Browse Credit Cards for Bad Credit Scores

Finding the best credit cards for bad credit scores is easier than you think. There are plenty of credit cards for people with bad credit that offer a variety of benefits and rates. BestCards.com has a selection of credit cards for bad credit that you can peruse to find the best option for you. Learn more about credit scores.

Advertiser Disclosure Editorial Disclosure

Showing 130 Cards

Sort By Column Name:

Sable Secured Credit Card

Sable Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 10.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Earn up to 2% cash back on select purchases
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Cell phone protection included
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 10.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $30
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $10
Credit Card Deals
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
Receive up to 50% off hotels in addition to a 1% rebate CheckINN Direct Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save 15% Monster Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Enjoy 5% rebate on all online bookings, global pass memberships and all premium subscription Coworker Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save up to 20% Squarespace Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save $500.00 Alibaba Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Episode 1: Discover tequila secrets with the founders of Volcán de mi Tierra PijamaSurf Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Mix it up during an online cocktail masterclass with Archie Rose Distilling Co. Archie Rose Distilling Co. Offer Expires on May 05, 2022 See Details
card
Be enchanted by the colours of Emilio Pucci Mastercard with Camera della Moda (CNMI) Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

Mission Money Visa® Debit Card

Mission Money Visa® Debit Card
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good , Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No account fees, no balance minimum
  • Access to 55,000 ATMs nationwide, fee-free
  • The coverage of VISA®, the security of FDIC
Rates & Fees
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: $0
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $0
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: $0
Credit Card Deals
card
Save $25 in the US with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get an exclusive upgrade to BarkBox for FREE. BarkBox Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Save $50 of orders $350 or more at Citizen Watch Citizen Watch Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Visa Signature and Visa Infinite Cardmembers receive benefits* at over 50 wineries. Valid for U.S. and Canada issued cards. Explore Sonoma County Wineries Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Same-day delivery from a variety of stores you love. Shipt Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2024 See Details
card
20% Off + Free Shipping over $50 for New Customers Vistaprint Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off + Free Shipping on Fanatics.com orders of $49+ Fanatics.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off your NFLShop.com order over $49. NFLShop.com Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
30% Off Sitewide at Totes.com Totes Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details
card
30% Off sitewide at Isotoner.com Isotoner Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 9.99% Fixed
  • Cash Advance APR 9.99% Fixed
  • Annual Fee $48
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR - Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit - Maximum $1,000
  • Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 9.99% Fixed
  • Cash Advance APR: 9.99% Fixed
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $48
  • 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
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
card
Save $25 in the US with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get an exclusive upgrade to BarkBox for FREE. BarkBox Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Save $50 of orders $350 or more at Citizen Watch Citizen Watch Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Visa Signature and Visa Infinite Cardmembers receive benefits* at over 50 wineries. Valid for U.S. and Canada issued cards. Explore Sonoma County Wineries Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Same-day delivery from a variety of stores you love. Shipt Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2024 See Details
card
20% Off + Free Shipping over $50 for New Customers Vistaprint Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off + Free Shipping on Fanatics.com orders of $49+ Fanatics.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off your NFLShop.com order over $49. NFLShop.com Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
30% Off Sitewide at Totes.com Totes Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details
card
30% Off sitewide at Isotoner.com Isotoner Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details

Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank

Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 22.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $36 for first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
  • Credit Needed Good , Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Choose your own credit line based on how much money you want to put down as a security deposit
  • Initial deposits can be from $200 to $3,000. You can increase your credit line at any time by adding additional money to your security deposit, up to $3,000
  • After 9 months, we review your account for a credit line increase. No additional deposit required!
  • Secured Credit Cards are great for people looking to build or rebuild credit and are available to people with all kinds of credit backgrounds
  • Unlike a debit card or a pre-paid card, it helps build your credit history. As you pay your bill every month, we report to all three major credit-reporting agencies
  • Get 100% U.S.-based customer service & get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
  • Card issued by Merrick Bank, Member FDIC
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 22.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $36 for first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
card
Save $25 in the US with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get an exclusive upgrade to BarkBox for FREE. BarkBox Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Save $50 of orders $350 or more at Citizen Watch Citizen Watch Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Visa Signature and Visa Infinite Cardmembers receive benefits* at over 50 wineries. Valid for U.S. and Canada issued cards. Explore Sonoma County Wineries Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Same-day delivery from a variety of stores you love. Shipt Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2024 See Details
card
20% Off + Free Shipping over $50 for New Customers Vistaprint Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off + Free Shipping on Fanatics.com orders of $49+ Fanatics.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off your NFLShop.com order over $49. NFLShop.com Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
30% Off Sitewide at Totes.com Totes Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details
card
30% Off sitewide at Isotoner.com Isotoner Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details

Merrick Bank Double Your Line™ Secured Visa®

Merrick Bank Double Your Line™ Secured Visa®
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 22.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $36 the first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
  • Credit Needed Good , Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Put down $200, which becomes your credit line. Then, if you qualify, double your credit line to $400 without making another deposit
  • Double your $200 credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open
  • Secured Credit Cards are great for people looking to build or rebuild credit and are available to people with all kinds of credit backgrounds
  • Unlike a debit card or a pre-paid card, it helps build your credit history. We report your payment history to all three major credit-reporting agencies
  • Get 100% U.S.-based customer service & get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get help staying on track with available Auto Pay and account alerts
  • Card issued by Merrick Bank, Member FDIC
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 22.45% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $36 the first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
card
Save $25 in the US with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get an exclusive upgrade to BarkBox for FREE. BarkBox Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Save $50 of orders $350 or more at Citizen Watch Citizen Watch Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Visa Signature and Visa Infinite Cardmembers receive benefits* at over 50 wineries. Valid for U.S. and Canada issued cards. Explore Sonoma County Wineries Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Same-day delivery from a variety of stores you love. Shipt Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2024 See Details
card
20% Off + Free Shipping over $50 for New Customers Vistaprint Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off + Free Shipping on Fanatics.com orders of $49+ Fanatics.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off your NFLShop.com order over $49. NFLShop.com Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
30% Off Sitewide at Totes.com Totes Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details
card
30% Off sitewide at Isotoner.com Isotoner Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details

Merrick Bank Double Your Line™ Platinum Visa® Credit Card

Merrick Bank Double Your Line™ Platinum Visa® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 19.45% to 28.45% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 24.95% to 33.45% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $0 to $72
  • Credit Needed Good , Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Credit lines range from $500-$1,350 which double to $1,000-$2,700 after your account qualifies. No security deposit required
  • Double your credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open
  • See if you are pre-approved within minutes, without affecting your credit score
  • Build or rebuild your credit. As you pay your bill every month, we report to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Get 100% U.S.-based customer service & get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts
  • Card issued by Merrick Bank, Member FDIC
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 19.45% to 28.45% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.95% to 33.45% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $72
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% 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
card
Save $25 in the US with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get an exclusive upgrade to BarkBox for FREE. BarkBox Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Save $50 of orders $350 or more at Citizen Watch Citizen Watch Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Visa Signature and Visa Infinite Cardmembers receive benefits* at over 50 wineries. Valid for U.S. and Canada issued cards. Explore Sonoma County Wineries Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Same-day delivery from a variety of stores you love. Shipt Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2024 See Details
card
20% Off + Free Shipping over $50 for New Customers Vistaprint Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off + Free Shipping on Fanatics.com orders of $49+ Fanatics.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off your NFLShop.com order over $49. NFLShop.com Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
30% Off Sitewide at Totes.com Totes Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details
card
30% Off sitewide at Isotoner.com Isotoner Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details

FIT Mastercard®

FIT Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms*
  • Annual Fee See Terms*
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Initial Credit Limit of $400.00!* (subject to available credit)
  • $400 credit limit doubles to $800! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere that Mastercard® is accepted
  • Mastercard Zero Fraud Liability Protection (subject to Mastercard guidelines)
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
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
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
Receive up to 50% off hotels in addition to a 1% rebate CheckINN Direct Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save 15% Monster Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Enjoy 5% rebate on all online bookings, global pass memberships and all premium subscription Coworker Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save up to 20% Squarespace Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save $500.00 Alibaba Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Episode 1: Discover tequila secrets with the founders of Volcán de mi Tierra PijamaSurf Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Mix it up during an online cocktail masterclass with Archie Rose Distilling Co. Archie Rose Distilling Co. Offer Expires on May 05, 2022 See Details
card
Be enchanted by the colours of Emilio Pucci Mastercard with Camera della Moda (CNMI) Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

Merit Platinum Card

Merit Platinum Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 0%
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network N/A
Best Benefits
  • Bad Credit, No Credit? No Problem
  • Reports to Major Credit Bureau
  • Fast and Easy Application
  • No Employment or Credit Check
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 0%

Revvi Credit Card

Revvi Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms
  • Balance Transfer APR See Terms
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms
  • Annual Fee See Terms
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Intro Purchase APR See Terms
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Fast and easy application; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa credit card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Checking account required
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: See Terms
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Terms
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: See Terms
  • Balance Transfer APR: See Terms
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Terms
  • Annual Fee: See Terms
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms
Credit Card Deals
card
Save $25 in the US with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get an exclusive upgrade to BarkBox for FREE. BarkBox Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Save $50 of orders $350 or more at Citizen Watch Citizen Watch Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Visa Signature and Visa Infinite Cardmembers receive benefits* at over 50 wineries. Valid for U.S. and Canada issued cards. Explore Sonoma County Wineries Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Same-day delivery from a variety of stores you love. Shipt Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2024 See Details
card
20% Off + Free Shipping over $50 for New Customers Vistaprint Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off + Free Shipping on Fanatics.com orders of $49+ Fanatics.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off your NFLShop.com order over $49. NFLShop.com Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
30% Off Sitewide at Totes.com Totes Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details
card
30% Off sitewide at Isotoner.com Isotoner Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee or interest
  • No credit check performed when applying
  • No minimum security deposit required
  • Ideal for everyday purchases to help build credit with regular on-time payments
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Terms
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $2.50 per transaction
Credit Card Deals
card
Save $25 in the US with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get an exclusive upgrade to BarkBox for FREE. BarkBox Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Save $50 of orders $350 or more at Citizen Watch Citizen Watch Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Visa Signature and Visa Infinite Cardmembers receive benefits* at over 50 wineries. Valid for U.S. and Canada issued cards. Explore Sonoma County Wineries Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Same-day delivery from a variety of stores you love. Shipt Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2024 See Details
card
20% Off + Free Shipping over $50 for New Customers Vistaprint Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off + Free Shipping on Fanatics.com orders of $49+ Fanatics.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
20% off your NFLShop.com order over $49. NFLShop.com Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
30% Off Sitewide at Totes.com Totes Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details
card
30% Off sitewide at Isotoner.com Isotoner Offer Expires on Apr 04, 2022 See Details

What Is a Bad Credit Score?

A bad credit score is a score that falls below what credit reporting bureaus deem to be average, or “fair.” Bad scores indicate that a person is at a higher risk of missing payments, making late payments, or defaulting on their loans.

To put it bluntly, a bad or poor credit score tells a bank or lender that an individual is less creditworthy than someone with a higher score. Fortunately, credit scores are not set in stone. Instead, they are easily changeable through proactive measures and following financial best practices.

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 vs. VanatgesCore

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

How Bad Credit 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 and credit card issuers 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.

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.

Difficulty 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.

How to Improve a Bad Credit Score

Bad credit has serious ramifications in everyday life. Fortunately, there is something you can do about it! Here are some of our top tips for improving your credit score:

Check Your Credit Score

The first thing you should do is check your credit score to see where you stand. You might already know your credit score is bad, but how far down on the scale, does it go? Knowing how fast you can improve your credit from “bad” to “fair” is crucial to making a financial plan of attack.

Pay on Time Every Month

As seen in the scoring models, payment history is the biggest factor in your credit score. Because payment history is so important, paying your credit card bill on time each month is essential to boosting sub-prime credit. Missed payments stay on a credit report for seven years.

Get a Credit Card for Bad Credit

Part of boosting your credit score is increasing your use of credit. For those with bad credit, this may seem counter-intuitive. Fortunately, there are many unsecured credit cards for poor credit and secured cards that can help you repair your credit score.

Keep Credit Use Low

Credit utilization is as important as paying on time. Credit utilization shows lenders how you use your credit. Those who keep their credit use below 30% can expect their score to improve, while those who use less than 10% can expect a much faster score rise.

What Are the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit?

Bad credit doesn’t have to mean settling for a bad credit card. Here are some of our team’s top picks for bad scores:

Best for: Rebuilding Credit

Destiny™ Mastercard®

destiny-new
Quick Pre-Qualification Available
  • Simple and fast application process
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
☆ Quick Pre-Qualification
☆ Perfect for Building Credit
☆ Ideal for everyday purchases to help build credit

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 for: Credit Limit Increases

Reflex Mastercard®

Reflex Mastercard®
All Credit Types Welcome to Apply
  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000!
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Checking accoutn required to apply
☆ Quick Pre-Qualification
☆ Mastercard Zero Fraud Liability
☆ Ideal for everyday purchases to help build credit

The Reflex Mastercard®, issued by Celtic Bank, is one of many credit cards for bad credit or no credit score at all. The card is a full-fledged Mastercard and offers the chance of doubling your credit limit when you make your first six monthly payments on-time. 

Best for: Rewards

Surge Secured Mastercard®

surge secured mastercard
Earn Rewards While Building Credit!
  • Earn 1% Cash back Rewards on every purchase
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Zero Fraud Liability
☆ Fast Online Application
☆ Your Deposit Is Your Credit Line
☆ Build Credit & Earn Rewards
☆ Free access to your VantageScore

The Surge Secured Mastercard® is a secured credit card that offers rewards – and the ability to build credit – in one package. The card differs from most secured cards on the market in that it earns 1% cash back rewards on every purchase and can help users build their credit score at most places in the United States where Mastercard is accepted.

Best for: Recent Immigrants

Sable One Secured Mastercard®

Start Building Positive Credit History
  • Earn up to 2% cash back on select purchases
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
☆ Perfect for New to Credit/ Immigrants
☆ No Credit Check to Apply
☆ Build Credit & Earn Rewards
☆ Mobile Wallet Compatibility

The Sable One Secured Mastercard Credit Card is a fintech secured card that helps build a positive credit history in the United States – without any hidden fees and with no credit checks. Sable’s digital-first platform is a great feature that provides an interface most young adults will be immensely familiar with and removes much of the strain and anxiety that opening a secured credit card (or even a bank account) in a branch can cause.

Best for: Unsecured Credit

Merit Platinum Card

merit platinum horizon
Bad Credit, No Credit? No Problem!
  • Unsecured, $750 Line of Credit
  • Reports to Major Credit Bureau
  • Use for Purchases at the Horizon Outlet
☆ Quick Application
☆ No Employment or Credit Check
☆ Build Credit w/ On-Time Payments

The Merit Platinum Card is a basic store card offer from Horizon Financial Services. The Merit Card perfect for consumers seeking to establish or rebuild their credit score. This card features a no interest on purchases, a credit limit of $750, and no credit check.