The best Discover credit card for bad credit is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card because it is designed for applicants with credit scores below 640. This Discover card also comes with a $0 annual fee and reports account activity to all three of the major credit bureaus each month. Most other Discover credit cards require at least limited-to-good credit for approval.
If you use the Discover it Secured Credit Card responsibly over time, you may be able to qualify for a Discover credit card with more attractive terms. Responsible card use means establishing a history of on-time payments and not maxing out the card’s credit limit.
The best Discover card for bad credit is definitely the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. In fact, it’s really the only Discover card that you can count on getting despite a bad credit score. Here’s how it works: When you apply, you place a security deposit of at least $200, which will become your credit line if you’re approved. This refundable deposit acts as collateral for Discover, reducing their risk and explaining why it’s so easy to get approved.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card is the best Discover card for bad credit because:
You won’t pay an annual fee. This card is free to have. There’s a 0% foreign transaction fee. But do keep in mind that you’ll have to temporarily part with at least $200 to make the security deposit.
There are rewards. It’s unusual for a secured card to have rewards, but the Discover it® Secured Credit Card does. You get 2% cash back on your first $1,000 of purchases at gas stations and restaurants combined each quarter. Everything else gets 1% cash back. And at the end of your first year, your rewards for the year are matched by Discover.
It’s unlikely, but possible, you’ll be declined. Income, debt, and bankruptcy can affect your approval odds. But this is your best chance, as far as Discover cards go.
Credit-building potential is equal to unsecured. There’s no difference in the way secured cards and unsecured cards report information to the credit bureaus.
You can increase your credit limit. Any time after getting your first monthly statement, you can call Discover at (800) 347-3085 to add to your security deposit. Your credit line will increase by the amount of this additional deposit.
Graduation to unsecured is possible. After you’ve had Discover it® Secured Credit Card for at least 8 months, Discover will review your credit every so often. They might decide to refund your security deposit and transition you to an unsecured card.
Definitely the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. If you have really bad credit, secured cards are the only ones you can get. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card card doesn't charge annual fees, and even has cash back rewards, so I think that would be your best bet.
Whether your finances aren’t so great or they’re right on track, you should be able to find a Discover card that works for you. Let’s take a look at Discover’s offers and what score you need to get approved.
Minimum Credit Score Needed for Discover Cards:
Discover it® Secured Credit Card: No minimum score, will approve bad credit applicants
Discover it® Student Cash Back: Available to applicants with limited or no credit
Discover it® Student chrome: Available to applicants with limited or no credit
Discover it® Cash Back: Good credit (700+) required
NHL® Discover it®: Good credit (700+) required
Discover it® chrome: Good credit (700+) required
Discover it® Miles: Good credit (700+) required
There aren’t any Discover cards that flat-out require excellent credit, currently. But we recommend a score of at least 700, which is toward the top of the good range, for the cards that require good credit for approval. So most Discover cards may be a tough get for the average person, who has a credit score of 669.
With that being said, it’s not just your credit score you should worry about. For example, Discover will consider how your income compares to your debt, along with your employment status, whether you own or rent your home, how many loans and lines of credit you already have open, and more.
If denied for a Discover card, the first step is to find out why Discover rejected the application. The reasons will be listed in the denial letter Discover sends out shortly after its decision. They may include an annual income below what’s needed to make minimum monthly payments, a low credit score, too many recent credit inquiries or a high amount of debt, among others. Discover will also deny people who already have two open Discover card accounts or who are applying for a second less than a year after getting the first. Incomplete or inaccurate information on the application could result in a denial, too.… read full answer
Next, review your credit report to make sure there are no errors that could trigger a denial. If you notice any discrepancies, dispute them with the credit bureau(s) immediately. It’s always a good idea to do this before you apply to minimize the risk of being denied.
After you’ve determined the reason(s) you were denied for a Discover card, if you think your application deserves a second look, try a reconsideration. Discover does not have a dedicated phone line for reconsiderations, but you can call customer service at 1 (800) 347-2683. If there have been significant positive changes in your credit profile or your finances since you applied, it may be worth a try. But it’s not easy to get a denial overturned.
If reconsideration is unsuccessful, consider applying for a card with higher odds of approval, such as a secured credit card with no credit check. Or, you can sign on to another person’s account as an authorized user. This allows you to build credit without being responsible for payments every month.
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.
Just get the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. You can apply for it, even if you have bad. Plus, if you make payments on time, your score will go up.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.