Capital One’s credit score requirement is limited or bad credit at a minimum, though it depends on the credit card. The best Capital One credit cards overall require a credit score of 700+ for good approval odds, while no minimum credit score is needed to get a starter credit card from Capital One. For example, applicants with limited or bad credit can get the Capital One Secured card and people with no credit score may be able to get Capital One’s Platinum, QuicksilverOne and Journey cards.
If you’re not sure which Capital One card you’ll be able to qualify for, it’s easy to get pre-qualified for a credit card on the issuer’s website. You may also want to check your credit score before you apply for any Capital One card, just so you have a better idea of what to expect.
The best credit card for a 550 credit score is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card. There’s no credit check when you apply, so approval is almost guaranteed. You just need $200 for a refundable security deposit and enough income to make monthly payments. This card also reports to all three major credit bureaus every month, which is your ticket to a better credit score. And a $35 annual fee isn’t too much to pay for that.… read full answer
The Discover it® Secured Credit Cardis another great 550 credit score credit card. It has a $0 annual fee and actually rewards you for making purchases. A 550 credit score won’t keep you from getting approved either. But a pending bankruptcy will.
Those aren’t the only credit cards you can get with a 550 credit score. In fact, there are two kinds of credit cards for people at that credit level: Secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards for bad credit. A 550 credit score is within the bad credit range, unfortunately. Bad credit goes from 300 to 639. But picking the right 550 credit score credit card and using it responsibly could help you improve your score to “fair” territory within 12-18 months.
Before applying for a card, make sure to check out its terms and conditions, or a FAQ page if there is one, just to make sure you fit the criteria for eligibility. You can also try getting pre-approved for a credit card. It won’t hurt your credit, and it will give you a good idea of your odds if you decide to apply.
The fastest ways to improve your credit score are to pay down your balances, dispute incorrect information on your credit report, make more frequent payments, and reduce credit utilization. Credit utilization (how much of your credit limits you use each month) contributes to a portion of your credit score that accounts for 20% - 30% of your overall score. So, an adjustment there can result in a big credit boost pretty quickly. Similarly, you can dispute incorrect information with a quick online request or phone call. You won’t always get an immediate credit score increase, but correcting errors on your credit report is a great place to start.… read full answer
There are a few other ways to increase your credit score quickly, from becoming an authorized user to increasing your credit limit. They may not all be equally effective for everyone, as it can take years to build a consistently good or excellent credit score. In fact, some strategies could send your credit score in the wrong direction before leading to an increase. For example, requesting a credit limit increase can result in a hard inquiry that damages your credit a bit in the short-term, but having more credit available could produce long-term gains if used responsibly.
Here’s how to improve your credit score fast:
Pay down your balances. If you aren’t eligible for a credit limit increase, focus on paying down existing debt. Paying down a large chunk of debt at once will help your credit utilization ratio and bump up your score. If you can’t make a large payment all at once, try to pay more than just the minimum monthly amount. If you have multiple debts, start by making payments on the debt that has the highest interest rate so you can limit interest charges.
Dispute incorrect information on your credit report. You should file a dispute for any incorrect negative info on your report. Once the dispute goes through, incorrect items will drop off your file, and your score should improve. You may have to wait 30 days for the credit bureau to review your dispute before you see any changes.
Make more frequent payments. Credit utilization is calculated based on the statement balance on each of your credit cards. You can reduce these balances, thus decreasing your credit utilization and increasing your credit score, by making payments before the end of each billing period. Then, pay off the remaining balance by the due date to avoid interest charges and credit-score damage.
Become an authorized user. If you’re just starting out, or your credit report has a string of negative marks, a good move would be to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card and build your credit over time. Just make sure the primary holder is responsible and pays their bills on time.
Add new payments to your credit file. There are new services that can add positive information, like on-time utility payments, rent payments, and positive bank balances to your credit report. Not all of these programs apply to all credit bureaus, and some cost money to utilize, but they could boost your credit score over a few months.
Increase your credit limit. A higher credit limit can reduce your credit utilization ratio, assuming your spending does not increase. The only potential problem is that asking for a credit limit increase usually results in a hard credit inquiry, which would temporarily hurt your credit score a bit. But if you get a credit limit increase without asking, or you have a few months before you need the highest credit score possible, a higher limit could definitely help.
Everyone’s credit situation is different, so not every option will be relevant or available to you. The best way to find out exactly what you can do to quickly improve your score is to check out the personalized advice in the Credit Analysis section of your WalletHub dashboard.
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