The best low interest credit card for bad credit is the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit. The APR is 24.24% (V). While that’s still relatively high, it’s a lot cheaper than other unsecured credit cards for bad credit, which offer APRs of 24% - 36%.
The Credit One Bank Visa has no monthly or one-time fees. But the annual fee is $75 intro 1st yr, $99 after. New cardholders start out with a $300 credit limit, and can earn 1% cash back on purchases in specific categories. However, you won’t know which categories are eligible for rewards until your application is approved.
Unfortunately, unsecured credit cards for bad credit with low interest rates are hard to come by. Plus, unsecured cards for bad credit will often come with excessive fees and low starting credit limits, regardless of their APRs.
You could also consider secured cards. They’re easy to get with bad credit because they require a refundable security deposit to open the account. The deposit serves as collateral for the lender and minimizes their risk, and your credit limit is equal to the deposit. But if you’re planning to carry a balance, secured cards aren’t ideal since you’re basically prepaying for your purchases with the deposit and then owing interest.
The best low interest secured credit card for bad credit is the Applied Bank Secured Gold Preferred Credit Card because it has one of the lowest APRs available, at 9.99%. It requires a minimum $200 security deposit to open the account, and you can deposit a maximum of $1,000. There’s also a $48 annual fee. First Progress Platinum Prestige Secured Card is another good option. Its APR is the same, at 10.24% (V), but there is a slightly higher annual fee: $49.
One of the best credit cards 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 … read full answermajor credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every month, which is your ticket to a better credit score. And a $35 annual fee isn’t too much to pay for that.
However, 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, though, 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 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.
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