Nevertheless, our editors compared hundreds of offers – both secured and unsecured – to identify the best credit cards for people with bad credit. You can find a summary of their selections below.
Credit Cards For Bad Credit – 2017's Best
For the full list of our editors’ picks, check out our Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit page. Below, you can also learn more about the dos and don’ts of choosing a card at this important stage of your credit career.
4 tips for getting the best credit card for bad credit
- Focus on secured cards. Secured credit cards offer the highest chances of approval because they require you to place a security deposit that acts as your credit line. This deposit also prevents the need to charge fees, making secured cards the cheapest way to rebuild credit.
- Get current on all your bills. For starters, there’s no point in adding to your obligations if you don’t have all your ducks in a row. Plus, many credit cards for bad credit won’t approve you if have any recent delinquencies, according to WalletHub’s Secured Card Report.
- Don’t confuse secured cards with guaranteed approval. While secured cards offer the closest thing you can get to guaranteed approval, most will still perform a credit check. And certain items on your credit report could disqualify you. For example, some issuers won’t approve secured card applicants who have an unsettled tax lien (e.g. Wells Fargo) or recent delinquency (e.g. Capital One) on their record. If you want a secured card that doesn’t do a credit check, Open Sky Secured is a good option.
- Compare offers based on fees. Low-cost credit improvement should be your top priority. One way to keep costs low is to always pay your bill in full, to avoid interest charges. Another is finding a card with low (or no) annual, monthly and one-time fees.