited delivery of your credit card. If you are turned down for a credit card, an issuer will send you a letter explaining why you did not qualify for the credit card.


Applying for a car loan or personal loan is an easy process, with many lenders offering online applications. And you can find out if you are likely to be approved before you apply by asking about minimum credit standards required for the loan. Some lenders list credit qualifications, such as minimum credit scores, right on their websites.How quickly you are approved for a loan depends on the lender. But you may receive your approval within 24 hours or even within the hour. If you are turned down for a loan, a lender will send you a letter explaining why you did not qualify.


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will speed along the homebuying process. After you complete the pre-approval process, you may be asked to supply some additional supporting documents. Once all the necessary documents are submitted and reviewed you will receive one of four possible decisions on your home loan — approved, approved with conditions, denied or suspended.

If your loan application is suspended it means more documentation is required before a lending decision can be made. If your loan application is approved with conditions, there are specific criteria that you must meet before you will receive the full approval of your loan. And if your mortgage application is denied, you will receive a notice in writing explaining the reasons why.

The best way to take the surprise out of a credit application is to check your credit score before applying. You can check your credit scores for free on, and get a personalized action plan for improving it.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Sign up for your free account. Learn More

Check Your Credit For FREE

Free Credit ScoreGet a FREE personalized credit check-up today.

Get Started – It’s Free!  

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on News & Advice may also be offered through product pages, and will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.