People fall behind on their credit for a variety of reasons. No one is impervious to turns in the economy, loss of a job, and unforeseen financial hardship.
When these things happen, your credit score suffers. If you’re not careful, it will fall to the point where it’s difficult to find a credit provider that will offer you a loan.
Getting your credit back on track is surprisingly difficult as well. To get better credit you need to open credit, but you won’t qualify for many credit cards or loans. These situations present a substantial catch-22.
If you’re trying to get your credit score back to where it should be, one of your best options is to find the best credit cards for poor credit. These will help you establish a line of credit, and your score will start to rebound.
Credit Score Ranges
Americans are troublingly unaware of the impact bad credit can have on your ability to obtain loans. A Nerd Wallet survey found that 21% of Americans believe that a 600 credit score will be high enough to qualify for any credit card they want.
It’s essential to understand where you fall on the credit score scale, so you know what steps you need to take. If you have fantastic credit, you can keep doing what you’re doing, but bad, poor, and low credit often requires action.
There will be a bit of variation, but a credit score usually breaks down like this:
- Bad Credit: 300 to 499
- Poor Credit: 500 to 579
- Low Credit: 580 to 619
- Average Credit: 620 to 679
- Good Credit: 680 to 699
- Excellent Credit: 700 to 850
Having no credit can be as harmful as having a low score. It will impact your ability to find housing, apply for credit cards, and obtain loans. Around 45 million Americans have no credit or not enough credit to warrant a score, which puts them in the position to look for the best credit cards for poor credit.
The Best Credit Cards for Poor Credit
There are a lot of credit cards out there that prey on people with poor credit. They know that their options are limited, and take advantage of them by charging a high annual fee, deposit, or unreasonable interest.
Ahead are some of the credit cards that take it easy on people with poor credit. The best credit cards for poor credit provide a path to a better credit card, rather than focus on keeping your credit score down.
Discover It Secured Credit Card
If you’re serious about turning your credit score around, the Discover It Secured card is one of the best options. There’s no annual fee, cash back incentives, and a clear path to an unsecured line of credit after eight months of payment.
Since the credit card is secured, you have to pay a deposit in the beginning. With the incentives this card provides, though, it brings itself to the top of the list of the best credit cards for poor credit.
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The OpenSky Secured Visa will require that you put down a refundable deposit equal to your credit limit. While this seems like a substantial negative, it’s fantastic for those who have no credit or are trying to rebound their score.
If your credit is on the lowest end of the spectrum, you likely won’t qualify for any card that requires a credit check. Thankfully, you’ll have some options like the OpenSky Secured card that never look at your credit history.
Additionally, you don’t even have to have a bank account to make your payments. You can pay your bill with a debit card, wire transfer, or money order.
The only catch is that there’s an income requirement with this card. You’ll need to meet their threshold before you can qualify. There also isn’t an option to upgrade the card to non-secure once your credit improves.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
A poor or low credit score will likely qualify you for the Capital One Secured Mastercard. Secured credit cards require you to put down a deposit to make sure the credit provider will recoup at least some of their money.
Most secured cards will have you put down almost all if not all of your credit limit upfront. With the Capital One Secured credit card, you will only have to put down a portion of your credit line to qualify ($49, $99, or $200 depending on your score).
Once you make the first five payments on time with this card, Capital One will extend your credit limit, and your credit score will start to improve.
The only drawback of this card is that if you have bad credit, you might not qualify. Poor credit is enough to get you in the door, but you’ll need to look elsewhere if you have a terrible credit history.
Credit One Bank Visa Credit Card
The Credit One Bank Visa Card allows you to make payments when they’re convenient for you. Unlike some other cards out there, the payment date isn’t fixed.
If you get paid at odd times of the month, it can mean falling behind on your credit card payments. The Credit One Bank card fixes this problem by allowing you to choose when you pay the balance each month.
Furthermore, they give you ample notification when your statement is due. You can set up call, text and email notifications, so you never miss a payment.
Credit cards that cater to people with poor credit often don’t have any reward system attached. The Credit One Bank Visa card gives you 1% back on some of your daily purchases, making them one of the best credit cards for poor credit.
Fixing Your Credit Score
To improve your credit score, you often need to take on more credit. At the same time, you have to keep track of your payments, so your credit doesn’t get worse.
These credit cards will help, but they aren’t a magic solution. You likely have to change your spending habits and pay more attention to your finances to prevent a relapse of bad credit.
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