What Credit Card Can I Get With Bad Credit?

Is a credit card a good option when you have a bad credit score?

When you apply for a credit card, your chosen provider will conduct a credit check so they can access your credit report. With this information, they will determine whether they feel comfortable providing you with a credit card. If you have made financial mistakes in the past, such as missing payments, taking on too much debt or breaching repayment terms on a loan, you could have a low credit score. Unfortunately, this will make it harder for you to secure a new credit card as many providers will deem you too high a risk. Thankfully, there are options for people in this position. 

In this in-depth guide, we’ve explored some of the credit card options open to people with a bad credit score, answering some of the most common questions so you can feel confident as you move forward in your search for additional funds.

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Can I get a credit card when I have bad credit?

Yes, some lenders offer a credit card for people with bad credit and are more likely to accept your application even if you have a poor credit history. In some cases, these cards act as a lifeline by providing much-needed credit to people who are otherwise overlooked, allowing you to prove that you are now able to repay your debts on time. There is still no guarantee that your application will be accepted, so it is important to choose the card that offers you the highest chance of approval, allowing you to avoid any further negative impact on your credit score. If you are considered eligible for several cards, it is important to choose the option that will give you the greatest chance of boosting your finances. For example, a card that offers 0% interest on spending for a certain period could give you the chance to temporarily avoid interest and use this money to clear current debts. 

Your questions, answered

If you are worried that your application will be rejected, it is important to avoid applying where possible. The more cards you apply for, the more searches there will be on your credit report, impacting your credit score. The more rejections you have, the harder it will be for you to be accepted in the future. This is particularly important if you have already been rejected for a credit card. Special credit cards for people with poor credit may still approve your application. They could even help you build your credit score, but make sure you check your eligibility before you apply to avoid further disappointment.

We can’t know what our financial future holds, and sometimes, we find ourselves in need of a helping hand. Whether you need to pay for school expenses or your old car has finally bid you farewell, it could be that a new credit card is the answer to balancing your money and helping you bridge any gaps in your funds. Often the application process is fast, simple and if you choose to take out a credit card with your current bank, you may be able to secure your new account within a matter of hours.

Bad credit cards are not right for everyone, so check that you can afford repayments on a higher interest card before you take on additional debt. If you have struggled to find a card that will accept you based on your credit score, a credit card for bad credit could be the best choice for you. These special cards often charge higher rates of interest than general credit cards. In exchange, they give you the chance to rebuild your credit history to apply for better rates in the future. 

Eligibility does not guarantee that you will be approved. Try to choose a credit card that offers a high chance of approval to avoid disappointment or delay expenses where possible until you can boost your credit score and increase your chances of being accepted. 

One way to increase your chances of being accepted for a credit card is to avoid your additional costs until you have been able to boost your credit score. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for everyone. Still, if you feel you can postpone your expenses, you could put yourself in a more favourable financial position and increase your chances of being accepted for a credit card. One of the most beneficial things you can do is reduce your current debts by using any spare funds to pay off your current credit accounts. However, you could also boost your credit score by ensuring that you meet all your scheduled repayments and pay off at least your minimum amount every month. Avoiding additional costs may give you the chance of finding an alternative method of borrowing, such as getting a loan from friends or family or building up your own savings pot so you can cover costs without impacting your monthly outgoings. 

You can also increase your chances of securing a credit card by taking on a credit card for bad credit and then working hard to ensure you demonstrate responsible behaviour. If you demonstrate positive change over several months, your provider may see you as a lower risk and allow you to swap to a general credit card. To achieve this, make sure you always remember the following three rules:

  1. Only use your credit card to pay for small purchases each month to avoid building debts.
  2. Repay your credit card in full every month to demonstrate financial stability and avoid interest.
  3. If you cannot repay in full, ensure you meet your minimum repayment amount to avoid hurting your credit score.

Whether you have chosen to apply for a credit card for people with poor credit or you are hoping to boost your credit report so you can apply for a mainstream credit card, there are ways you can increase your chances of being accepted. The most important step is to work hard to increase your credit score. This process often takes time and patience, but in the long run, it could help you secure your financial future and give you the freedom to apply for credit if you need a financial boost. Some of the most common ways of improving your credit rating include:

  • Closing any unused accounts: If you have several unused accounts, you are likely to have a large amount of credit available to you. By failing to close these accounts, you could make lenders concerned that you may make use of the credit in the future, making you a high-risk borrower.

  • Use as little of your available credit as possible: Once you have closed your unused accounts, remember to continue to keep your credit usage low. By consistently remaining significantly below your total credit amount, you will show lenders that you live within your means and manage money effectively.

  • Meet your monthly repayments: One of the biggest mistakes credit holders can make is missing repayments or making late payments. By paying off your debt in full each month or paying the minimum amount on time at the very least, you will convince lenders that you are a reliable, low-risk borrower.

  • Keep on top of your bills: One of the main reasons people are forced to seek additional credit is to cover bills. While some costs are unavoidable, you are more likely to keep your credit score high and your risk level low if you can demonstrate that you can consistently pay your household bills on time. 

If you are hoping to apply for a credit card but need to boost your credit score first, you may need to spend some time rebuilding your credit history. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix, and this process can take many months or even years if you have struggled to meet your credit responsibilities in the past. However, the time it takes to increase your score is personal to you; if you feel you only require a small boost to help you secure approval for a credit card, you may be able to achieve your goal in just a few months. Speak to an independent financial advisor to get tailored guidance on your personal credit status.

If you have a bad credit history, you might be concerned that a credit provider could reject your application. But while this can be a blow, it doesn’t have to mean it’s the end of your application journey. Many consumers out there find themselves with a poor credit history and still secure a credit card successfully. If you would like to know more about what types of credit we could offer you at The Money Shop, our Customer Service department is open seven days a week. Alternatively, if you need guidance about your personal finances, we recommend speaking to an independent advisor who will be able to offer in-depth advice.