Credit Cards for Poor Credit | An Expert Guide
We know that it can be frustrating trying to apply for a new credit card when you have poor credit. That's why our experts have created this guide, providing you with useful tips on what to do and not do as you approach the credit application process. Click on the images below to get specific advice from our experts.
Browse ALL Expert Guides
What To Look For When Applying
When you have poor credit and are looking for a credit card, your only option may be a secured card. Thankfully, there are competitive secured cards available from several major reputable banks. You will want to look for a card with reasonable fees and interest rates that are not excessive. Other features to look for can include automated payment alerts via text messages or email, and even rental car insurance benefits. You may want to consider opening a secured card account at a bank where you also have a checking or savings account so that you can view all of these accounts in one place, and payments are simplified. Finally, consider applying to an issuer that offers regular credit cards in addition to secured cards, because you may have the option of graduating to a standard credit card once your credit score improves.
What To Avoid When Applying
When you have poor credit, a secured card might be the only type of credit card you qualify for. Nevertheless, you should still look for the cards that offer the best terms, and be aware of the total costs of the card you apply for. Secured cards that have application fees and very high interest rates, as well as monthly fees rather than annual fees can be a more expensive choice in the long run. In addition, secured cards without a grace period can also be a more costly choice over time, as a grace period allows you to avoid interest charges when you pay your statement balance in full before the due date.
Should You Apply For More Than One?
When you have poor credit, applying for multiple accounts may have a negative impact on your credit score, which is best to keep to a minimum. And if you are applying for secured credit card accounts, be aware that you will have to submit multiple security deposits, which can be expensive. In addition, it may be more beneficial to you at this time to focus on paying a single account on time every month; having multiple accounts can make that harder to do. Once you have a track record of on-time payments for at least a year, you can apply for a standard account, and later, additional accounts as necessary.
When Is The Best Time To Apply?
When you have poor credit, the best time to apply for a new credit card is when your finances are in order. This means any bankruptcies should be fully discharged, and you should have a source of income and can afford to pay all of your monthly bills. If you have poor credit, then you may only qualify for secured credit cards, so you must also have enough money for the security deposit, which becomes your line of credit. Finally, you should always have a reliable system for paying your bills, because you must pay your secured credit card statement on time just like you would any other bill, or your credit can be damaged further.
There are no cards that match your search
Please revise your search criteria above and try again.
Our credit experts would love to know what you think. Just remember to keep it clean, civil, honest, and avoid posting sensitive, private information. These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser.
It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Please note that any Credit.com comments below are, of course, completely independent (not reviewed or endorsed by people representing financial institutions).
Okay, fire away!
*For complete information,
see the terms and conditions on the credit card issuer’s
website. Once you click apply for this card, you will be directed to
the issuer’s website where you may review the terms and
conditions of the card before applying. While Credit.com always
strives to present the most accurate information, we show a summary
to help you choose a product, not the full legal terms - and before
applying you should understand the full terms of products as stated
by the issuer itself.
†Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card
offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies
which Credit.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact
how and where products appear on this site (including, for example,
the order in which they appear). The site does not include all
credit card companies or all available credit card offers.