It is harder to get a credit card with bad credit than it is with a higher credit score, and the credit card options available to people with bad credit aren’t as numerous or as attractive. Even though it is harder to get a credit card when you have bad credit, it is still fairly easy if you select the right card.
When you have bad credit, your best choice is usually a secured credit card, as it’s the easiest type of credit card to get. You’ll have to put down a security deposit to open the card, but it’s fully refundable when you close the account with a $0 balance. Some secured cards won’t even check your credit history when you apply.
Credit Cards That Are Not Hard to Get With Bad Credit
Even the easiest credit cards to get don’t have guaranteed approval, so there’s always a chance of rejection. But you should have good odds of approval for a secured credit card as long as you have a steady income and can pay the security deposit.
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 good approval odds even to people with 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 good 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.
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.
Yes, there are credit cards with a $5,000 limit for bad credit; they are secured cards that allow you to place a high security deposit. A secured credit card’s credit limit is equal to the deposit amount. While most secured cards do not allow deposits as high as $5,000, there are some that do, like the … read full answerHarley-Davidson® Secured Credit Card. This card allows a $5,000 deposit, and it also has both a $0 annual fee and rewards.
Unless your income is really high, you have no debt, and your financial problems are long behind you, you will not be able to get an unsecured credit card with a $5,000 limit with bad credit. Unsecured cards with $5,000 limits are usually available only to people with good credit. So, you’ll need to start off with a secured card.
Another way to get a credit card with a $5,000 limit with bad credit is to become an authorized user. When you’re an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, you’ll share a credit line with them. You’ll also rebuild your credit if the primary cardholder pays the bills on time.
If you go for a secured card, your credit limit is (almost always) equal to your deposit. So, depositing more money can give you a higher limit. However, the issuer will usually approve a personal maximum deposit for you. This may be below the card’s overall maximum, depending on your income and credit history.
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. This question was posted by WalletHub.
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.