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Can you get a credit card with bad credit?

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Print View - Published: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 at 11:58 AM

Even if you have bad credit you may be eligible for a couple of different types of credit cards. Secured cards are normally the best choices for individuals who are in this type of situation. These are cards where the account holder has to put up the money to secure the line of credit. For example, a secured card with a $500 limit would mean the card holder putting up a $500 deposit. As you use the credit card, you will still have to make payments on what you purchased, including an interest rate.


After you keep the account in good standing and pay your bills on time, the deposit will be given back to you. The card issuer will then choose a small line of credit to offer you and continue to raise that as you pay your bills on time. Normally a year will pass before your payment history is assessed, so this can be a long process. Secured cards are easiest for individuals with bad credit to get because they have to put up the money to actually use them. 


Unsecured cards specifically meant for people with low credit scores are also options. These cards come with higher interest rates, but those rates can decrease after positive payment history. Many different fees can also be associated with these for things like late payments, over the limit, ATM use, etc. Unsecured cards can be risky if you default on even one payment, so they should be used with caution. 
Prepaid Visas and Mastercards are excellent choices because they are paid up front and don't actually offer a credit line. These can still be used everywhere regular cards are; they just use your money instead of money from a line of credit. Prepaid accounts don't have many requirements, so even individuals with a low credit score can get them. The card is simply loaded with cash whenever you want more money on it.

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