How to Get a Bad Credit Credit Card

How to Get a Bad Credit Credit Card


If you have bad credit, that means your credit score is about as low as it can get and is likely very deep into sub-prime lending territory. Perhaps you’ve defaulted on a loan, declared bankruptcy in the last few years or have had a rash of late payments. In any case, your credit is as close to being trashed as it can get.

Some of the best cures for fixing bad credit include the passage of time, paying your current bills on time and taking out a new loan or applying for a credit card. However, that last option can be the most difficult one to do as not many lenders are willing to risk establishing credit for people with bad credit.

Let’s consider the following options for you to take in obtaining a bad credit credit card:

Contact your bank — If you already have a checking account with a bank or credit union and have an established track record with them, then you may be able to obtain a credit card with them. Sure, that account may have some strings attached to it including an annual charge, higher interest rate and restrictive terms.

Consider retailer cards — Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover may turn you down, but retail outlets including The Home Depot, Sears, Penny’s and other stores may have more relaxed credit requirements.

Obtain a secured credit card — Credit cards are usually unsecured, which means that the credit card provider does not require collateral. For people with bad credit, the only card you may be able to get is one secured by a bank account. That means that your $500 credit line is offset by $500 in savings, money you can’t tap as long as you have a balance on your credit card.

Get a co-signer — If you absolutely need a credit card, then perhaps the only way you’ll be able to secure one is have someone co-sign your application. But, that is a risky proposition for them because if you default on your payments then they’re responsible for what you owe.

Once you are approved for a bad credit credit card, use it wisely. Buy only what you need, pay your card off each month and keep up with your other bills. By demonstrating a good repayment history your credit score will rise, enabling you to leave sub-prime territory sooner and enjoy lower interest rates and additional credit opportunities down the line.

Adv. — Looking for credit? Visit to find a new credit card.


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Categories: Credit Cards

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".