Getting a credit card with bad credit isn’t a walk in the park anymore. These days, lenders have tightened lending requirements, and having a low credit score or negative marks on your credit make it very difficult to get a credit card. However, getting a credit card with bad credit isn’t impossible. You just need to know where and how to look.
If you’re looking for a credit card with bad credit, take these tips into consideration…
- Don’t take the first offer that comes along. There are a few credit card companies that cater to consumers looking for credit cards with bad credit. These credit cards, however, often come with low limits, high interest rates, and high annual fees. When it comes right down to it, most of these cards aren’t worth it. Make sure you read the fine print and understand all of the details and fees if you get an offer for a credit card with bad credit. You may be tempted to jump on such an offer, but it may be more of a headache than it’s worth.
- Consider a secured credit card. A secured credit card is an excellent option for consumers looking for a credit card with bad credit. To get a secured credit card with bad credit, you first send the credit card company a sum of money and receive a credit card with a credit limit with this same amount. The money that you send the credit car company helps ensure that they won’t lose any money if you don’t pay your bill. Not all secured credit cards are created equal, though. Before choosing a secured credit card, make sure that it does report to all three major credit bureaus. With responsible use, your credit score will go up, and some credit card companies will refund your initial security deposit and graduate you to an unsecured card.
- Read credit card reviews. This is true when considering any credit card, but it goes double when you’re looking for a credit card with bad credit. As mentioned above, some credit cards for people with bad credit have hidden fees and poor customer service. These negative
- Become and authorized user. Chances are you already know someone who has a credit card. If you need to boost your poor credit score, it can sometimes help to be added as an authorized user to another person’s account. Make sure the person s trustworthy and responsible, though, since negative activity on the account could possibly trash your credit score as well.
- Apply for a bank or credit union credit card. If you already have a checking account, savings account, or loan in good standing with a bank or credit union, consider applying for a credit card issued by them. Since you already have an established relationship with them, they may be more wiling to extend you credit. Some banks and credit unions even have programs and credit cards specifically for people with bad credit.
- Only apply to credit cards with a reasonable chance of acceptance. Credit inquiries can ding your credit score even more, so it’s important to choose which cards you’ll apply for wisely. Don’t apply for credit cards willy nilly, since this will just add credit inquiries to your report. Instead, do your research and only apply for a credit card if you have a reasonable chance of being accepted. For instance, if a particular credit card only approves consumers with excellent credit, it’s usually not worth applying for.