Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit of June 2022 – NerdWallet


Click the card mention to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer ’ s web site. Our foot for : Rewards and upgrading Like other secured accredit cards for people building or rebuilding credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires a cash security situate. Unlike most others, it offers rewards. But what actually makes it stand out from the competition is its upgrade possibilities. The issuer has a serve in place for automatically reviewing accounts for possible passage to an unbarred card. Read our review.

Our peck for : Rewards and upgrading The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an impressive combination of features for those with poor credit. A sediment is required, but in commute you get a $ 0-annual-fee card that reports to all three credit chest of drawers ; an automatic credit specify recapitulation after six months ; and a possible upgrade path to an unguaranteed capital One poster. Oh, and 5 % back on hotels and lease cars booked through Capital One Travel, plus 1.5 % back on all other purchases, which equals what you ‘d find on many unbarred cards. Read our review. Our picking for : low deposit The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card requires a security sediment, as do all secured credit cards. But while most cards require you to put down a sediment equal to your credit channel, this one allows some qualifying applicants to get a $ 200 accredit wrinkle with a deposit of $ 49 or $ 99. far, you can be automatically considered for a higher credit credit line with no extra depository in adenine little as six months. Read our review. Our choice for : No recognition check or no bank explanation The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card charges an annual fee, but a lot of people will still want to take a look at it for two reasons. First, there ‘s no citation check required. second, you do n’t need a traditional savings bank report ; you can fund the depository or pay your bill with a money ordering or Western Union payment. Read our review. Our nibble for : No recognition crack and easy report management This card has no minimal deposit prerequisite, charges neither an annual tip nor matter to, and does n’t require a citation check, and you can automate your payments so you ‘re never late. But to get it, you must be a Chime bank customer, which is an extra wicket to jump through — and which comes with its own considerations when it comes to customer service. Read our review. Our pick for : No credit check, annual tip, security deposit or APR You can potentially qualify for the Tomo Credit Card with a moo ( or no ) FICO score because rather of a credit check or security deposit, the batting order ‘s issuer can weigh several alternative factors like income and score balances. The card earns 1 % cash back, and it doesn ’ thyroxine charge matter to or fees because you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate carry a libra from one calendar month to the following. Read our review. Our pick for : No citation determine, annual tip, security depository or APR The Grow Credit Mastercard doesn ’ triiodothyronine require a security down payment or a credit assay. It allows you to establish a credit history by paying for qualifying subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify, and it doesn ’ metric ton commission any interest or fees. There ‘s no APR because you can not carry a poise on the wag. Read our review. Our picking for : adjustable credit rating terminus ad quem The Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card from Armed Forces Bank makes it slowly to increase your credit line over time to give you greater flexibility and keep your credit use low. You can increase your specify in $ 50 increments plainly by depositing more money at any time. Read our review. Our blame for : low fees and interest The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card is a fasten circuit board for badly accredit, but it offers a lower interest rate than many unguaranteed cards for people with good credit. You must be a member of Digital Federal Credit Union to get this poster, although you can join by becoming a member of a partner organization for equally little as $ 10. Read our review.

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By Paul Soucy, NerdWallet

How to tell if you need a credit card for bad credit

When you apply for a regular accredit card, you ‘re basically asking the circuit board issuer to lend you money without any guarantee ( besides your predict ) that you ‘ll pay it back. Unlike with a mortgage or car lend, there ‘s no collateral backing up the deal. If an applicant doesn’t have a good credit seduce, the issuer considers the gamble to be excessively big, and that ‘s why it rejects the application. credit cards for badly accredit, however, have features that reduce the gamble to card issuers, so they can approve more people. The application action for credit cards for bad credit is more “ forgiving ” than for regular citation cards. Credit cards for bad credit might be a well fit for you if :

Your credit score is below 630

In cosmopolitan, a credit score below 630 ( on a compass of 300-850 ) is considered bad credit or poor credit. If you do n’t know your credit score, you can get it for detached through NerdWallet. Get your free credit score here. If you have a bad score, a credit tease specifically designed for people in your situation is one of the best tools for rebuilding your citation.

You have no (or very little) credit history

The term ” badly accredit ” is normally associated with mistakes, such as missing payments or having accounts turned over to solicitation agencies. But people who have a flimsy credit history or none at all can besides benefit from a credit poster for bad credit, since they, besides, are considered bad borrowers.

What causes bad credit?

multiple factors go into credit scores. Some are relatively minor — applying for a newly credit circuit board, for model, can knock a few points off anyone ’ s score temporarily because it suggests a motivation for more fiscal resources. Others are more serious. Bankruptcy, charge-offs or miss payments can do major damage to credit scores. here are the main factors in your credit score and how they can add up to bad credit :

  • requital history. This is the unmarried biggest factor in your score. Are you paying your bills on fourth dimension ? Paying a bill a couple of days late might not affect your credit score at all ( although you might get hit with a belated fee ). But once a bill is more than 30 days late, expect it to show up on your credit reputation and affect your score. even a single late payment can make a major dent in your seduce. That damage lessens with time, but if you ‘re repeatedly missing payments, it gets much worse .
  • Amounts you owe. Your overall debt warhead matters, but scoring systems pay special attention to credit use — the measure of your credit restrict you ‘re using. The closer person is to “ maxing out ” a line of credit, the more probable it is that they ‘re in a bad fiscal position. A $ 190 balance on a card with a $ 2,000 restrict is n’t going to raise a bunch of crimson flags, but a $ 190 balance against a $ 200 credit occupation suggests person pushing the limits of their means .
  • Length of credit history. If you have n’t had credit very long, that can be reflected in low scores. A common mistake people make is closing old accounts that they ‘re not using, which affects this share of their score. A 10-year-old credit wag bill is valuable from a scoring perspective, flush if the menu is just sitting in a drawer. If it does n’t have an annual tip, keep it open and use it once a year so the issuer does n’t shut it for inaction .
  • Types of credit. Scoring formulas like to see a mix of different types accounts — credit cards, loans and so on. obviously, you have to start somewhere, but it ‘s best not to let a unmarried report be your stallion credit history .
  • New credit applications. Expect every application to knock a few points off your grade temporarily. however, if you ‘re applying for multiple cards at once, the effect is multiplied, because that can suggest person desperate for money. This is why it ‘s significant to “ call your shots ” and apply entirely for cards when you have a good opportunity of approval .

What’s the easiest credit card to get approved for?

Approval for any credit card is never guaranteed. In addition to your credit history, issuers look at your income and other factors. inactive, some cards have standards that are not as unmanageable to meet as others ‘ .

  • The lower the hazard to the credit card issuer, the easier it is to get approved. That ‘s why secured credit rating cards are a recommend begin point for people working to build or mend accredit. These cards require you to put down a cash security lodge, which the issuer holds as collateral in lawsuit you do n’t pay your bill ( and which you get back when you close or upgrade your report ). The deposit reduces the risk, so issuers can make these cards available to more people. The cards on this page are all secure cards .
  • shop credit cards are besides broadly easier to qualify for than bank cards. They tend to have low credit limits and high interest rates, but they ‘re a viable credit-building tool provided you keep your balances low relative to the limit and pay them off each month .
  • In general, NerdWallet does not recommend unbarred cards for badly credit. An unbarred card is one that does not require a security lodge. All “ regular ” citation cards are unbarred. But unbarred cards marketed to people with bad credit rating are ill-famed for high fees and confusing terms. Further, issuers of such cards normally do n’t have good cards to upgrade to, meaning you ‘re stuck with either keeping a high-fee card open ( which costs you money ) or closing it ( which could hurt your credit score ). Most of the options in our “ Credit Cards to Avoid ” part below are unbarred .
  • If you ‘ve begun to build credit and have a sexual conquest in the mid-600s, attend at accredit cards for honest credit. These provide more benefits but do n’t require a top-tier credit score. See our best credit cards for fair recognition .

The costs of bad credit

credit scores are designed to measure one thing : How much of a hazard it is to lend person money. The lower the perceive risk, the higher the sexual conquest. Having bad citation limits your options for borrowing money : If you can get a lend at all, you ’ ll give higher pastime. There are other costs, besides. even though they ’ rhenium not designed as such, credit scores have come to be interpreted as a general standard of dependability. Employers, landlords, insurers, cell-phone providers, utility companies and others use them to evaluate customers or applicants. A NerdWallet sketch found that many people are unaware of these effects. significant numbers of Americans didn ’ triiodothyronine know that regretful credit could prevent them from renting an apartment ( 23 % ), raise their cable car policy costs ( 43 % ), limit their options for cell-phone military service ( 49 % ) or force them to provide security deposits for utility service ( 52 % ). Further, 1 in 5 respondents thought a mark of 600 — which is badly citation — was adequate to qualify for any credit card. If you have bad credit, or no credit, a poster designed specifically for person like you is normally the quickest and easiest direction to build citation.

Choosing a credit card for bad credit

credit cards for bad credit typically come with moo credit limits and high interest rates. That ’ s OK for immediately, because the elementary determination of these cards is to help you build credit or rebuild credit. When choosing a card, focus on :

  • Reporting to credit agency. A card will help you build credit only if it reports your payments to the companies that assemble the credit reports that are the basis of credit scores. Look for a card that reports to all three major credit agency. notice that prepay cards do not report to the credit agency because they do not involve borrowing money.
  • low fees. Unsecured recognition cards for bad citation frequently boast that you can apply for them with no sediment. But then they hit you with annual fees, alimony charges and other credit menu fees that can easily top $ 100 a year. Good secured credit rating cards have either no annual fee or a reasonably belittled one, and no hidden charges. You do pay a deposit — but you can get that money back .
  • dislodge credit score. Look for an issuer that provides free access to your grudge so you can track your advance. ideally, the issuer would besides offer other resources such as debt-payment calculators and release fiscal education programs .
  • A way to upgrade. once your credit improves, it ’ s nice to be able to convert your report to a calling card with better terms. If you have a secured card, will the issuer transition you to a regular unbarred batting order ? If you have an unguaranteed card for bad citation, can you move up to a translation with no fees or one that offers rewards ?

Read more in our guidebook to choosing a accredit wag for badly recognition.

How to apply for a credit card for bad credit

1. Know your credit score

One of the biggest mistakes people make with accredit card applications is choosing cards they do n’t qualify for. Applying for a card that requires full credit when you have a score of 580 is a undertake rejection. That would n’t be indeed bad except that each application goes on your credit report and can hurt your score. multiple applications can barely compound the wrong. Before you apply, know where you stand. You can get your free credit score through NerdWallet.

2. Find a card that suits your score

Cards on this and other NerdWallet pages have a “ recommend recognition score ” graph that shows what kind of credit you ‘ll need to qualify. If you ‘re logged in to NerdWallet with your free score, you ‘ll be able to see where your score lands on that graph. If you ‘re not logged in but know your score, check how it compares to the recommended scope.

3. Apply

Clicking the “ give now ” button for a card takes you to the application. You ‘ll normally have to provide your name, address, telephone number and electronic mail cover. Your social Security number is necessary to check your credit and for government fiscal report rules. The application will normally ask about your income a well.

4. Fund your security deposit

With a secured credit wag, the issuer wo n’t open your account until you ‘re provided your security deposit. Most cards have a minimum in the range of $ 200 to $ 300. Your deposit typically determines your credit limit, sol if you deposit $ 500, you ‘ll have a recognition restrict of $ 500 ; deposit $ 1,000, and you ‘ll get a credit note adequate to that amount. Issuers let you fund the deposit with a send remove from a checking history ; some allow you to pay by money ordering if you do n’t have a bank account.

5. Receive your card

once you fund your down payment, you ‘ll get your circuit board. Start using it to build a positive credit history by following the guidelines below.

How to raise your credit score using a credit card

A low credit rating score international relations and security network ’ thyroxine a life conviction. It ’ s a depart indicate. Using a credit tease responsibly is one of the fastest ways to build credit. Follow these tips :

  • Use the wag. Building a good credit history starts with making on-time payments. indeed use your credit rating menu regularly and pay your circular before your due date .
  • Don ’ thymine overuse the card. A key element in your credit score is your credit use, or how much of your available credit you ’ ra using. A maxed-out poster is a sign of person in fiscal trouble. thus hold use below 30 % at all times. On a card with a $ 300 credit limit, for example, that means you should keep your libra under $ 90 .
  • Pay on time and in full. With any credit calling card, the best move is to pay your entire counterweight in full every month. That direction, you ’ ll never pay interest — and the interest rates on credit rating cards for bad credit are typically very high. If you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate pay in full, pay at least the minimum amount due by your due date .
  • Track your progress. Check your credit score and recognition report regularly to see whether you ’ re moving in the right direction or if other things are holding you back. You can get loose access to your credit mark and credit composition on NerdWallet
  • Keep accounts open, if possible. The old age of your open credit accounts is a factor in your credit score. then don ’ t close accounts unless there ’ s a compel cause, such as an annual tip on a card you don ’ triiodothyronine plan to use. When it comes prison term to upgrade from a secured tease to an unguaranteed one, see if your issuer will let you keep your lapp account .


many credit cards that are marketed to people with bad credit are expensive. These cards might not require a security down payment, but they impose an array of steep fees merely for the prerogative of carrying and using them. These can include application fees, work fees, energizing fees and monthly “ care ” or “ membership ” fees, in addition to annual fees. Add up those fees, and they can well cost you more over the first couple of years than the deposit on a full secured credit calling card — and, unlike a security situate, the fees you pay are money you ’ ll never get binding. These cards can flush cost more to carry than some of the best rewards credit cards on the commercialize. Their ongoing interest rates tend to be high as well. NerdWallet recommends you steer clear of products like these :


The fees on the First Premier Bank Credit Card are sincerely dazzling. For starters, there ’ s a “ program fee ” that applies before you even get your card. then there are ongoing fees that depend on your credit limit. This byzantine fee structure owes its universe to a provision of federal law. Under the Credit Card Act of 2009, the fees on a credit rating wag in the first base year the account is open can ’ thymine exceed 25 % of the credit limit. process fees are charged before you open the explanation, so they don ’ triiodothyronine count against the 25 % ceiling. After the first year, there are no limits, so that ’ s when monthly care fees kick in. As a consequence, you ’ ll pay between $ 120 and about $ 175 a year in fees for this calling card. On clear of it all, the APR on this menu was 36 % as of June 2019 — one of the highest interest rates on any card.


The banner across the acme of this wag ’ s web site reads : “ Bad Credit, No Credit ? Low Score ? NO PROBLEM. ” In world, though, there are multiple problems. The Horizon Gold poster advertises an unguaranteed $ 500 credit restrict, but you might have to read the web site cautiously to recognize that it ’ randomness merely a memory card that you can use at just one station : the Horizon Outlet online plaza. The “ membership ” fees required to use this circuit board come out to closely $ 300 a class, and there ’ s even a erstwhile $ 5 “ issue and history establishment fee ” merely to get the card. This tease ’ second issuer, Horizon Card Services, offers several other cards, all of which can be used only at the Horizon Outlet. They include the NetFirst Platinum card, the Freedom Gold, the Merit Platinum and the Group One Platinum.


Credit One Bank — not to be confused with Capital One — specializes in recognition cards for those with less-than-great credit. Its offerings include the Cash Rewards Visa Card and the Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as the Official NASCAR Visa. The Credit One web site is maddeningly obscure about what kind of wag you ’ ll end up with if you apply. For case, your annual tip could be anywhere from $ 0 to $ 75 in the inaugural class and $ 0 to $ 99 after that. You may or not get a grace time period. You might get rewards on all purchases, or only some, or none. There are besides complicated, confusing rules on when your payments will post and when your available credit pipeline is refreshed after making a requital. Our recommendation : Don ’ t annoyance trying to figure it out, and don ’ metric ton bother use.


As of June 2019, these cards were charging a $ 125 annual tip in the foremost class for a minimum credit line of $ 500 — 25 % of the credit limit, the legal maximum. In the second gear year, the annual fee drops to $ 96 — but you start paying $ 10 a month in maintenance fees, for total fees of $ 216 a year. The APR, interim, was a whopping 29.99 % as of June 2019. The Surge Card and Matrix Card are offered by Continental Finance. That company has several other cards with similarly dapper names and the lapp janky terms : the Cerulean Card, the Reflex Card, the Fit Card and the Verve Card.


Like the First Premier Bank Credit Card, the Total Visa starts laying on fees before you even open your report. If you apply and are approved, you must first pay an $ 89 processing tip to get your card. The annual fee in the beginning year is $ 75. In the second class and beyond, the annual fee drops to $ 48 — but you start paying a monthly process fee of $ 6.25, which comes out to $ 75 a year. Put them together, and the Total Visa card will cost you $ 164 in the first year and $ 123 every year thereafter. To top it off, this card ’ s APR as of June 2019 was an dazzling 34.99 %. not acceptable.



According to the web site for this tease, the annual tip depends on a cardholder ’ sulfur creditworthiness. It might be $ 0, it might be $ 59, or it might be $ 75 the first year and $ 99 every year thereafter. Which one will you pay ? You have to apply to find out for sure. It ’ mho condom to say, though, that people with regretful recognition are more likely to end up with a $ 75/ $ 99 tip than a $ 0 tip. even $ 59 is importantly more than you would pay in annual fees on a good secured batting order. The APR on the Indigo Platinum as of June 2019 was 24.90 %. That ’ sulfur high but within the typical range for a citation menu for bad credit. You can do worse than this wag — but you can besides do much better.


The Milestone Gold is offered by Genesis Bankcard Services, the same ship’s company that ’ sulfur behind the Indigo Platinum. It, besides, has fees that depend on creditworthiness : $ 35 a year, $ 59 a year, or $ 75 in the first year and $ 99 in subsequent years. Adding a level of confusion, the foremost year ’ s fee might be divided between an “ report opening fee, ” which you pay before the account goes live, and an “ annual tip, ” which you pay subsequently. This may be a way to avoid running afoul of the 25 % rule. The APR is the lapp as on the Indigo Platinum, and our general assessment is the same : not the worst calling card, but far from the best .

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Category : Finance

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