John S Kiernan, Managing Editor
You can get a credit card with bad credit by filling out an application for a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card for bad credit and placing a refundable deposit if you opt for a secured card. Secured cards are the easiest credit cards to get, offering good approval odds even to people with bad credit.
Some secured credit cards don’t even check applicants’ credit history, which means there’s no hard pull to hurt your score further and past mistakes won’t prevent you from getting approved. Secured cards also charge much lower fees than unsecured cards for bad credit, which are only worthwhile for emergency borrowing.
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 sooner. Some secured cards even let you check for pre-approval.
- 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.
Notable Credit Cards to Get with Bad Credit
You can also take a look at our editors’ latest picks for the best secured credit cards and best credit cards for bad credit to weigh your options. 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.
Unsecured Cards for Bad Credit: Things to Keep in Mind
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.
2023's Credit Cards for Bad CreditCompare Cards
People also ask
Did we answer your question?