Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions
A process used by credit card issuers to offer new cards to potential customers. Also known as preapproval, prescreening uses credit bureau records to select consumers who meet certain criteria (such as people with credit scores of 700 or more). Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, anyone who receives an unsolicited credit card offer generated in this manner must be given firm offers of credit. Thus, letters generated by prescreening state: “You have been preapproved for a credit card.” The Credit CARD Act of 2009 bans prescreened credit card offers to anyone under 21.