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Compare the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Looking for the best credit card for bad credit? You’ve come to the right place. BestCards.com has an extensive selection of credit cards for poor credit. Browse reviews and offers below.

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Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard®

Credit Lines Available From $200 to $5,000

Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 9.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $49
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Super Low 9.99% variable interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply. No processing or application fees
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • See website for additional Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard® details
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 9.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

PCB Secured Visa®

Reports Monthly to All Three Major Credit Bureaus

PCB Secured Visa®
  • Regular Purchase APR See Issuer Website
  • Cash Advance APR See Issuer Website
  • Annual Fee See Issuer Website
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Upon credit approval, the collateral deposit you provide becomes the credit limit on your Visa® card. Choose between $200 and $1,000
  • After the first year, you can request to increase the credit limit up to a maximum of $5,000 (subject to credit approval and additional collateral deposits)
  • This card is perfect for people new to credit as well as people looking to rebuild their credit
  • Build or rebuild your credit by keeping your balances low and paying all creditors on time every month
  • 24/7 online account center
  • A minimum collateral deposit of $200 is required to open this account
  • This card is issued by Plains Commerce Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A., Inc
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Issuer Website
  • Cash Advance APR: See Issuer Website
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Issuer Website
  • Annual Fee: See Issuer Website
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: See Issuer Website
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Issuer Website
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: See Issuer Website
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations in the U.S. - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

Enjoy 0% APR on Purchases for Six Months!

Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $49
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Intro Purchase APR 0% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard* Secured Credit Card
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels: Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 – $2,000 Submitted with Application
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Choose Your Own Card Design

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR 29.9%
  • Annual Fee $0 to $99 depending on the card issued
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Great for demonstrating responsible use of credit
  • Short and easy-to-complete pre-qualification form
  • 24/7 mobile account access
  • Choose your card design free of charge
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.9%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $0 during the first year; after first year, either $5 or 5% of the amount of transaction
  • Penalty APR: 29.9%
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $99 depending on the card issued
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

No Credit Score Impact When You Apply

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR 29.9%
  • Annual Fee $35 to $99
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Fraud liability
  • Price protection
  • Reports to major credit bureaus
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.9%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $0 during the first year; after first year, either $5 or 5% of the amount of transaction
  • Penalty APR: 29.9%
  • Annual Fee: $35 to $99
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Surge Mastercard® Credit Card

All Credit Types Welcome to Apply

Surge Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms*
  • Annual Fee See Terms*
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified with no impact to your credit score
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Annual Fee: See Terms*
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Applied Bank® Unsecured Classic Visa® Card

Fixed APR and Manageable Monthly Payments

Applied Bank® Unsecured Classic Visa® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 29.99%
  • Cash Advance APR 29.99%
  • Annual Fee See website for details*
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Access additional credit with on-time payments and responsible usage
  • A true unsecured EMV enabled (chip) Visa credit card
  • Quick & easy approval in less than 60 seconds
  • No penalty rate. Your rate won't go up even if you are late
  • Does not require perfect credit for approval
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 29.99%
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: See website for details*
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $38
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $38
Credit Card Deals
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations in the U.S. - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 9.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $49
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 9.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

All Credit Types Welcome to Apply

Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms*
  • Annual Fee See Terms*
  • Credit Needed Good , Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified with no impact to your credit score
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Annual Fee: See Terms*
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

FIT Mastercard®

All Credit Types Welcome to Apply

FIT Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee See Terms
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial Credit Limit of $400.00* (Subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Checking Account Required
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: See Terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

What Is a Bad Credit Score?

A bad credit score is nothing to be ashamed of. According to a recent study conducted by YouGov, 53% of Americans have experience with being rejected for an application because of a bad or poor score.

So, what is a “bad credit score?” According to our helpful Credit Score Explained guide, a FICO Score below 579 is considered “bad” or “poor.” For VantageScore, an alternative scoring model created by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, a bad score is any credit score below 600.

Credit Score Range

Before fixing a damaged credit score, it is crucial to understand what a credit score is, and what is considered good, bad, or ugly by different credit reporting bureaus. The two main credit scoring models that banks use to gauge creditworthiness are FICO and VantageScore.

FICO Score

FICO is the oldest of the credit scoring systems, and the most popular credit bureau for banks. A FICO score ranges from 300 to 850, with ratings ranging from Very Poor (bad) to Exceptional.

The FICO scoring model breaks down as follows:

VantageScore

VantageScore is a newer scoring model created by the three leading credit agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Like FICO, VantageScore ranges from 300 to 850, but places more scoring weight on newer credit histories than FICO.

The VantageScore model breaks down as follows:

What Factors Influence Your Credit Score?

As you can see from both models, there are plenty of Americans currently struggling with a sub-prime or bad credit score. But what are the items and factors that influence credit scores?

FICO places significant weight on payment history, as this is the biggest indicator of a person’s ability to repay any new credit they may receive. Nearly as important is the amount of available credit that individual is currently utilizing, which makes up 30% of the score.

Of less significance, but still important) are the types of credit a person has, the number of hard inquiries they have in the past 12 months, and the length of their overall credit history. VantageScore places a much greater emphasis on types of credit (or credit mix) than FICO. Equally important, however, is payment history.

what impacts your credit score

How A Bad Credit Score Can Hurt You Financially

What impact can a bad credit score have on your financial life? Or even your everyday life, for that matter?

Tougher to Receive Credit

The most obvious impact of bad credit is a more difficult time getting approved for new lines of credit. Those with poor credit will struggle to get most credit cards with a few notable exceptions. Banks are much less willing to extend credit to those with bad credit, and only credit cards for bad credit or secured credit cards will be an option. People with bad credit will also struggle with getting personal loans, car loans, and mortgages.

Related Article: What is the easiest credit card to get with bad credit?

Significantly Higher Loan Terms

Poor credit will not eliminate any chances at getting cards or loans, but those lines of credit will come with less favorable terms. Loans and credit cards for poor credit feature very high-interest rates, higher annual fees, and potentially monthly service fees.

More Difficulty When Renting Apartments

Poor credit directly impacts your ability to find housing. Landlords may be less willing to take a risk with someone with bad credit, viewing them as a potential liability.

Loss of Employment Opportunities

Bad credit can even impact your professional life. Many employers access the credit reports of potential hires to see if they are a trustworthy, reliable individual. While companies can’t access your credit score, the information on your report may make you seem like a liability. Some government agencies won’t hire people with poor credit, viewing them as a security risk due to their financial situation.

The good news, however, is that you can still get approved for a credit card if you have bad credit!

What to Look For When Choosing a New Credit Card

Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you have no options to help you start rebuilding it. In fact, more and more issuers are starting to offer cards for those with less-than-perfect credit. These credit cards are known as “sub-prime” because they are for borrowers with credit scores in need of work. These cards typically feature several features you should carefully compare:

Annual Fee

Credit cards for poor credit usually come with an annual fee. That, however, doesn’t apply to all offers. Some, such as the Indigo Platinum Mastercard®, can charge no annual fee. The Platinum Card for Capital One is another example of a card that might not charge a yearly fee.

However, you should anticipate a fee of anywhere up to around $100 for these types of cards. Their issues typically charge a yearly fee because the cardholder is a bigger risk as a borrower. Fortunately, you may be able to have the fee reduced – or waived – with on-time payments.

Interest Rates

Expect to see higher-than-average interest rates on these types of cards. The national average APR for this category is typically between 20% and 24%. However, it may rise as high as 30% for some retail cards.

These products feature such high-interest rates because of the risk lenders take when providing credit lines. For those determined to rebuild their credit, however, a high APR shouldn’t cause much trouble. Paying your statement balance in full every month negates the high-interest rates – and helps you raise your credit score quickly.

The Best Unsecured Picks for Bad Credit for 2021

Best Card for Rebuilding Credit: 

Destiny™ Mastercard®1

The Destiny Mastercard is an ideal credit card for those with bad or fair credit who want the purchasing power of Mastercard but without the security deposit requirement of a secured credit card. With a modest annual fee and manageable initial credit limit, the Destiny Card doesn’t care about your credit past – instead, it helps you focus on your credit repair journey.

Best “Guaranteed Approval” Credit Card:

Principal Platinum Card

There’s no such thing as a guaranteed approval card, but Principal Platinum is the next best thing. For those in the rebuilding phase, the Principal Platinum Merchandise Card is one of the easiest unsecured cards to get. This is because it requires no employment check and no credit check. The card offers a credit line of $7500 towards purchases at the Horizon Outlet. It also comes with no interest charges and several unique benefits.

Best Bad Credit Card for Personalization:

 Indigo Platinum Mastercard®

Secured Cards

For those who struggle to get an unsecured credit card, a secured credit card is an excellent option to consider. Secured cards operate like unsecured credit cards but are “secured” with a deposit. This security deposit, which is placed into an account linked with the card, also acts as the credit limit. If you make your payments on time, your deposit is safe, but if you miss payments, your lender may take your deposit to recoup their losses.

Best for Those New to Credit

Self Visa® Credit Card

The Self Visa® Credit Card is a secured credit card from leading fintech, Self. While the card isn’t available for direct applications, opening a Self Credit Builder Account and making on-time payments will guarantee you the credit building secured card – and the purchasing power of the visa network. One of the best benefits of Self is there is no hard inquiry on your credit report to open the card, and it features one of the lowest minimum deposits available. 

Best for Low APR and Bonus Offers:

Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® 

The Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Card offers a slew of great features not typically found with secured cards. Cardholders enjoy six months of zero interest on purchases with an exceptionally low APR after that. Add to that the features and protections of a full-fledged Mastercard and regular reporting to the major credit bureaus, and you have a versatile tool for building credit.

 

Business Cards

Consumers aren’t the only ones that struggle with bad credit in the United States. Thousands of businesses struggle with bad credit scores, making it challenging to finance their operations. While there are no unsecured business cards for damaged credit, there are plenty of excellent secured business credit cards on the market.

bestcards

Find the Best Credit Card for Bad or Poor Credit Today

Ready to find your next card? You’ve come to the right place! BestCards has comprehensive and impartial reviews of the top picks on the market today. This includes options for people with imperfect credit. Browse our hundreds of reviews, use our comparison tool, and take advantage of our extensive resources and advice. Ready to get started? Let’s find your best card today!