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Bad credit credit cards

Fortunately, for those with bad credit, there are credit cards specifically designed to help you out. No matter how you ended up with a poor credit score, bad credit credit cards (also known as subprime credit cards) can offer you the funds you need while also providing an opportunity to start building back up your credit score.

However, there is a couple of things to be wary of.

After all, with a bad credit score, it is understandable that potential lenders ask you to jump through a couple more hoops before they offer you a loan. They need to make sure you are able to pay back what you borrow, or at the very least, they need to ensure they are covered if you don’t.

Therefore, expect lower credit limits, higher interest rates, and possible annual fees when applying for a subprime credit card.

That said, if you do manage to keep up with all payments and terms and conditions, this can be a fantastic way to improve your credit score, making you eligible for better deals in the future, and more likely to land large loans, such as a business loan or mortgage.

Miss these payments, and you run the risk of damaging your credit score even further, so always do your homework and diligent calculations before applying for a credit card of any kind.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is a credit card for bad credit?

A credit card for bad credit is a financial tool designed specifically to help individuals with less than perfect credit histories access the funds they need – whilst having the chance to potentially rebuild their credit scores at the same time!

Credit cards for bad credit are a valuable resource for those whose credit history renders them unable to secure standard credit cards. Such credit cards will typically feature lower eligibility requirements, as card providers are keen to help individuals with lower credit scores secure approval and enjoy the benefits a credit card offers. 

It is important to remember that credit cards for bad credit may feature higher interest rates and fees compared to standard credit cards. They may also require the need for a co-signer. Consistent and responsible repayments (as well as remaining within your credit limit) will result in the gradual rebuilding of your credit score – empowering you to achieve a stronger credit score in the future and unlock a wider range of financial tools.

Can I get a credit card with bad credit?

Of course – credit cards for bad credit are designed so that individuals with low credit scores are likely to be approved and be free to enjoy their benefits with confidence. 

Whilst credit cards for bad credit welcome applicants who possess lower credit scores, it is vital to keep in mind that these credit cards will feature strict conditions, as well as potentially higher interest rates and lower credit limits. They may also require the need for a co-signer to feature in the application process.

These features are enforced to provide low credit score applicants with the financial assistance they need, whilst at the same time supporting them to potentially make long-term improvements to their credit health.

If you are applying for a credit card for bad credit, read the details closely to ensure you choose a credit card aligned to your budget and goals, and manage your new card responsibly by remaining within your credit limit and making all repayments on time. Failure to do so will negatively affect your credit score further.

Can I apply for a credit card if I have no credit history?

You certainly can. Individuals with no credit history are also eligible to apply for credit cards. In fact, some credit cards are set up specifically so that such individuals can begin building a healthy credit history!

Whilst at first it may feel challenging to discover a credit card that welcomes those with no credit history, there are a range of worthwhile cards available. And we are here to help you discover them.

In much the same way as credit cards for bad credit, credit cards for those with no credit history may feature specific terms and conditions, higher interest rates and other stricter terms. By adhering to these rules responsibly, you can begin to build a strong credit history with confidence.

What credit cards can I get with bad credit?

There are a range of credit card options available for those with bad credit. 

Generally speaking, you may be able to choose from secured credit cards (deposit required as collateral), unsecured credit cards (higher interest rates) or even prepaid credit cards.

Secured credit cards are a popular choice for those with bad credit due to their less strict approval process. Unsecured cards for those with bad credit may feature higher interest rates and fees but remain a useful option for those looking to rebuild their credit score responsibly.

Finally, prepaid credit cards are a valuable option that require no credit check. They work by card owners preloading funds onto the card, making them a suitable option for those seeking the lowest-risk ways to manage spending whilst rebuilding their credit score.

To discover our favourites, check out our comparison table above, which reveals the current best options for credit cards with bad credit.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards for bad credit?

The primary advantage offered by credit cards for bad credit is that, with each on-time payment and responsible use of your card, your credit score could be positively impacted. After a certain period of time, your credit score could reach a level that unlocks a wider range of financial options offered to those with stronger credit scores.

Another advantage of credit cards for bad credit can be benefits including rewards and cashback. some card suppliers equip their credit card for bad credit with a unique set of benefits. 

In terms of disadvantages, higher interest rates and fees are likely when applying for a credit card for bad credit. These are enforced to cover the supplier in case of their applicant being unable to honour the terms of their credit card. As you can imagine, it is important that you read the application details closely to avoid accidentally affecting your credit score negatively.

If you are already in debt and uncertain about your ability to make credit card repayments, opening a new credit card could take you deeper into debt. This would also negatively affect your credit score further.

To avoid these disadvantages, ensure that you use your credit card responsibly. Make payments on-time and avoid exceeding your credit limit. With careful and attentive use, your credit card for bad credit will enable you to rebuild your credit score whilst enjoying the financial flexibility a credit card offers.

What should I consider when choosing a bad credit card?

When you are choosing a credit card for bad credit, we suggest several key factors to consider.

First off, take a look at the interest rate applied to the credit card. This will affect your cost of borrowing. As always, you should aim for the lowest interest rates available. This is even more relevant when applying for a credit card for bad credit, as these often feature higher interest rates than cards for individuals with stronger credit scores.

Secondly, evaluate any fees associated with the card. Many cards will not feature any fees, though others may apply annual fees for usage. Weigh up the value of this fee and consider whether it is worth the financial accessibility this card will provide. Also, take a look at any rewards or benefits featured.

Finally, you should consider the credit limit for which you are eligible. Does it suit your needs?

Always remember that using a credit card for bad credit to rebuild your credit score will only work if you can use the card responsibly. That means making payments on-time, paying any fees and remaining comfortably within your credit limit. 

If your credit limit is £1,500 then you may choose to never go over £400. Eating into less of your credit limit can positively impact your credit score – plus empower you to make repayments more comfortably!

Will a credit card for bad credit help me if I’m in debt?

Whilst a credit card for bad credit could prove a useful tool in assisting your debt management, it is vital that you maintain responsible usage to ensure you do not worsen your existing debt situation.

Credit cards for bad credit can offer a pivotal path to begin rebuilding your credit score, yet it is not advisable to consider them a reliable solution to solving existing debt problems.

If you are already in debt and wish to apply for a credit card for bad credit, we recommend engaging with a credit or debt management counsellor who can help you tailor a financial plan to suit your unique needs.

What is considered a bad credit score?

Generally speaking, a bad credit score is deemed a score of 650 or lower according to Equifax or Experian credit scoring scales. 

However, it is important to remember that each credit scoring agency and lender will have its own criteria regarding what it considers a bad credit score. Credit scores are impacted by many factors including payment history, utilisation of credit and the types of credit you have. 

With responsible debt management, wise credit usage, on-time payments and remaining well within your credit limit, you may be able to gradually improve your credit score. Remember, failing to meet each of these requirements may result in your credit score being affected negatively.

What’s the difference between bad credit and no credit?

Though they sound similar, bad credit and no credit are entirely different statuses. 

Having bad credit means you have a history of negative credit events such as late payments and loan defaults. However, activities such as moving house regularly can also negatively affect your credit score. 

On the other hand, having no credit means you have not yet established a credit history. You may be a student, new to the country or have never taken out a loan or credit card before.

Whether you have bad credit or no credit, you may meet certain challenges when applying for credit cards and other financial tools. Building a stronger credit score opens you up to a wider range of finance opportunities – and we can help you get there.

Could using a credit card make my credit score worse?

Yes, this is a real risk of irresponsible credit card use – no matter the state of your credit score.

If you do not make payments on time, remain within your credit limit or pay credit card fees then your credit score will be negatively affected. However, so long as you use your card responsibly, your credit score will be affected positively. 

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Page last updated: December 03, 2023 | Author: