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.
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.
There is no minimum credit score to get a credit card, if any credit card will do. Some credit card companies don’t even check applicants’ credit history, and the main approval requirement is that you earn more money than you spend. So it’s certainly possible to get a credit card even if you have a very low credit score or no credit score at all.… read full answer
But there is a difference between getting approved for a credit card in general and getting one of the better offers.
The credit score needed for credit card approval ultimately depends on which specific card you want to get. Most of the time, credit card companies have a credit score tier they’re looking for, and applicants will need a score in the required tier (or higher) for a good chance of approval. The tiers are bad, fair, good and excellent.
The thing is, credit cards require scores that are a bit higher than the traditional minimum for each tier in the overall credit score range, according to WalletHub’s research. So for each credit tier, you can see a “traditional” score range and a “WalletHub recommended” score range below.
Here is the credit score needed for a credit card at each level:
One way to estimate your credit card approval odds is to check for pre-approval. Many major issuers will allow you to check for free. It won’t hurt your credit score. And you’ll get a pretty good idea of your chances. Plus, if you’re not sure what your score is yet, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub. You’ll also get personalized credit card recommendations with high approval odds.
Just remember that having a qualifying credit score does not guarantee credit card approval. The credit card application process takes many other factors into account. Payment history, existing debt and income play big roles, too.
The Fingerhut Credit Account is the easiest unsecured card to get approved for. But it won’t suit everyone’s needs. Fingerhut is an online marketplace, and its card can only be used to make purchases on the site. So, while it will give you an unsecured line of credit, it won’t really help you cover emergency expenses.… read full answer
If you’re looking for a card that can be used for anything, the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card is your best bet. You can get approved for it with bad credit. It offers a $300 starting spending limit. And you can use it wherever Visa is accepted.
Those aren’t your only options, though. WalletHub’s editors compared all of the unsecured credit cards in our database of 1,000+ offers. And we selected our favorite easy-to-get offers.
Here are the easiest unsecured credit cards to get:
The easiest unsecured credit cards to get generally work best for minor emergencies. You will only receive a small amount of spending power, after all.
Unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit also tend to be very expensive, charging lots of fees and high interest rates. So if you don’t need a small emergency loan, the best course of action is to improve your credit inexpensively with a secured card. Secured cards are cheaper than unsecured cards, build credit just as effectively, and offer the closest thing you’ll find to guaranteed approval.
To learn more, check out WalletHub's complete list of the year’s easiest credit cards to get approved for.
There is no secret for how to get a credit card with bad credit, other than choosing the right kind of card. There are two types of credit cards that you can get with a poor credit score: secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit. Both types report account information to the major credit bureaus each month, which means either can help you rebuild your credit if used responsibly. But they’re far from equal in terms of accessibility and cost.… read full answer
Secured cards are the easiest credit cards for anyone to get, offering nearly guaranteed approval even to people with very bad credit. Some don’t even check applicants’ credit history, which means there’s no hard pull to hurt your score more. Secured cards also charge much lower fees than unsecured cards for bad credit.
All of that, from the high approval odds to the low fees, is thanks to the fact that you have to place a refundable security deposit to get a secured credit card. The amount of this deposit, which you typically have to place when you apply, usually serves as your spending limit. This prevents you from spending more than the card’s issuer knows for sure you can afford to repay. And without the risk of being left with an unpaid balance, the issuer can afford to approve more people as well as offer more attractive terms.
Now that you know the lay of the land, the path to plastic despite poor credit should be clear. But for your convenience, we’ll lay out step-by-step instructions below.
How to get a credit card with bad credit:
Compare secured credit card offers. Shopping around will help you find the card with the lowest fees, lowest deposit requirement and highest approval odds.
Fill out an application. Applying online is best because you get a decision soonest.
Place your security deposit. You’ll have to submit your deposit either when you apply or after approval but before opening an account. You can usually fund the deposit with a transfer from a bank account or prepaid card. The funds will be returned if you don’t get approved or when you close your account (minus any unpaid balance).
Get approved. It’s possible to get rejected for a secured credit card, but not likely.
Getting a credit card with bad credit can be tricky. But it’s crucial to open an account as soon as possible in order to begin repairing your credit reputation. A secured card allows you to do that. And it has the added benefit of helping you avoid being rejected repeatedly, which would only make matters worse.
No matter which secured card you choose, paying your bill on time every month will add positive information to your credit reports, which will help cover up past mistakes. But sometimes that’s not enough. Some people with bad credit need a credit card with no security deposit to cover emergency expenses. In that case, an unsecured credit card for bad credit is your only option.
You won’t have much of a selection when shopping for an unsecured card with bad credit, unfortunately. You won’t get too much extra spending power, either, because high fees will initially consume much of your credit line. But it’s definitely possible to get approved for such a card. Just compare your options and double-check the eligibility requirements in their terms and conditions to make sure nothing in your background rules you out.
So, to recap, a secured credit card is your best bet if getting approved and beginning to rebuild your credit as soon as possible is your top priority. But if you need an emergency loan, you’ll have to make do with a costly unsecured card for bad credit.
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