A credit score of at least 550 to 650 is needed for an unsecured credit card in most cases, though it’s possible to get approved for an unsecured card with a lower score or even no credit score. For example, some of the best beginner and student cards are unsecured and will approve applicants with little or no credit.
If your credit score is below the 550 to 650 threshold needed to get a good unsecured card, you’d be much better off applying for a secured card such as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card or the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One. They’re easier to get than unsecured cards because you’re putting up your own money, typically a minimum deposit of $200, to secure the account.
For people with bad credit who are set on getting an unsecured card, two of the best options are the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card (cash back on select purchases) and the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit (no upfront fees). Remember, unsecured credit cards for bad credit do not require a security deposit to open an account. As such, they typically come with low credit limits, high fees and high interest rates.
The minimum credit score for unsecured cards for bad credit is around 500. You can get approved with a really low credit score, but you'll also have to live with lower credit limits, high annual fees and high APR rates.
Honestly, I'd say a secured card is probably a smarter alternative.
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.
Yes, you can get an unsecured credit card with a 500 credit score, although it’s probably not the best idea. It’s harder to get approved for such a card, and it always involves high fees and little spending power. Unsecured credit cards for bad credit are only recommended for emergencies.
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