What your Credit Karma Approval Odds really mean (2024)

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We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

If you’re getting ready to apply for a new credit card, you might be concerned about whether you’ll actually be approved.

Nobody likes feeling rejected, but there’s more to it than that.

Applying for a credit card usually results in the issuer making a hard inquiry on your credit, which could lower your credit scores by a few points and stay on your credit reports for up to two years.

You don’t want too many hard inquiries clogging up your credit reports, so it’s important to understand your chances of being approved for a particular card. That’s where Credit Karma Approval Odds can help.

Approval Odds compares your credit profile to the profiles of already-approved applicants or to lender criteria.Explore Cards Now

  • What are Credit Karma Approval Odds?
  • Approval Odds are guidelines – not guarantees
  • Why ‘outstanding,’ ‘excellent,’ or ‘very good’ Approval Odds don’t guarantee approval
  • What to do if you aren’t approved

What are Credit Karma Approval Odds?

When you’re logged into theCredit Karma appand searching for a new credit card, you might notice a star with a check mark directly below each card image. Next to the star, you’ll see your Approval Odds.

What your Credit Karma Approval Odds really mean (1)Image: Screen-Shot-2021-11-19-at-9.03.32-AM

While the Approval Odds in the example are “outstanding,” other possibilities you might see include “excellent,” very good,” “good,” “fair” and “poor.” But what, exactly, do they mean?

Approval Odds serve as guidelines regarding the likelihood you’ll be approved for a specific credit card. Everyone’s credit situation is different, so your odds might be different from those of other Credit Karma members.

Click on the Approval Odds info button, and you’ll see a pop-up message that explains how Credit Karma determines your unique Approval Odds.

Credit Karma determines Approval Odds by comparing your credit profile to other Credit Karma members who were approved for this product, or whether you meet certain criteria determined by the lender. Of course, there’s no such thing as a sure thing, but knowing your Approval Odds may help you narrow down your choices. For example, you may not be approved because you don’t meet the lender’s “ability to pay standard” after they verify your income and employment; or, you already have the maximum number of accounts with that specific lender.

If you’re looking for a new credit card, these Approval Odds can certainly help you when you’re evaluating which one is the best fit for you.

Does getting rejected for a credit card hurt my credit?

When you apply for a credit card, the issuer usually checks your credit. This type of credit report inquiry is called a hard inquiry. Hard inquiries generally occur when a financial institution, such as a lender or credit card issuer, checks your credit after you’ve applied for any type of credit, such as a credit card, mortgage or auto loan.

Hard inquiries may have a negative impact on your credit scores. But there’s good news: Getting rejected or approved for a card has no impact on your credit scores.

Approval Odds are guidelines — not guarantees

Even if your Approval Odds are “outstanding,” “excellent” or “very good,” remember that the issuer — not Credit Karma — always has the final say in whether you’ll actually be approved.

Credit Karma compares your credit profile to the credit profiles of other members who were approved for the card or to lender criteria to assess the likelihood that you’ll be approved.

But keep in mind that though this determination is based on member data and lender criteria, it’snota guarantee that you’ll be approved. Everyone’s credit situation is unique, so there’s simply no way to make a perfect comparison between our members’ profiles.

Some things a bank may take into account when deciding whether to approve your application include …

  • Your percentage of on-time payments
  • Credit card utilization
  • Derogatory marks
  • Average age of your open credit accounts
  • Your total number of accounts
  • Total hard credit inquiries
  • Number of 30-day delinquencies

Approval Odds compares your credit profile to the profiles of already-approved applicants or to lender criteria.Explore Cards Now

Why outstanding,’ ‘excellent,’ or very good Approval Odds don’t guarantee approval

Credit Karma is all about empowering people with accurate, transparent information — it’s baked into our mission.

Though Approval Odds use statistical analysis to determine the likelihood of approval, it’s important to understand some of the other factors at play.

First, there are several different credit score models out there. Credit Karma doesn’t actually calculate your credit score — the scores and credit report information you see on our site come from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major credit bureaus.

Credit Karma provides VantageScore 3.0 credit scores that are calculated by TransUnion and Equifax. But a credit card company will likely use a different scoring model altogether.

There can be variation among credit scoring models and even among credit bureaus. Many different factors could be considered when calculating a score, and each model may weigh credit factors differently.

But though your scores may vary, they’re all based on information in your credit reports. So focusing on what’s in your reports could help you build your credit overall.

These scores can help you figure out where you stand, but it’s ultimately the credit card company that will look at all your risk factors and determine if you’re a qualified candidate for its product.

What to do if you aren’t approved

If your application for a new credit card gets denied, don’t panic. Though the hard inquiry necessary for the application may affect your credit scores, getting denied doesn’t further hurt them. The impact on your credit may be small and can improve over time.

Secondly, check your credit reports to make sure all the information is correct. If not, you’ll want to dispute any errors.

On top of that, make sure your credit utilization — the amount of available credit you use — is below 30%. You’ll also want to verify your payments are on-time and paid in full to keep your credit in good shape.

If you really think the credit card company made a mistake in rejecting you, consider calling the company’s reconsideration line to make your case. There’s no guarantee this will work, but it can’t hurt to try.

Approval Odds compares your credit profile to the profiles of already-approved applicants or to lender criteria.Explore Cards Now

Bottom line

While by no means the final say, Credit Karma Approval Odds should be used as a guideline for the types of credit cards that may be a good fit for you.

Ultimately, your best bet is to be a responsible credit user by making on-time payments and keeping your balances low. Building your credit is one of the best ways to increase the approval odds in your favor.

About the author: Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and editor currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy and empowering people to take control of their finances. Her work has been f… Read more.

What your Credit Karma Approval Odds really mean (2024)


What your Credit Karma Approval Odds really mean? ›

In a Nutshell. Your Credit Karma Approval Odds can help you find a card that matches your credit profile, but they don't guarantee approval. Ultimately, the credit card company has the final say.

What does outstanding approval Odds mean on Credit Karma? ›

If you see an Outstanding badge on Intuit Credit Karma on an offer for a credit card or a personal loan, that indicates that Credit Karma has determined you satisfy certain criteria used by the lender to qualify for the particular offer. But like other Approval Odds, it's not a guarantee of approval.

How far off is Credit Karma from your actual credit score? ›

They may differ by 20 to 25 points, and in some cases even more. When Credit Karma users see their credit score details, they are viewing a VantageScore, not the FICO score that the majority of lenders use. A VantageScore has the same credit score range as FICO, and uses some of the same information as a FICO score.

What are poor approval Odds? ›

Excellent: 750 to 850. Good: 700 to 749. Fair: 650 to 699. Poor: 550 to 649. Very Poor: 300 to 549.

Is 95% chance of approval good? ›

90%—99% chance of approval: You're very likely to be approved, but in some cases, the lender will still need to do a few quick checks to fully approve your application. 80%—89% chance of approval: There is still a good chance you'll be approved.

Can I trust Credit Karma approval odds? ›

Approval Odds are guidelines — not guarantees

Even if your Approval Odds are “outstanding,” “excellent” or “very good,” remember that the issuer — not Credit Karma — always has the final say in whether you'll actually be approved.

How accurate is Credit Karma credit rating? ›

The credit scores and credit reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. They should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus — but they may not match other reports and scores out there.

Is FICO more accurate than Credit Karma? ›

Your Credit Karma score should be the same or close to your FICO Score, which is what any prospective lender will probably check. The range of your credit score (such as “good” or “very good”) is more important than the precise number, which will vary by source and edge up or down often.

Why is my FICO score 100 points lower than Credit Karma? ›

Your FICO Score is a credit score. But if your FICO score is different from another of your credit scores, it may be that the score you're viewing was calculated using one of the other scoring models that exist.

Is 650 a good credit score? ›

As someone with a 650 credit score, you are firmly in the “fair” territory of credit. You can usually qualify for financial products like a mortgage or car loan, but you will likely pay higher interest rates than someone with a better credit score.

Can you still get a loan with poor approval Odds? ›

Whether you have no credit history or a bad credit score, there are some ways you can still get a loan. However, not all lenders will approve you for certain loans and you may face higher interest rates. That's why improving your credit score is essential.

What is the 5/24 rule? ›

What is the 5/24 rule? Many card issuers have criteria for who can qualify for new accounts, but Chase is perhaps the most strict. Chase's 5/24 rule means that you can't be approved for most Chase cards if you've opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months.

What is a good number for Credit Karma? ›


What's a good credit score to get approved for a house? ›

Generally speaking, you'll likely need a score of at least 620 — what's classified as a “fair” rating — to qualify with most lenders. With a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, though, you might be able to get approved with a score as low as 500.

Will pre-approval hurt credit score? ›

Getting pre-approved does not hurt your credit score.

Can you get denied after pre-approval? ›

However, even though prospective homebuyers get pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for homes, there's no 100% guarantee they'll successfully get financing. Mortgages can get denied and real estate deals can fall apart — even after the buyer is pre-approved.

What does "outstanding approval" mean? ›

Outstanding Approvals means Regulatory Approval(s) in connection with Financial Services Licenses or Gaming Authorizations have not been obtained by the Regulatory Approval Deadline.

What credit score is considered outstanding? ›

For a score with a range between 300 and 850, a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good. A score of 800 or above on the same range is considered to be excellent. Most consumers have credit scores that fall between 600 and 750.

Is excellent or outstanding better? ›

Expert-Verified Answer. outstanding is prominent or noticeable; standing out from others while excellent is of the highest quality; splendid.

What does 100% likely to be approved mean? ›

This means that you're very likely to be approved for a loan or credit card based on what you've told us. Usually, the lender will need to do a few final checks on their side to fully approve your application. Very likely to be approved for this offer if you apply.


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