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Credit Cards for Bad Credit

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If you've made some credit missteps along the way and now have bad credit (or below-average credit), applying for one of the credit cards for people with bad credit listed below could be a good first step to a fresh start (some of these offers originate from CardHub advertising partners). As you may or may not know, you can build, rebuild or re-establish your credit history by making on-time payments to all of your creditors and maintaining balances below your credit limits. By doing so, positive information will get added to your major credit reports each month and will…show more

    Capital One® Secured Mastercard®


    capital one secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $49, $99, or $200
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 22.9% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards


    credit one credit card
    • Annual Fee $35 - $99
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 17.90% - 23.90% (V)*
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site
    • Unlimited 1% cash back gas rewards
    • No limit to the gas rewards you can earn

    Primor® Secured Visa Gold Credit Card


    primor secured visa gold card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • Annual Fee $49
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Primor Blue Visa Credit Card


    primor credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 13.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Open SkySM Secured Visa® Credit Card


    open sky secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 17.5% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    Secured Credit Card Application from First Progress
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 14.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    Platinum Secured Credit Card from First Progress
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 19.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    MasterCard Secured Card from FirstProgress
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $44
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 11.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    USAA Secured Credit Card


    usaa bank secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $250
    • Annual Fee $35
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.9% - 19.9% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Wells Fargo® Secured Credit Card


    wells fargo secured card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $25
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 18.99% (V)
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    We work hard to present you with the most accurate credit card information, however, this information does not originate from us and thus, we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information.

    Before you apply for a credit card we recommend that you review and verify the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card company's web site. Please let us know if you find any differences.

    Ad Disclosure: Certain offers originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on a card's details page using the designation "Sponsored Card", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At CardHub we try to list as many credit card offers as possible and currently have more than 1,200 offers, but we do not make any representation of listing all available offers.

    Ask our Experts
    EXPERT’S ANSWERS

    How do I know if I have bad credit?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOThere are both qualitative and quantitative criteria that may help you determine if you have bad credit. From a quantitative perspective, a FICO score in the 300-619 range is considered “bad.” If you do not know your credit score and want an interactive way in which to approximate it, try our Free Credit Check. Alternatively, if any of these are applicable, you have bad credit:
    1. You are late on a credit card, loan or medical bill or payment
    2. The balances on your credit cards are near your limits
    3. You have declared bankruptcy in the last three years
    4. You have been more than 60 days late on a medical bill, credit card or loan payment in the last nine months.
    It is important to note that mistakes on your credit history can misrepresent you as having bad credit. Since you are legally entitled to free copies of your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies—Equifax, TransUnion and Experian—every 12 months, you should make sure to check them for mistakes yearly. To do so, visit AnnualCreditReport.com, and report any discrepancies. It is important to check the report from each agency thoroughly and file any necessary credit report disputes because inaccuracies can significantly damage your credit score and the information from each source may differ (all three reports can be accessed at annualcreditreport.com).

    How do I improve bad credit?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorSimply put, get a credit card for bad credit and use it responsibly. In order to improve bad credit, you must begin infusing positive information into your credit report that will negate past negatives such as bankruptcies, defaults and late payments, and a credit card for bad credit is the easiest tool for developing a pattern of positive credit usage. It represents the easiest option because people with bad credit have better chances of getting approved for a credit card than any other type of loan or line of credit. As a matter of fact, secured credit cards (the most widely used type of bad credit credit card) offer guaranteed approval, which means you can benefit no matter how bad your credit may be.

    No matter what type of bad credit credit card you wind up getting, it will report information about your use to the major credit bureaus every month. As long this information reflects on-time payments and low credit utilization, your credit score will benefit. Additionally, it is important to note that you don’t need to make purchases with a credit card in order to benefit. Simply maintaining a credit card at zero balance and in good standing adds positive information to your three major credit reports each month.

    How to get a credit card with bad credit

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOA lot of people with bad credit routinely apply for credit cards and get rejected, causing them to wonder if a credit card is even attainable with bad credit. If this describes your situation, simply go for a secured credit card. All you must do to get such a card is provide a valid Social Security Number, declare that you have enough income to afford the monthly minimum payment (usually 3% of your balance) and most importantly be prepared to put down a refundable deposit of at least $200. In the very rare event that you get declined for a secured card, try applying for one from a different bank until you get approved. While we typically discourage multiple credit card applications in a short time frame because of the damage they can do to your credit, when you have bad credit, the benefit of getting a credit card ASAP outweighs any such damage. Besides, when you’re applying for secured cards, it’s only a matter of time before you find a bank that will approve you.

    What are the different types of credit cards available to people with bad credit?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorIt’s possible to get three different types of credit cards with bad credit: secured credit cards, partially secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards for bad credit. Secured credit cards require a refundable security deposit that doubles as your credit line and protects the issuer from the threat of default, thereby making it unnecessary for the issuer to charge high fees. As a result, secured credit cards are typically a low-cost means of building credit.

    Partially secured credit cards require a security deposit as well, but the credit line you receive exceeds the amount of this deposit. Therefore, spending beyond your means is a greater risk than with a fully secured credit card, and you might have to pay higher monthly or annual fees.

    Unsecured credit cards are what most people think of as “regular” credit cards. While they do not require a security deposit, they tend to have low credit lines and very high fees. They also require greater discipline from users when it comes to spending since there is no security deposit to act as a safety net. What’s more, these cards are not always available, depending on the policies of the various credit card companies that cater to consumers with bad credit history.

    How long will it take for my bad credit score to improve?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOEveryone’s credit situation is different. Some people have bad credit because of serious issues like bankruptcy and foreclosure, while others may have had problems making minimum payments. In general, however, you should see improvement in your credit score in roughly 18 months as long as no new negative information is added to your credit reports and you are maintaining 1-2 credit cards in good standing monthly. It is possible to expedite this process somewhat by opening a secured credit card and aggressively adding to your deposit over time. The more credit you have available, the greater credit score improvement you will see.
    COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

    Help others find the best credit cards for bad credit by sharing what your deciding factor was when choosing your card (customer service, interest rate, fees, convenience, rewards, etc.)

     
    November 22, 2014
    Photo of Michael M.
    By:
    thank you for the help to repair my credit
    November 20, 2014
    Photo of Jason I.
    By:
    After being pretty irresponsible as a youth during college with the credit cards that I had, I found myself about 12k deep in debt that I never thought I would make my way out of. I worked hard and eventually was able to pay all of it off - but not after the damage to my credit was pretty bad. (in the 500's). My wife and I were hoping to buy a house and I knew rebuilding my credit would be key in making this seemingly impossible dream happen. I soon found out about the First PREMIER Bank MasterCard Credit Card which I was able to get approved for, despite more
    November 16, 2014
    Photo of Chris G.
    By:
    While I am now in a position to have multiple secured credit cards, this was not always the case in the past. Years ago, I had gotten myself into some debt issues, and I had hurt my credit score. I essentially had to start fresh and need to get back on my feet again with an unsecured credit card. If you have to go this route, I highly recommend going with Capital One because they are a big name in the credit card business and a reputable one. Like other commenters have mentioned, my unsecured card was more of a prepaid one in that I had to make a deposit more
    October 14, 2014
    Photo of Cayla R.
    By:
    I had a Capital One unsecured card that worked well for me. I was somewhat of a "prepaid" card in that there was a deposit. You used it as you would another credit card, but could only spend up to the amount you had deposited. It recorded similarly to traditional credit cards and significantly helped my credit when I was trying to build. After a couple of years, I withdrew the deposit and closed the card.
    September 7, 2014
    Photo of Sarah M.
    By:
    A few years ago i had a car loan that i did not keep up with that resulted in my credit going bad. I need a card in order to obtain a rental car. I looked into getting a secured card. It had been such a life saver. All i needed was the initial deposit and i was approved.
    July 29, 2014
    Photo of Stephanie C.
    By:
    I had an unsecured credit card to help with my credit but I didn't keep it very long because of the fees and interest rates. I used it consecutively for 3 months and then paid balance in full each month. This made my credit score go up and I was able to get another card within six months with a better rate
    July 13, 2014
    Photo of Cindi H.
    By:
    I agree with others that a secured card is the way to go, but want to caution people about watching out for people who want to profit off of your bad credit. There are companies out there that will give you a secured credit card and you have to pay them to keep your money! When I had struggles with my credit I asked my local credit union, Rivermark Credit Union, and they offered me a secure card for free and paid me interest on the money I used to secure it. They said that if I made payments for 6 months they would turn it into an unsecured card. more
    June 9, 2014
    Photo of Tracy B.
    By:
    When you have bad credit, getting a secured card is the best way to go. You can't possibly be late, since you have to have the money in the account to spend it. Therefore, the bank is more willing to work with you, and since you're always on time, they report it on your credit. It really is the best and the quickest way to rebuild your credit. This being the case, the deciding factor with a secured card should be how well they report. Some companies don't report as well, or as often, as they should. I have the Capital One secured mastercard, and have found that Capital One more
    May 26, 2014
    Photo of Jill S.
    By:
    I used the capital one secured mastercard. This is great for anyone who has a less than perfect credit rating. The advantage of having a secured card is that you literally can never be past due. This helped me get my credit back on track after years of it being in the gutter. Essentially after getting this card your credit will start to improve as long as you keep the account open and make the payments (which is what the secured part is for), recommended for anyone.
    May 5, 2014
    Photo of Adrian H.
    By:
    I got an offer in the mail for my Capital One credit card. Even though I had bad credit, I was looking to repair it so I went ahead and tried to get one. I was approved and have been using it carefully for just over 2 years now. My credit score is slowly but surely increasing.
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