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Compare Credit Cards For Fair Credit

For those of us who have less than stellar credit scores, credit cards with attractive interest rates are not easy to come by. But there is definitely no reason for you to believe that using cash for all your purchases is your only option. Today, there are a number of credit cards for fair credit in the market that are perfect for people like you. Read on to know more about these cards and how to shop for one.

Who Needs Credit Cards for Fair Credit?

Credit cards for fair credit are sought after by those who have a less than perfect credit rating. If your financial health was badly affected by the recession, you may have ended up making a number of late payments, missed some payments or taken out payday loans online. As a result your credit score may have dipped. Credit cards for fair credit are a good option when you need an easy and convenient payment option.

There are a number of people who have just started their credit history and need a credit card to manage their expenses. Students who have recently started working and people who have moved into the country from outside are examples of those who may have a very limited credit history. In fact, even a person who has just started working or just moved in and has no credit history at all here in the U.S. will find a credit card a very valuable asset. Credit cards for fair credit or no credit are great options for these people.

How to Shop for Credit Cards for Fair Credit?

Before you sign up for the first credit card for fair/ no credit that you see advertised, here are a few important points to keep in mind. These will help you find the very best deals in the market so that you can enjoy the convenience of a credit card at minimum cost.

  • Understand Terms and Conditions Well: A common mistake made by many credit card aspirants is to allow attractive advertisements to overshadow their judgment. It is important to look at the various features outlined in advertisements for different credit cards. But, it is also necessary to invest enough time and effort into discussing the terms and conditions with the issuer before signing up. Often, attractive deals like cash back offers may be offered for only a limited period.

    These limitations will be mentioned clearly in the terms and conditions or the issuer will be happy to clarify any doubts abut these if you contact him. Learning all the facts about such deals will ensure that you make the maximum use of such offers without incurring extra costs.

    How To Get Credit Cards For No Credit

    There is a common misconception that people with no credit will not be able to get a credit card. This arises when the terms “bad credit” and “no credit” are misunderstood. The two terms, in fact, are quite different. “No credit” is a reference to people who do not have a credit history while “bad credit” refers to those who have a poor credit history due to reasons like failing to make payments on time. It is definitely possible to get credit cards for no credit. Here are some options for those who have no credit history and need a credit card.

    College students can use their parents’ names to get credit cards for no credit. There are a number of credit card companies that allow parents to add their sons/daughters to their account and a new card is subsequently issued to them. Though it is the parent who is responsible for the payment, the credit report will mention the child’s name. Of course, the child’s getting a credit card depends on the credit history of the parents.

    Here you can find the help of a person who has a good credit history to add his/her name along with yours as you apply for your credit card. When using a co-signer, the card issuer will consider the credit history of both applicants. Considering that your credit history is a blank, the credit of the other person will be taken into consideration for granting you the credit card. The problem with using a co-signer is that if you fail to make your payments on time, it will hurt your credit as well as his/her credit history. This method of getting a credit card is recommended only if you have willing relatives and close friends.

    Apply for a prepaid card

    There is one way in which you can build your credit history, and then apply for a credit card. This is by applying for a prepaid or secured card. A prepaid card draws money from an account that is pre-funded. Using this card to make payments helps you build your credit and the card issuer also feels more secure.

    When Should You Apply For Bad Credit Credit Cards

    There are many situations when you wish you had a credit card with which to make payment in an easy and quick manner. However, if you already have bad credit thanks to some financial trouble in recent times, the decision to get a credit card is not an easy one to make. If you have the tendency to spend excessively when you use plastic as opposed to cash, having a credit card in hand can multiply your financial troubles manifold. Yet, having a credit card can come in handy in a few special circumstances like the ones listed below. Read on to know more about when you should get your own bad credit credit cards.

    Creating an Emergency Cash Reserve

    If your finances have taken a bad hit in recent times so that your credit rating is diminished then chances are you have little or no savings left. In such circumstances, it could well be impossible for you to meet emergency expenses. It is impossible to predict when such emergencies may crop up, for example, an accident may occur at any time requiring massive expenditure for medical treatment.

    Having your own bad credit credit cards helps you meet such critical expenses quickly without having to resort to an exorbitantly priced loan that will stretch your finances even further. For those with bad credit who do not have savings to fall back on during emergencies, bad credit credit cards can prove to be a lifeline.

    Several companies carry out a credit check on their prospective employees before finalizing the offer of employment. If you are looking for a career in the finance industry or a related area, such credit checks are very likely to be part of the employment screening process. Having your bad credit credit cards and keeping balances low is a good way to demonstrate your ability to manage finances responsibly especially if your earlier poor financial management will affect your chances.

    credit cards for people with fair credit

    credit cards for people with fair credit – Understanding your credit rating reports and also the major credit rating reporting agencies is the essential to your financial future. Right here we will enlighten your on exactly what financial institution are looking for, your credit rating reports, the credit rating reporting agencies and also overview you to take control of your credit rating. Consumer credit revolves around two attributes, trust fund and also capacity; can you be depended repay and also do you have the capacity to repay. Therefore, credit rating can have some very poor ramifications with the wrong info. Our lives essentially revolve around the choices we make, we are presented with those choices daily, sometimes multiple times a day. You have to be familiar with your credit scores record and also know it well, trusting the credit rating bureaus to manage your credit history is like playing with matches; at some time you will get shed!

    Credit cards for fair to poor creditImage Source

    Generally, requesting a charge card includes mosting likely to your bank or a charge card firm, completing an application, submitting the necessary demands, waiting for authorization and also waiting for your card to get here by mail. Nevertheless, E-commerce has now made it possible for people to shorten the procedure by using online, where some financial institutions and also bank card companies supply instantaneous authorization of applications in a matter of minutes. The effects that innovation has in the society have actually been as well prominent that lots of people can not aid but go with the circulation of events. Therefore, an increasing number of people have actually continually bought from the innovation that the bank card industry had actually brought. credit cards for people with fair credit are highly easily accessible, so it is simple to try to obtain a new card. Prior to you tackle your application quickly, consider 5 actions making certain the bank approves you for your new plastic. Among the advantages people have nowadays is the capability to complete on the internet bank card applications. The Internet truly does make the treatment much simpler when compared with completing old made paper kinds, sending them in and also waiting for a response. Do not for a minute think that since you are submitting an application online that the bank card companies are not mosting likely to validate the info and also realities you send on your application. It’s fair to say that nowadays you will not locate way too many people owning to their neighborhood bank branch to complete a charge card application. The substantial bulk of Americans are staying at residence and also utilizing the web to compare all sort of bank card offers. You can compare lots of bank card uses online. Credit card uses utilized to find in the mail by the loads for some people and now the majority of marketing for cards is done online. The card authorization procedure has sometimes been decreased to minutes and also secs rather than days or weeks.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit Credit Cards For Fair Credit | Credit pertaining to Credit Cards For People With Fair Credit | 900 X 900

    Why the Credit Coverage Agencies desire you to have poor credit rating. Your credit history rating influences everything you acquire in a timely manner, auto car loans, bank card settlements and even what does it cost? you pay for auto and also life insurance! Professionals say that 79% of the grown-up population has at least on false, deceptive and also unreliable item on their credit scores record. The best ways to manage collection agents and also stop the bugging call. The best ways to turn the tables on your creditors. What Scrap Financial obligation Purchasers are, exactly how they can damage your credit rating and also exactly what you can do regarding it. The best ways to use the Statute of Limitations to remove financial debt. If you paid eligible college expenses throughout the year for yourself, your partner, or a depending on your income tax return, you could be able to declare a credit scores, deduction, or some other benefit on your tax return. The primary objective of this chapter to give your understanding all the education credit ratings, deductions, and also advantages, which you might be eligible for; to enlighten you how you can declare these advantages, and also to enable you making an informed choice, based upon your certain conditions. Lastly, one area you must look into is your credit history. If you have an excellent credit history you must be great. If it’s not, you must know that some bank card companies will automatically reject on the internet applications made by people with poor credit rating rankings. While a lot of bank card companies permit concessions for people with poor credit history, the alternative of using online is usually reserved for those with clean documents. If you have actually obtained a negative document and also still desire a charge card, then more often than not you’ll have to ask personally. One seeming exception to this regulation is that some bank card service providers will actually provide charge card without background credit rating checks, As Well As will let you apply online! This could seem like a perfect circumstance for people with poor credit report. Nevertheless, pay extremely attention to the small print and also various other stipulations when requesting that bank card, since there’s most likely mosting likely to be a catch somewhere. The catch will usually entail significant interest rates or larger compared to average costs for delayed settlements – which basically simply takes advantage of you if you come under the same financial pattern that obtained you poor credit rating in the first place. If credit cards for people with fair creditappears as well excellent to be real, it most likely is.

    4 Best Credit Cards You Can Get with Bad Credit

    In order to provide the most comprehensive product lists on the web our editors test products, read reviews, and thoroughly do their research to ensure all products are quality and highly recommended.

    have trusted our product reviews

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    In order to provide the most comprehensive product lists on the web our editors test products, read reviews, and thoroughly do their research to ensure all products are quality and highly recommended.

    have trusted our product reviews

    After 21 hours of research evaluating 115 products, we picked Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa as the Best Cash Back Credit Card for Bad Credit.

    Forgive us for being blunt, but life is difficult when your FICO score sucks. This three-digit number has a major impact on everything from employment offers to rental-home eligibility, and unfortunately, many people judge your trustworthiness by the condition of your credit. If your credit score dips below 619, you’ll probably pay more for everything from furniture payment plans to student loans - if you even get approved in the first place.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    When you get a bad credit car loan, your interest rate might soar as high as 30%. Landlords may require you to pay a larger deposit or fork over a couple months of rent in advance. Traditional banks may refuse to give you an account, which means you’re probably losing 3% or more of your income each time you cash a check (well, unless you have a prepaid debit card).

    And we haven’t even mentioned other things that often cost more for folks with bad credit, including:

    • Medical loans
    • Dental payment plans
    • Automobile insurance
    • Appliances
    • Hotel rooms
    • Rental cars
    • Utility deposits
    • Cell phone service

    And pretty much everything else that you need to live a comfortable life in today’s world.

    We aren’t here to judge or lecture you. We’re here to help.

    We know that it’s ridiculously difficult to get a credit card when you have bad credit, but we also realize that getting approved for one might help improve your credit score. That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the best credit cards for bad credit, including cards for credit scores 500 and lower. Check out our detailed descriptions of the bad credit credit cards below so you can make an informed decision before applying. You deserve a fresh start, and we want to make sure it’s a good one.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    Have you tried any of these credit cards for poor credit? If not, which ones are you most likely to apply for?


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    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

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    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    Best Credit Card for Building Credit

    Best Credit Card for Building Credit

    4. Capital One Secured Mastercard

    • Almost everyone is approved, even folks with a FICO in the 400s or 500s
    • Prequalification tool lets you determine eligibility before you apply
    • Reports to 3 credit bureaus each month

    Great starter card for folks who have no credit or need a fresh start after a discharged bankruptcy. Accepted at millions of locations worldwide, so you can use it just about anywhere.

    Your initial credit line is usually just $200, but current customers say responsible cardholders are eligible for an increase eventually. However, you have to wait approximately 6 months.

    Application Process: The last thing you need is a hit on your credit report when you’re in the process of building credit. Luckily, Capital One offers a helpful prequalification tool that shows you which cards you currently qualify for. If you’re feeling confident, you can skip the prequalification process and apply immediately - but we don’t recommend it.

    Features: You can do a lot with this secured credit card from Capital One. It’s accepted worldwide, so you can finally book that cruise to the Bahamas. Speaking of taking a vacation, we’re psyched that this credit card offers 24/7 travel assistance and roadside assistance services. You can also use it to reserve vacation lodging and automobile rentals.

    APR: This Capital One secured credit card has a variable APR of 24.99% for purchases and transfers. That’s a high APR, but unfortunately, it’s the norm for people with poor credit.

    Bonus Offers: Capital One doesn’t have any bonus offers at the moment, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a representative if anything special is going on.

    Annual Fee: There’s a $0 annual fee, which is surprising since many credit cards have one. However, you have to put down a deposit of $49, $99, or $200 upon approval since this is a secured credit card.

    Best Credit Card for People With a Very Low FICO Score

    Best Credit Card for People With a Very Low FICO Score

    3. First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card

    • Refundable security deposit
    • No minimum credit score required
    • No monthly fees

    Easy approval process, even if you have awful credit or no credit. Low annual fee.

    No partial deposits accepted; if you want a $300 limit, you have to pay $300.

    Application Process: Have your deposit ready when you apply online , because you’ll need it right away. The application is slightly more detailed than others we’ve seen, but don’t worry - reviewers say the company approves pretty much anyone. On its website, First Progress confirms that it does not have any specific credit score requirements in place, so it’s easy to get this card.

    Features: You can get your deposit back anytime you pay off this card’s balance in full, which is awesome. We’ve seen some secured cards that keep deposits for years - or even forever. Totally not cool, right?

    You can deposit up to $2,000, which gives you a nice line of credit. The card can be used for hotel rooms or rental cars, as well as participating retailers who accept MasterCard payments. We love that the company reports to the 3 major credit bureaus, so you can establish a documented history of on-time payments.

    APR: The APR for this card is only 14.99% for purchase and 19.99% for cash advances, both of which are lower rates than many other secured cards we’ve seen.

    Bonus Offers: There aren’t any bonus offers for this card, but it’s still great for establishing or rebuilding credit.

    Annual Fee: There’s an annual fee of $29 for this First Progress card, which is the same price U.S. Bank charges for its secured Visa.

    Best for Quickly Rebuilding Credit

    Best for Quickly Rebuilding Credit

    • Cash advances available
    • Long billing period makes it easier to avoid late payments
    • No monthly fees

    Complimentary auto rental insurance for vehicles reserved and paid for with this secured card. Automatic bill pay makes it simple to make payments on time no matter how hectic life gets.

    There aren't any fancy features; this is a very simple card.

    Application Process: Apply for this secured credit card online or at a participating U.S. Bank branch. Just make sure you have at least $300 to spare since you’ll need it for your deposit.

    Features: This is a basic credit card with very few perks, but it gets the job done. Online banking is available, as well as the standard protection against fraudulent purchases.

    Nerd Wallet praises the fact that you can potentially convert this secured card to an unsecured card in just one year . Many other secured credit cards require you to wait at least 18 months, and some of them never give you the option to switch to a traditional card.

    APR: This card has a variable APR of 19.49%, which is lower than the secured Capital One Mastercard and many other bad credit credit cards.

    Bonus Offers: As of January 2017, there aren’t any bonus offers available. However, we have yet to find a secured card other than the USAA American Express that currently has active bonus offers.

    Annual Fee: There’s an annual fee of $29, which is only $2.42 a month if you break it down. But if you’re totally against paying an annual fee, there are several cards on our list that don’t have one.

    Best Cash Back Credit Card for Bad Credit

    Best Cash Back Credit Card for Bad Credit

    1. Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa

    • Easy approval process
    • Bankruptcy-friendly card
    • Quick credit increases, sometimes after just a few months

    Low interest rates when compared with similar credit cards for poor credit. Score 1% cash back on all qualifying purchases.

    Credit One limits the number of monthly payments you can make, so be careful if you plan on immediately paying off your balance each time you use the card.

    Application Process: Thanks to a handy prequalification tool, you can learn whether you qualify for this Credit One card without getting a hit on your credit report. That’s good news because too many hits on your credit card make you look desperate, and that scares lenders away.

    After you qualify for this unsecured card using the tool, the company gives you the option to apply. Approval is typically instant, although some folks report waiting 7 to 10 days for an answer.

    Features: You earn 1% cash back for every eligible gas and grocery purchase, and that’s our favorite feature that this card offers. The cash you earn is automatically credited to your account each month, so you don’t have to deal with lengthy request forms or long phone calls with cranky customer service reps.

    Cardholders get free access to their credit scores, plus they’re eligible for auto rental collision insurance. Yes, that means you can reserve rental cars with this card (some credit cards don’t let you do that, so this is an important feature). If someone ganks your card, don’t panic; you’re liable for $0 worth of fraudulent purchases.

    APR: This card has an introductory APR somewhere between 15.65% and 24.15%. Yeah, that’s high - but nowhere near as high as some of the credit cards we’ve seen for people with low FICO scores.

    Bonus Offers: The company doesn’t advertise any bonus offers, but that doesn’t mean none exist. Contact a customer service agent after you apply to find out if Credit One is running any special promotions for this card.

    Annual Fee: This is an unsecured credit card, so you don’t have to put down any money to get approved. However, you might have an annual fee ranging from $0 to $99.

    Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

    Advertiser Disclosure: This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    Let’s be real: You probably aren’t going to score an approval for the Platinum Card from American Express or any other high-limit, low-interest cards until you fix your FICO score. We know this, you know this, and predatory lenders know this. We don’t want anyone to take advantage of you while you repair your credit, so we’ve compiled a list of common questions about credit cards for bad credit so you know what you’re getting into before you submit an application.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    We’ve also broken down some confusing financial terms that you might see on your credit card application, statement, or acceptance brochure. Please let us know if we missed anything!

    What is a credit card for bad credit?

    When people talk about credit cards for bad credit, they’re referring to cards that have lax approval requirements. These cards cater to people with poor or fair credit who have FICO scores that range from 300 to 669. FICO scores from 300 to 579 are considered very poor, and scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair. When you have scores anywhere within this range, your chances of qualifying for traditional lending or benefit-heavy credit cards are generally slim.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    Credit cards for people with bad credit are notorious for having low credit limits, high interest rates, and very few (if any) special features. If you’re reading this with a horrified expression on your face, you’ll appreciate the answer to the question below.

    Why would I want a credit card if I have bad credit?

    It’s unfair, but you can’t easily increase your FICO score unless you obtain credit and use it responsibly. This is a hassle when nobody wants to give you credit, which is why credit cards for less-than-perfect credit are a necessary evil. If you use your new card for a while without maxing it out or forgetting to pay your bill, other companies may offer you credit cards or loans.

    New credit lines make up 10% of your FICO score, so you can give it a generous boost if you get a new card or two and use them carefully. Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, so a new card with a history of on-time payments can help balance out some of your late payments (commonly called “baddies9rdquo; by folks who frequent credit repair forums).

    Is having bad credit the same as having no credit?

    Depends on who you ask. A lack of credit is different than bad credit or fair credit, but some lenders treat someone with bad credit the same way they treat someone with a 507 FICO score. That’s because you’re a wild card when you don’t have any credit; lenders don’t know what you’ll do with sudden access to their funds.

    However, make sure you truly don’t have any credit before you apply for cards geared toward people with low FICO scores. Some people mistakenly assume they have no credit because they’ve never applied for credit cards before, but that’s not how things work.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    If you’ve ever had student loans or a car loan, then you probably have credit. If you’ve ever paid a bill late and received a notice that your account was sent to collections, you have credit (but not necessarily good credit!). You also probably have credit if someone has sued you in small claims court or a landlord has ever filed an eviction notice against you, but these are both negative factors on a credit report. In other words, you don’t want them on there.

    What credit cards are good for someone with bad credit?

    We’re totally tooting our own horn here, but we think all the cards on our list above are good for someone with bad credit. After hours of research, we carefully selected the following credit cards as the best options for people with credit scores in need of some TLC:

    • Capital One Secured MasterCard
    • First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card
    • U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card
    • Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa

    We chose these cards because they’re easy to get and have lower fees than many of the other credit cards we’ve seen for people with poor or fair credit.

    What is the best credit card for someone with poor credit?

    Our personal favorite is the Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa because it has low interest rates (well, low compared to other credit cards for bad credit) and no annual fee. It even offers cash back on qualifying purchases - a feature rarely associated with credit cards for imperfect credit. It’s also bankruptcy friendly, and we know several people who got approved for this card immediately (within days!) after their discharge.

    What are some common credit card terms and phrases?

    It’s hard to pick the best credit card for bad credit if you don’t understand the terms of each financial agreement. Here are some important words and phrases you should know before you select a credit card:

    APR - APR is an acronym for annual percentage rate. It refers to the amount of interest that you rack up on credit card purchases throughout the year. Many cards have a variable APR which means it changes based on data from a reputable economic index. You can find the daily prime rate in The Wall Street Journal .

    Annual Fee - An annual fee is the price you pay for 12 months as a cardholder. Some companies bill this fee in monthly installments (not to be confused with the monthly maintenance fee).

    Monthly Maintenance Fee - Some companies bill cardholders for a monthly maintenance fee on each statement. This is not the same as an annual fee that is broken into multiple payments, and it’s possible to get charged a monthly maintenance fee and an annual fee.

    Authorization Hold - When you book a hotel or reserve a rental vehicle, the company may place a temporary authorization hold on your card to make sure it’s valid. Some gas stations also do this when you pay at the pump.

    Revolving Credit - This is a fancy way of saying that you can spend money, pay your bill for the money you spent, and repeat this process over and over with your card unless the account gets closed or frozen.

    It’s also helpful to know these basic credit-related terms as you work on improving your credit:

    FICO Score - FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, which is a company that specializes in data analytics for credit. Your FICO score is a mix of new credit, payment history, current debt, types of credit, and duration of credit history.

    Credit bureau - There are 3 main credit bureaus that receive information about your financial behavior: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You have a right to view this info, but so do companies that consider giving you credit.

    Soft inquiry - A soft inquiry doesn’t affect your credit score. It’s generally used for preapprovals, background checks, and self-initiated credit checks.

    Hard inquiry - A hard inquiry can affect your credit score, and not in a good way. It remains on your credit report for 2 years. Some credit card companies run a hard inquiry when they analyze your application.

    How do you apply for a credit card for bad credit?

    When you’re ready to apply for a credit card for bad credit, visit the website of the card that you want or call the company’s phone number. You can also get a credit card through a financial institution such as a bank or credit union.

    How can I get a credit card if I have bad credit?

    Search for credit cards specifically designed for people with bad credit, and read detailed reviews (like our handy guide on the best secured credit cards ) to help you make informed decisions. You can also search the Credit Pulls database to find out whether people like you are getting approved for the card(s) you want.

    You might be tempted to go for the gold and apply for cards geared toward high FICO scores, but resist the urge. You aren’t likely to get approved (sorry!), so it’s not worth the hit on your credit report. Too many inquiries can lower your score, making it even harder for you to get a decent credit card.

    What does it mean if I’m prequalified for a credit card?

    A prequalification is not the same as a preapproval, so don’t hit the Apply button just yet. Prequalified offers generally come from marketing lists that contain financial information about people who haven’t opted out of the prequalification process. Sometimes the information is outdated, so you may not qualify by the time your prequalification notice arrives.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    A preapproval means that you’re pretty much approved for the card, but there’s still a chance of rejection if your information doesn’t match what was found during the preapproval process. You may also have your preapproval cancelled if a credit card company finds out you lied or withheld vital info.

    Do I need a job to get a credit card?

    You don’t necessarily need a job to get a credit card, but ideally you’ll have some sort of income when you apply. In fact, it’s usually a requirement that you disclose your monthly or annual income on a credit card application.

    You aren’t required to share financial information about student loans, alimony, or child support, but doing so may help you get a higher credit limit if you’re approved for a card. Some companies base your initial credit limit on your projected ability to pay - which makes sense, of course. After all, it’s hard to make monthly payments on a credit card if you don’t have some sort of regular income.

    Can I get a credit card for bad credit if I don’t have a bank account?

    Sometimes. Research and personal experience have taught us that credit cards known for approving people with bad credit usually expect applicants to have a checking account. It generally has to be a traditional checking account at a bank or credit union, not a digital checking account linked to a prepaid card .

    Do I need a coapplicant if I have bad credit?

    Not necessarily, but having one might help increase your odds of approval. That is, if your coapplicant has good credit. Two low FICO scores do not equal one excellent FICO score in the eyes of a credit card company.

    Just remember that your payment history affects your coapplicant as well as yourself, so it’s essential that you pay your bill on time each month. It’s also worth noting that a coapplicant who shops with your card can file for bankruptcy and potentially stick you with the entire balance.

    Why did I get rejected for a card when I have a higher credit score than my friend who got approved?

    The credit world is unfair at times, isn’t it? It’s difficult to answer this question without personally reviewing both of your applications, but here are some common reasons why this happens:

    • You have too many recently opened accounts
    • Your debt-to-income ratio is too high
    • Your friend recently had a bankruptcy discharged
    • Your friend requested that an underwriter manually review her application after the computerized application process rejected the app
    • You have a lower income than your friend
    • You have too many late payments or accounts in collections that recently hit your credit report

    Remember, rejections aren’t permanent. If you get denied for a card you want, reapply in 6 to 12 months. You can also contact the credit card company and request a letter that explains the reason(s) for denial so you know which issues to tackle before reapplying.

    Secured Versus Unsecured Cards

    What does it mean to have an unsecured credit card?

    An unsecured credit card is a card that isn’t backed by a personal deposit. Most well-known credit cards from Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are unsecured.

    A secured credit card has a credit line that’s financed by a cash deposit. In other words, you pay for your credit line and then get charged interest to spend your own money.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    Some companies offer partially secured cards where you pay a predetermined deposit and then have access to a slightly higher credit limit. For example, you may pay $249 toward a card with a $300 credit limit.

    How do you get a secured credit card?

    You can generally get a secured credit card the same way you get a traditional credit card: By visiting your bank, applying online, or calling the phone number associated with a secured card.

    Make sure you have funds in your checking account when you apply so you can pay your deposit right away. You can’t use your card until you fund it, so pay your deposit ASAP before the company rescinds the credit offer. Most of the cards we’ve researched give applicants 30 to 60 days to pay their deposit, but we’ve seen a couple generous companies that are okay with waiting 80 or 90 days for your cash collateral.

    Can I graduate from a secured card to an unsecured card?

    Sometimes, but it isn’t always an option. Your credit score is a mix of old credit and new credit, so it’s not necessarily wise to close a card you no longer need. If you’re not okay with potentially holding onto a secured card for years, talk to the company about graduation options before you apply.

    If you do convert your secured card into an unsecured card, you’ll probably find yourself in one of these two situations:

    • The credit card company increases your credit limit without requesting additional funds from you. That makes your credit limit a mix of your money and funds from the credit card provider.
    • The credit card company upgrades your secured card to an unsecured card and refunds your security deposit. You keep the same card, and your account number does not change.

    Do I get my deposit back for a secured card?

    Many secured cards refund deposits if you meet their requirements. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, here are some factors that may disqualify you from receiving a refund:

    • Bankruptcy
    • Fraud or major contract violations
    • Defaulting on multiple payments

    Even if you qualify for a deposit refund, you might not receive it automatically. Make sure you contact the company that gave you the credit card so you can file a claim for your money.

    How can I get an unsecured card with bad credit?

    If you’ve got bad credit, apply for an unsecured card with words like “rebuilding9rdquo; or “repairing9rdquo; in its description. These are cards geared toward people with credit scores similar to yours, so you have a better chance of approval than you do with cards geared toward people with excellent credit.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    You can also review our list of the best credit cards for bad credit (scroll to the top of this page) if you need some ideas. We recommend the Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa if you want a decent card while you focus on increasing your FICO score.

    Can I get a secured card and an unsecured card?

    Yes, you can have multiple cards as you work on building or repairing your credit. Just be careful not to apply for too many credit cards.

    Does it cost money to get a credit card for bad credit?

    It depends on what type of card you get, but we’ll admit that credit cards for people with poor credit often require money. You need a cash deposit for a secured card, and unsecured cards for people with low FICO scores often have activation fees, application fees, and annual fees. These fees protect card companies if you default on your payments.

    If you want a card without a deposit or activation fee, we recommend checking out the cards that Capital One and Credit One offer customers with bad credit.

    Credit is a privilege, not a right - and companies that cater toward people with bad credit make sure you remember this. They often jack up the APR for customers with low FICO scores because it helps provide a financial cushion if you default on your payments. If you have a 29% interest rate and miss a payment after 6 months, the company isn’t out much - if any - money.

    All you have to do is ask. However, the company might say no or need some convincing, so prepare a solid argument that includes statements (make sure they’re true) about how responsible you are. Mention how you’ve paid your bill on time for 12 consecutive months, or talk about how you’ve kept your credit utilization below 30% the entire time you’ve had the card.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    If you want to decrease your chances of getting stuck with a super-high APR before you apply for a card with different rates, make sure it’s the right time to apply. If you’ve recently paid off some debts or opened a bunch of new accounts, wait a few months before you get a new credit card. This gives your FICO score time to reflect - or recover from - the changes.

    What happens if I don’t pay my deposit for a credit card?

    You don’t have a credit limit, and your card gets shut down before you even activate the account. You don’t get in legal trouble or anything (unless your credit card contract says you owe the money within X days unless you want to face legal action, but that’s rare for accounts of this type).

    However, this doesn’t erase any hard inquiries on your credit report that the company ran prior to approving you for a secured card. You can try to get a hard inquiry removed by contacting the company and explaining that you decided not to use the card, but the company doesn’t have to grant your request.

    How do you make bad credit good?

    There’s not a one-size-fits-all technique that lets you make bad credit good, but here are some basic steps you can try:

    • Pay your bills on time (this may sound obvious, but many people don’t realize how much late payments hurt their credit)
    • Dispute inaccurate information on your credit report, even if it doesn’t seem important (remove that random phone number that isn’t yours!)
    • Contact collectors and ask if they’ll remove late payments from your credit report
    • Lower your total credit utilization so it’s below 30%
    • Ask your student loan providers about forbearance and deferment plans if you’re behind on payments

    Over time, you may qualify for better credit cards if you implement the suggestions above.

    What is a credit monitoring service?

    Many credit cards for people with bad credit offer complimentary credit monitoring services that let you track your daily, weekly, or monthly FICO updates. You may also receive notifications if a new account gets added to your credit report or if someone runs a hard inquiry during an application.

    Will a prepaid debit card help me build my credit?

    Nope, but it’ll help you destroy your credit if you fail to use your prepaid debit card responsibly. Prepaid debit cards don’t show up on credit reports unless you do something wrong like write a bad check (this is a possibility with Bluebird if you fail to preauthorize your check) or let monthly maintenance fees create a negative balance in your account.

    But don’t panic if you find yourself in one of these situations. Prepaid debit card companies usually give you a chance to correct the issue yourself before they turn over your account to a collection agency.

    How many credit cards should I have if I’m building my credit?

    The average American credit card user has 3 or 4 different cards, but that doesn’t mean you need that many. You generally need at least 1 credit card if you want to build your credit, but you may need more if your cards have low limits. For example, a card with a $300 limit won’t boost your FICO much if you’ve got $35,000 in debt on your credit report already. Many cards for bad credit have low credit limits, which is why people with low FICO scores often get multiple cards.

    Before you apply for multiple cards, make sure you can afford them. Monthly payments generally range from $25 to $50 per card (some are even higher!), which can kill your savings account if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

    Have unanswered questions? Sound off below so we can help!

    Fair Credit Score Credit Card Offers for Average Credit

    If you’ve worked hard to build or rebuild your credit, you may be wondering what benefits you’ll gain by moving into the fair credit range. Alternatively, if you’ve recently had financial issues that negatively impacted your credit, you may be wondering what the consequences will be. CreditFast will give you a basic summary of what a fair credit score means. We’ll also give you information about credit cards for people with fair credit. Using a credit card for fair credit wisely should help you move from fair credit to good credit quickly. Once you do, even more options will be available to you.

    Credit cards for fair to poor credit

    A fair credit score is slightly higher than a poor credit score and slightly lower than a good credit score. There are many different models for determining your credit score. However, most models have a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 850. Consumers with credit scores between 650 and 659 are usually classified as having fair credit.

    You may be wondering why your credit score is classified as fair. If you’re new to credit or have chosen not to use credit for a while, your fair credit score is probably the result of your lack of credit history. Also, if you’re an experienced credit user, but have missed payments, used debt consolidation, declared bankruptcy, or used credit excessively in the past, this might be why you’re now in the fair credit range. If none of those situations describe you, run a free credit report and check for errors. If you find a mistake, call the credit bureau immediately to request corrections.

    Is having fair credit a bad thing?

    According to Experian, one of the three major American credit card bureaus, the average credit score in the United States is 673. Fair credit is actually average. It isn’t something that should make you feel ashamed. In fact, fair credit is often called average credit. You’ll have many more credit options than you would if your score was poor or bad. Fair credit will allow you some options for mortgaging a home and multiple options for financing a car. However, your interest rates for all credit will be higher than if you had good or excellent credit.

    Are there credit cards for people with fair credit?

    Yes, there are a number of good credit cards for average credit. Each credit card company defines credit score ranges they’ll consider for each card. Many give approval for fair credit. They also consider other factors, so a particular credit score is no guarantee that a company will approve you. To improve your chances, you’ll want to make sure that you’re applying for a card for people with fair credit. There’s no need to apply for cards that require good or excellent credit until you have built or rebuilt your credit up to that level.

    Many credit cards for average credit charge no annual fee. This means you can build credit at no cost by being approved for one card, making small purchases, then paying off the balance each month. When you do, your credit card issuer will report your positive payment history to the credit bureaus. Over time, you’ll start to see your credit score increase until you’re in the good credit or excellent credit score range. Once that happens, you’ll be able to upgrade your card or apply for a new account. This will qualify you for more valuable rewards, lower APR rates, and other added benefits.

    Advertiser Disclosure: CreditFast has reviewed the best credit cards for fair credit offers on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. However, CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each credit card for people with fair credit. We have ranked the offers in the order of our editor’s recommendations.

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