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Credit Cards for No / Bad Credit

Credit Cards for Bad Credit...Here are your options if you have a bad credit history...

Worried that bad credit or a lack of credit history could prevent you from obtaining a new credit card? Don't worry - credit card issuers have credit cards designed specifically for people like you! While these cards tend to have higher intereest rates (and additional fees) when compared to 'standard' credit cards, they'll give you the opportunity to build and improve your credit score over time.

Unsecured Credit Cards

An unsecured credit card is a 'standard' or traditional credit card that doesn't require a security deposit. The interest rate and credit limit are based solely upon your credit history.

Most unsecured credit cards are out of reach for people with poor or no credit history; however, there are a few exceptions offered at ASAP Credit Card. While these offers still carry higher interest rates and additional fees when compared to offers for people with good credit, you won't pay a security deposit.


Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are available to just about anyone, regardless of credit history. That's because a security deposit is required - normally between $100 and $500 - before you can make any purchases. Since the security deposit determines your credit limit, if you run into a problem paying your bill at any time, the deposit will be used to cover your obligation - securing your debt.

Although this may not seem like a 'true' line of credit, you'll have the chance establish or rebuild your credit history since all your activity will be reported to the 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Here are some other points to consider:

  • Interest may be paid on your deposit - up to 4.5%.
  • Cards that carry the MasterCard or Visa logo appear like a standard card to merchants.
  • Some issuers offer double the amount deposited as the credit limit.
  • Your credit limit may be increased without additional deposits after you've successfully shown your ability to responsibly pay your monthly bill.
  • Be aware that some issuers charge a fee to increase your credit limit.
  • You may be denied a credit card if any late payments posted on your credit report within
    the last six months.
  • Some issuers will not consider applicants with a past bankruptcy.

Secured credit cards are a great option to help build or repair your credit history. Try to pay more than the minimum amount due whenever possible and always make your payments on-time. Once you've demonstrated that you can handle your credit responsibly, the issuer may increase your credit limit without an additional deposit. Eventually, after you've built-up enough credit history, you'll be able to qualify for a 'standard' credit card with a lower APR and no security deposit.

Prepaid Credit Cards

A prepaid credit card operates on a "pay-as-you-go" basis and can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted. They offer many benefits, and in most cases, are very easy to use. But be aware, not all prepaid credit cards report your activity to the major credit bureaus. While you'll benefit from the safety and convenience of a prepaid card, you won't be building or improving your credit history if the credit card company doesn't report your card activity. Luckily, many prepaid cards report your credit card activity or offer this option for an additional monthly fee.

Our Recommendation

If you have bad credit, or no credit at all, try applying for an unsecured credit card first. This allows you to avoid security deposits and provides you with a 'true' line of credit if you're approved. Since most credit card issuers will offer you a secured line of credit if you don't qualify, you should try for an unsecured offer (for poor credit) and only accept a secured credit card if you don't qualify.

* See a complete list of our Credit Cards for Bad Credit >

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