Prepaid cards: Less waiting time for approval

Traditional credit card have strict requirements for application, as well as the potential for lengthy waiting periods as the credit card issuer checks your credit history, among other steps. 

When applying for a credit card, the issuer may decide to turn you down based on your credit history.  But with a prepaid debit card, there is no credit check performed when your application is processed, so a bad credit history won't get in the way. That means that with prepaid cards, there is a shorter time to approval.

However, approval does depend on the verification of personal information you provide, including a valid Social Security number, date of birth and U.S. address -- all of which is required by federal law in order to identify you.  A physical address is needed since cards can only be mailed to a valid physical U.S. address under federal mandate.

Another difference is that credit cards require that the applicant be 18 years of age or older.  But with prepaid cards, applicants from 13 to 15 years old may still be approved for the prepaid debit card with parental consent.

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Updated: 03-26-2019