CREDIT CARDS FOR BAD AND FAIR CREDIT
If any of the following apply to you, chances are you fall into this group.

  • You have a credit score below 675 
  • Have had a bankruptcy in the past 7 years
  • You were recently involved in a short sale or foreclosure
  • You are currently over 90 days late on a loan payment

COMPARING AND SELECTING THE RIGHT CARD IF YOU HAVE BAD CREDIT
First, it’s important to note that most cards for bad credit are not credit cards at all. There are debit cards, secured credit cards and credit cards for bad credit.

DEBIT CARDS
Debit cards function very similar to a check card. They need to be loaded with funds and you cannot withdraw more money than you have in your account. These cards are great for making purchases and paying bills. Some even have credit building features and donate a portion of the funds you deposit to charity. When selecting a debit card, you should pay close attention to fees associated with using or loading funds to your card.

SECURED CREDIT CARDS
Secured credit cards extend you credit but you must collateralize the credit you receive by depositing funds into your account. These cards usually report to major credit bureaus and are great for building credit if you make on time monthly payments. You should pay close attention to fees and interest rates. These cards are a great stepping stone to a credit card.

CREDIT CARDS FOR BAD CREDIT
Credit cards for bad credit are real honest to goodness credit cards. In other words, they extend you credit that is not collateralized. The credit limits are generally very low and the interest rates are very high. These cards do report to credit bureaus and are great for building credit if used responsibly. It is essential that you make note of any upfront fees, interest rates and penalties before signing up for a credit card for bad credit.

CREDIT CARDS FOR GOOD CREDIT
If any of the following apply to you, chances are you fall into this group.

  • You have a credit score above 675 (Unsure, click here)
  • You have a consistent record of paying your bills on time
  • You have a long credit history and are not currently late on any of your loans

COMPARING AND SELECTING CREDIT CARDS FOR GOOD CREDIT
If you have good credit, you are in the driver’s seat when comparing and selecting a credit card….and you’ve earned it! There are many, many options available to you when you have good credit and are looking for the right credit card.

INTEREST RATES
First and foremost, you should look at the interest rate including the default rate if you are late on a payment. A lower interest rate will result in lower monthly payments if you carry any debt. Be very weary of the default interest rate. Some credit cards may default to a very high interest rate if you are ever late on your payment. This is particularly a problem if you are carrying a large amount of debt on your credit card.

FEES AND PENALTIES
You should always read the fine print to make yourself aware of any fees and or penalties associated with your credit card. Some cards carry annual or upfront fees. Other credit cards have no fees unless you are assessed a penalty for overdraft or late payment. Some cards will waive late payment fees if you have used the card in the past 30 days, but will still raise your interest rate to the default rate. This is often a source of extreme headaches for consumers.

REWARDS
Many cards offer rewards for usage. These rewards can include everything from air miles to cash back to discounts on goods and services. For responsible credit card carriers, rewards credit cards can be worth their weight in gold. Just be sure that you don’t carry too large a balance and you will come out ahead.

46 Comments

    1. Hi Patrick- Thank you for your comment. I’d recommend visiting the credit card section of the site and seeing what options are available

      1. Sandra,

        Please read our guide to good credit. As with many things, credit can be ruined in an instant and can take years to rebuild. This is a tough place to be but you can rebuild credit if you work hard at it.

    2. Hi my name is Sebastian Conti and I’m going to get surgery soon. You see I was at A gas station ready to pump gas for my friend when A SUV hit me. This happened in July of 2016 .You see did not believe me at the DRs office’s I just got the paper work back from a better bone test in buffalo and I have a fractured sternum that is herniated all the way through to where they have to take it out because they found pre cancer on the bone. And I have 9 herniated disks on my back and a torn rotator in my left shoulder and my left ankle was twisted out of it’s shaft. If you call me I will explain what happened .I will receive a settlement after surgery of 25 thousand. After the lawyer’s get there cut I should receive about 16 thousand. right now I’ve raised my son by my self sense he was 18 months old and he is 14 years old know I need some money to help take care of me so I can take care of my son Thanks. p.s.call me at 716 450 7735 and I will explain all. Thank you. And GOD Bless you.

      1. Hi Sebastian,

        That’s terrible news. So sorry to hear about this series of unfortunate events. Unfortunately, we are not a lender. We help connect consumers with financial products and services so there is not much we can do to get you approved for a loan except offer the humble advice that you find on our website or in our blog.

      1. AAron,

        You want a secured credit card in this situation. Basically you secure your credit line by making a deposit and then it works just like a regular credit card and reports to the major credit bureaus. I believe Discover offers one that has rewards and a direct path up to an unsecured card.

    1. Secured credit cards are the best cards for rebuilding credit. You can quickly get a credit line of up to $5,000. Unsecured credit cards for bad credit simply do not provide enough of a credit line and usually have a lot of fees.

      1. Hi Stephen,

        Please provide a little more info. We have lots of resources and articles to read to help you improve your credit. It does take time to improve your credit…which I know can be frustrating.

      2. Hi Jerry,

        Please start by reading our guide to good credit. In addition, you should also pick thru your credit report to make sure it’s accurate and report anything that looks out of line.

    2. I’m not sure of my credit score. I want to rebuild my credit, to good credit. Please, tell me what to do. Thanks

      1. Hi Lisa,

        First find out what your score is. There are alot of free services out there where you can get it. Credit Karma for one. Then go thru your credit report with a fine tooth comb and make sure there are zero mistakes. Dispute anything that looks erroneous. In addition, read our guide to good credit. Like anything habit…spending habits can be tough to change. You can do it…but it does take time.

  1. I have 3major credit cards right now with a debt of $820.00 & a total credit line of $1500.00 so my ratio is high right now but paying more than my minimal payment each month but my credit has been low because of a divorce 12 years ago and my credit dropped again last month 47 which now makes my credit a 493 I’m not understanding why other than my high ratio I’ve never been late any suggestions thanks bill mister

    1. Thanks for writing is William. It looks like you are on the “credit hamster wheel”. Try and get rid of one of your credit cards if possible. Two credit cards max should be your goal. Also, make sure you do not have any merchandise cards from places like Kohls, Macy’s etc. These tend to have a negative effect on your credit score. Lastly, it sounds like your credit profile is a bit of a mess. You can spend some time trying to clean it up yourself or get help from a professional service like Lexington Law. They do provide a great service that is not very expensive and can usually raise your credit score considerably. Because of your past divorce I have a feeling that they really could help.

      1. Lexington law helped me with my credit problem and got alot of things off of my report that wasn’t really mine but someone else’s doing. I now have a good credit score where I had a very, very bad one.

      2. Glad to hear they were able to help Debbie! Thanks for sharing your story.

    2. Hi Mr. Mister, I’m a member of Lexington Law and they have helped me tremendously with my credit score. There were so many things on my reports that I could not see and should have never even been on my credit reports, but they have successfully removed all of them and are still getting others removed including a bankruptcy. So yes by all means give them a call cause they will definitely help you. Hope this helped you some. Good luck and God Bless.

      1. When I worked with Lexington law firm I felt like the were not getting everything done like the claimed so my question to you is did your score really go up?

      1. Yes they absolutely are. They have helped me remove well over 40 negative items that were my workers comp Dr bills from my credit reports. I had no ideal they were even on them. They are well worth paying. Your site is a very informative site and very helpful as well. I happened to come across it and I’m so glad that I did stop and read it. I will definitely be passing your site along to friends and family. Thank you so much. God Bless and have a Beautiful day.

      2. Lynne,

        Could you explain further your negative experience with Lexington Law? We don’t like to recommend services that aren’t helping people.

    1. Secured credit cards require you to make a deposit equal to the line of credit they supply. They usually report to the credit agencies…but make sure to verify which ones. They also usually have an annual fee. This is one of the best and quickest ways to build/rebuild credit.

  2. I see that you reference to “Lexington Law” to help repair credit. I do not believe that you should have to pay $100 a month for credit repair. You should he able to receive great advice for free. If you had an extra $100 to waste every month, then you could apply that money to you bills.

    1. Hi June,

      Hopefully we are are providing some great advice for free. See our “road to good credit” series. We refer people to Lexington Law as they have very good track history of helping people. The consultation with them is free and you can certainly decide whether ot not to use them after. That being said, please also see our guide to good credit. There is alot of useful information in there.

      1. Hi Saundra,

        If you have had a negative experience with Lexington Law please share it with us. We don’t like to recommend products or services that are not of the highest quality.

    2. But if the credit reported on there isn’t yours to start with they are a big help my problem was 100.00 a month for a year and still didn’t see daylight. Finally had to quit needed the money to pay my real bills.

    1. Hi Queen,

      Please start by reading our guide to good credit. You can get your credit report for free from sites like Credit Karma. You can also dispute any negative marks that you believe are incorrect. Lexington Law is a great service to help repair credit issues quickly but it’s definitely not free.

  3. Hello, i have an question . Now i am trying to pay off my truck, and i need to pay off some bills, i need to persoal loan, of $20,000 . This amount will help me get my trck paid off, some of my bills then i be caught up.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      It sounds like you are trying to consolidate some bills. This can be a good idea as long as you can get a loan to consolidate at a lower rate than you currently have for your truck. Before taking out a loan it’s always a good idea to think about a realistic payment plan that won’t put your finances in worse shape than they are currently.

    1. Hi Lindsay,

      Sorry to hear about the medical bills. It’s a double whammy when you are sick or injured and have your credit ruined as a result. We cannot offer any legal advice but companies like Lexington Law may be able to help. They charge a fee but you could talk to them for free to see if they can do anything.

  4. Last spring my score was a 430ish..I had 2 small
    Credit cards like 10-13 yrs ago that Went into collections. And some medial bills that someone had used my name for..I was able to remove them myself and get my score up to almost 650 in less than a year by myself without paying any
    Company..a year ago I couldn’t get anything a credit NOTHING I HAD ZERO credit available and now I have credit cards I have almost 8,000 in credit cards..something I never thought possible.. you don’t need to pay someone u can do it..start studying and reading the myfico forums ..I read the myfico forums everyday still learning new things everyday and still working hard to get excellent credit..slowly but surely I’ll get there!

    1. We love it when we see people people grabbing the bull by the horns and taking their fate into their own hands! Good work!

      1. It seem I been apply for credit card online I got turn down because of my score is bad . How could i build my credit score if I don’t approve a credit card .

      2. Landai,

        This is where getting a secured card can bebeneficial. There are no credit checks for secured cards and they report to credit bureaus just like a regular credit card. They only issue you credit on the amount you secure by sending it to them. If you sentr them $1,000 they could grant you a credit line of $1,000. There are usually fees and APRs associated with these cards but they are a great tool for building credit. Some even have rewards programs. Discover offers a good secured card.

Leave a Reply