How to Get Credit Card If You Have a Bad Credit Score

woman holding a credit card

If you find yourself in a situation that leaves you with bad credit, you may think you are unable to apply for a credit card. The truth is there are credit cards for bad credit.

Bad credit is nothing to be ashamed of. It can happen to anyone for any reason. The best thing to do is to take the important steps to rebuild your credit.

Getting a credit card and using it wisely can help you repair your credit.

If you find yourself in this situation, continue reading this guide to understand how to rebuild your credit with a credit card for bad credit.

Do You Have Bad Credit?

If you are asking this question, the answer is probably yes.

If you have recently been denied a credit card, you probably have poor credit. If you haven't or are still unsure, you can quickly and easily check your credit score.

Card issuers may send you a copy of your credit report via mail if they have recently denied your application. Otherwise, you can use an online service to check your credit score.

However, be aware of scams that will offer free credit reporting as a means of getting you to sign up. If you have to put in payment information, you will know to avoid the site.

There are trustworthy options for obtaining a free credit report, but it will likely not be a FICO score. Your FICO score is most commonly used by lenders to determine your creditworthiness.

Credit Cards for Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, don't apply for cards that require high credit scores. You will likely not be approved, and the additional credit inquiry may damage your credit score further.

These cards will offer attractive rewards and low APRs.

Although credit cards for people with bad credit don't offer the most attractive terms, remember that they are not forever. You will likely need to deal with annual fees, high APRs, and low credit limits.

The goal here is to improve your credit by using your card responsibly.

Secured and Unsecured Cards

It is important to understand the difference between these two types of cards, especially if you are looking at applying for a credit card for bad credit.

Some issuers may issue you a secured credit card, which will require you to put down a deposit. The issuer will keep the deposit if you are unable to pay your bill. If you are able to pay your bill, some issuers may give you an unsecured card.

A secured card is a good option for those trying to rebuild credit or those who have a minimal credit history. A secured card will work like a regular credit card. If you choose to cancel the card, you will receive your deposit back, as long as your account is in good standing.

An unsecured card will not require a deposit, but you will need to have better credit to get approved. You will probably need to look for unsecured cards that are meant for people with bad credit, and you may start with a low credit limit. Over time, your credit limit may be increased.

Getting Approved

If you have bad credit or no credit, it will be difficult for you to get approved for a credit card. There are some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting approved.

Boost Your Credit Score

Before applying for any credit cards, you should make sure your credit score is as high as possible. Make sure any and all bills are paid and up to date. Do not close any accounts.

Research Your Options

Before submitting any applications, be sure that you can find a card that will likely approve you. Only apply for that one. You will want to stick with cards that are meant for rebuilding credit.

Companies like Bonsai Finance offer tools to help you search for the right credit card for your situation.

Companies With Many Options

The more cards a company offers, the more likely you are to be approved for one of their options. They may be able to offer you a different card based on your credit profile.

Rebuilding Your Credit

Bad credit can happen to anyone at any time for any reason. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and you can rebuild your credit.

You may need to do a bit more financial planning and budgeting. Make sure to make all of your payments on time, and avoid applying for many lines of credit.

Charge to your new card only what you can afford to pay back at the end of each month. Mark the date on your calendar so you never forget when you need to pay your bill.

If you can use your new credit card for bad credit responsibly, then you may be able to rebuild your credit over the course of 12 to 18 months.

Getting Ahead on Your Finances

If you find yourself in a situation that leaves you with bad credit, have no fear. Although it can be a bit disheartening, there are options for you that can even help you rebuild your credit.

With a bit of research and responsible financial planning, you can quickly and easily find credit cards for bad credit that will help you restore your creditworthiness.

This will be important if you are planning on making any large investments in the near future, such as buying a home or a car.

If you found this guide useful and would like to know more about how to plan for your future, explore our money management articles.


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