Our Top 4 Easy-Approval Credit Cards to Give Your Score a Lift

What’s the Highest Credit Score Possible and How Do You Get It?

If you’ve ever had to repair your credit, you know how much of a struggle removing inaccuracies from your reports can be. The bad news is that in many cases, after removing negative accounts from your credit history you may only see a slight increase or maybe even no change at all to your credit score.

Why? Because you need a healthy credit profile to have a healthy credit score. If all you have is negative items on your credit reports and you’ve removed them all, you might not have much of a report left to build a credit score with. 

One of the easiest ways to build a good credit score is to improve your credit utilization ratio. You can do this by expanding the total amount of credit available to you by applying for a new credit card. 

If you’re currently working with a low credit score right now, and are worried about being approved for a credit card, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our top 4 easy approval cards.

Best Overall Card: Chime®

Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Apply Now
on Chime's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
None***

Ongoing Apr:
None***

Balance Transfer:
None

Annual Fee:
$0

Credit Needed:
Fair-Poor-Bad-No Credit
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. Chime Checking Account required.
  • No annual fee. No minimum security deposit*. No credit check to apply
  • *Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.
  • Build credit history with your own money on everyday purchases and on-time payments**
  • **On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Results may vary.
  • View and track your FICO® Score¹ right in the Chime app. FICO® Scores are used by 90% of top lenders
  • ¹Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn More
  • ***$2.50 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply.
  • Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted.

Card Details +

If you’re ready to start building your credit history, we suggest Chime as a simple, easy way to start. Unlike most other secured cards, Chime does not require a minimum security deposit* to get started. 

So if you don’t have a large chunk of cash to put down up front, you can put down however much you’re able to afford. That amount becomes your credit limit, so you can start building up your limit over time. 

Even better – they also don’t have a minimum credit score required to get started! In fact, they don’t run a credit check at all, so you don’t have to worry about a hard credit pull popping up on your report.

Note: To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposits to which Chime deems to not be qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

Other Recommended Secured Credit Cards

Most secured credit cards require the user to put down a cash deposit to secure their line of credit, which makes them a great option for people looking to build up their credit with on-time payments. Here are a few other secured cards we’d recommend.

Self – Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card

Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card

Apply Now
on Self Inc's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
N/A

Ongoing Apr:
28.74% This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate

Balance Transfer:
N/A

Annual Fee:
$25. The annual fee will reduce the amount of credit initially available to you. (If your initial credit limit is $100, for instance, your available credit will be only $75.)

Credit Needed:
Poor-Bad-No Credit
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Combined credit builder account and secured card products to help you build credit and save* money (minus interest and fees) No credit check.
  • No credit check. No credit history required.
  • Start with a credit builder account that reports to all 3 credit bureaus. Each on-time monthly payment builds credit history and savings. Choose the plan that works for you.
  • Make at least 3 monthly payments on time, have $100 or more in savings progress in your account, and be in good standing* You’ll automatically be eligible for the Self Visa® Credit Card, without a credit check.
  • Your savings progress from your Credit Builder Account acts as your refundable security deposit.
  • The Self Visa® Credit Card is accepted at millions of locations in the U.S.
  • Stay on track with credit utilization monitoring, auto pay, account reminders, a mobile app, and dedicated customer support.
  • *Sample Product for Credit Builder Account: $48 monthly payment, 12 month term with a $9 admin fee at a 15.92% Annual Percentage Rate. Please refer to www.self.inc/pricing for the most recent pricing options.
  • **Disclaimers, Rates and Fees: https://www.self.inc/card-agreement and https://www.self.inc/terms-of-service

Card Details +

We like the Self – Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card combo because it uses your progress on your credit-builder loan to approve you for a credit card, allowing you to side-step a credit inquiry to qualify for your card.

OpenSky Secured Visa

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Apply Now
on OpenSky's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
N/A

Ongoing Apr:
25.64% (variable)

Balance Transfer:
N/A

Annual Fee:
$35

Credit Needed:
Fair-Poor-Bad-No Credit
Snapshot of Card Features
  • No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
  • Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2/3 of cardholders receive a 48+ point improvement after making 3 on-time payments
  • Extend your $200 credit line by getting considered for an unsecured credit line increase after 6 months, no additional deposit required!
  • Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application
  • Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion
  • Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
  • Fund your card with a low $200 refundable security deposit to get a $200 credit line
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
  • Choose the due date that fits your schedule with flexible payment dates
  • Join over 1.2 million cardholders who’ve used OpenSky to build their credit

Card Details +

We like OpenSky Secured Visa because there is no credit check required to apply, and you can request an extension on your credit line after six months. Unlike most other secured cards, OpenSky also allows you to fund your security deposit in payments, making it even easier to get started.

Best Balance Transfer Card: UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card – The Comeback Card™

UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card - The Comeback Card™

Apply Now
on OneUnited Bank's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
N/A

Ongoing Apr:
17.99% (Fixed)

Balance Transfer:
Intro: 9.95% for 6 months

Annual Fee:
$39

Credit Needed:
Poor-Bad-No Credit
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Unlike your Prepaid Card, UNITY Visa secured card can help you build your credit. Apply online in less than 5 minutes, and you could be approved today!
  • No Minimum Credit Score required; low fixed interest rate of 17.99%; Fully refundable FDIC security deposit* required at time of application; if you have a min of $250 to deposit immediately, you can start now!
  • No application fee or penalty rate
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • 24/7 online access to your account
  • *See the Cardholder Agreement for more details.

Card Details +

We like this card because not only does it report your on-time payments to all three credit bureaus (helping you build up those positive credit signals) but it also offers a promotional rate for balance transfers of 9.95% for six months. Considering how difficult it can be to find a good balance transfer card with an easier application process, we especially recommend this card if your goal is to rearrange your credit card debt.

Building (and Protecting) Your Credit

While your score may not be strong enough to allow you apply for credit cards that offer better cashback or rewards, there are many credit cards in our list above that offer at least some of those same benefits and provide more support for reporting your good credit behavior to the bureaus. 

Just as a reminder, payment history can be the heaviest factor when it comes to calculating your credit score. Although you may want to improve your score by applying for a new credit card, make sure that you can avoid any late payments that may hit your reports and jeopardize all your hard work. 

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