Single mom, Without SSN
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Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit 2024

So, you have bad credit and need a credit card? You’re probably having a hard time since most credit cards require you to have at least fair credit to qualify for them. But, don’t worry because credit card companies that accept bad credit do exist, and below, you'll find a list of their best offers. Let’s clarify from the start - you won’t find any top cards with lucrative rewards on this list. However, you'll find some decent card options that can help improve credit and, thus, move on to better cards. Eventually, with smart and responsible use, you might even qualify for the best credit cards. That’s why we suggest you don’t skip our resources and advice, which you can find in this article.

By Hanna Volkava
Updated June 19, 2024

Best Credit Cards for For bad credit in June 2024

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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card best for Single mom, Without SSN

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Secured Mastercard® Capital One
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
29.99% Variable
Our Rating:
2.39
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    29.99% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is for people who want to improve their credit scores. The Card has no annual fee. It requires a security deposit when you’re approved.

    The card's APR is 29.99% (Variable). Balance transfer fee: 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR. None for balances transferred at the Transfer APR.

    You’ll get access to CreditWise® from Capital One, which will automatically alert you to changes on your TransUnion or Experian credit reports.

    The Secured Mastercard from Capital One comes with a surprising number of travel perks, including no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services and secondary auto rental coverage.

    Cardholders will also receive extended warranty coverage for items purchased that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Pros:
    • Low initial deposit amount of $49, $99, or $200
    • You can increase the credit line up to $1000
    • No annual fee
    • Automatic credit line reviews
    • Credit building
  • Cons:
    • High APR
    • Low credit limit
    • No rewards program
  • Benefits:
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Refundable Deposit;
    • Capital One CreditWise;
    • Eno®, your Capital One assistant;
    • Virtual Card Numbers from Eno;
    • Emergency Card Replacement;
    • ATM Location Services;
    • MasterRental Coverage;
    • 24/7 Customer Service.
View all Platinum Secured Mastercard® details
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Card detail

FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® best for Unsecured

Apply now
FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® The Bank of Missouri
Annual fee:
$99 annually
$125 annually
Regular APR:
35.90% Variable
Our Rating:
3.9
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
    • Issuer name:
      The Bank of Missouri
    • Details:

      The FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card helps to rebuild or build your credit.

      The FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card's annual fee is $99 annually ($125 from the second year). The monthly maintenance fee for the second year will be $150 per year ($12.50 per month). The Processing Fee is $95 (one-time fee).

      The FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card has an initial credit limit of $400. Use your FIT card at locations everywhere Mastercard is accepted.

      Continental Finance will report your payments to the three major credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian, Equifax.

      Read full review

    • Pros:
      • Credit may increase with time
      • Low eligibility requirements
      • Reasonable credit limit
      • No Security deposit
      • Credit Score Access
    • Cons:
      • High extra fees
      • High APR
      • Foreign Transaction Fee
      • No reward program
      • No Sign up Bonus
    • Benefits:
      • $0 Fraud Liability;
      • Initial Credit Limit of $400;
      • Potential Credit Limit Increase After Just 6 Months;
      • Free Monthly Credit Score;
      • Reports to All Three Major Credit Bureaus.
    View all FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® details
    Apply now
    On Continental Finance site
    Card detail

    Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard® best for Walmart purchases

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    Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
    Annual fee:
    $75 - $99 annually
    $99 annually
    Regular APR:
    35.90% Variable
    Our Rating:
    3.2
    scorer
    Credit score
    No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
      • Issuer name:
        Celtic Bank
      • Details:

        The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® credit card's APR range is 35.90%.

        The monthly maintenance fee is $0 for the first year, then $150 thereafter, billed $12.50 per month (Credit Limit of $750 or $1,000: no fee).

        This unsecured credit card can be used as an effective tool to build credit as the issuer reports your monthly payments to the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian, Equifax.

        Read full review

      • Pros:
        • Monthly Credit Reporting
        • Free Monthly Credit Score
        • Potential Credit Limit Increase After 6 Months
        • Prequalification Without a Hard Check
      • Cons:
        • High Annual Fee
        • Relatively Low Credit Limit
        • Foreign Transaction Fee
        • Monthly Maintenance Fee After the 1st year
        • High APR
      • Benefits:
        • $0 Fraud Liability;
        • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus;
        • Possible credit limit increase after just six months;
        • Free Monthly Credit Score.
      View all Surge® Platinum Mastercard® details
      Apply now
      On Celtic Bank‘s site
      Card detail
      Apply now
      Revvi Card MRV Banks
      Annual fee:
      $75 for the first year
      $48 after *
      Regular APR:
      35.99% *
      Our Rating:
      4.1
      scorer
      Credit score
      Rebuilding Credit to Fair (0-669)
      • Rewards Rate:
        • 1% Cash Back rewards^^ on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card.
      • Issuer name:
        MRV Banks
      • Details:

        The Revvi Card is designed for people with poor credit or no credit.

        The Revvi Card earns 1% Cash Back rewards^^ on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card.

        The card has an annual fee of $75 (for the first year), $48 (for the second year). The regular purchase APR is 35.99%.

        Read full review

      • Pros:
        • Cash Back
      • Cons:
        • Annual Fee
        • Extra Fees
      • Benefits:
        • 1% Cash Back rewards^^ on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card;
        • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus;
        • Fast and easy application.
      View all Revvi details
      Apply now
      On the Revvi secure website
      Card detail

      First Access Visa® Card best for Low income

      Apply now
      First Access Visa® The Bank of Missouri
      Annual fee:
      $75.00 for the 1st year, $48.00 after
      Regular APR:
      35.99%
      Our Rating:
      4.2
      scorer
      Credit score
      No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
      • Rewards Rate:
        • 1% Earn 1% cash back rewards on payments made to your First Access Credit Card.
      • Issuer name:
        The Bank of Missouri
      • Details:

        The First Access Visa® Card is a true VISA® credit card that does not require perfect credit for approval.

        The First Access Visa® Card's APR: 35.99%.

        The First Access Visa® Card is not a secured credit card, meaning applicants don’t have to have the amount of their credit limit as a deposit.

        Read full review

      • Pros:
        • Available to those with bad credit
        • Reports to three major credit bureaus
        • Easy application
        • No security deposit
      • Cons:
        • High APR
        • Several fees
        • Low credit limit
      • Benefits:
        • 1% Cash Back rewards on payments made to your First Access Credit Card;
        • First Access Visa credit card accepted nationwide;
        • Rebuild your credit;
        • Easy and Secure Online Application.
      View all First Access Visa® details
      Apply now
      On the First Access Visa® Card secure website
      Card detail

      Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® best for Unsecured

      Apply now
      Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®​ Celtic Bank
      Annual fee:
      $75 for the first year
      $125 after the first year
      Regular APR:
      35.90% Variable
      Our Rating:
      3.8
      scorer
      Credit score
      No Credit History to Good (0-739)
        • Issuer name:
          Celtic Bank
        • Details:

          The Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® can be used as an effective tool to build credit. The card has an APR of 35.90% (Variable).

          With $0 Fraud Liability you will not be held responsible for unauthorized charges on your Reflex credit card. With zero fraud liability you are only responsible for purchases that you make, so you can shop with confidence and know that your card activity is fully protected.

          The monthly maintenance fee (from the 2nd year) is $0 for the first year, then $150 thereafter, billed $12.50 per month (Credit Limit of $750 or $1,000: no fee).

          Read full review

        • Pros:
          • Chance to get a higher credit limit
          • All credit scores are welcome to apply
          • Reports to three bureaus
          • Check if you prequalify without affecting your credit score
          • No deposit required
        • Cons:
          • No rewards
          • High Regular APR
          • High annual fee
          • Monthly maintenance fee
          • Additional card fee
          • Foreign transaction fee
        • Benefits:
          • $0 Fraud Liability;
          • Potential Credit Limit Increase After Just 6 Months;
          • Free Monthly Credit Score;
          • Monthly Reporting to All Three Major Credit Bureaus;
          • Credit Protection program.
        View all Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® details
        Apply now
        On Celtic Bank‘s site
        Card detail
        Apply now
        Total Visa® Card The Bank of Missouri
        Annual fee:
        $75.00 for the 1st year, $48.00 after
        Regular APR:
        35.99% *
        Our Rating:
        3.32
        scorer
        Credit score
        Rebuilding Credit to Fair (0-669)
        • Rewards Rate:
          • 1% Cash Back on all purchases.
        • Issuer name:
          The Bank of Missouri
        • Details:

          The Total Visa® Card is a credit card for people with bad credit score or limited credit. It does not require a credit check to apply.

          The Total Visa® Card's Regular APR is 35.99%.

          The Total Visa® Card allows you to choose your own card design.

          Read full review

        • Pros:
          • Low Requirements
        • Cons:
          • Annual Fee
          • High Regular APR
          • No Intro APR period
          • Extra Fees
        • Benefits:
          • $0 fraud liability;
          • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus;
          • Manageable monthly payments;
          • Select your favorite card design for free.
        View all Total Visa® Card details
        Apply now
        On the Total Visa® Card secure website
        Card detail

        Milestone® Mastercard® best for Unsecured

        Apply now
        Milestone® Mastercard®
        Annual fee:
        $175 the first year
        $49 thereafter
        Regular APR:
        35.9%
        Our Rating:
        3.5
        scorer
        Credit score
        Poor to Good (300-739)
          • Details:

            The Milestone® Mastercard® is a credit card for people with bad credit.

            The Card's APR is 35.9%. Plus, the card has a cash advance APR of 35.9%.

            The credit limit for the Card is $700.

            Read full review

          • Pros:
            • Low application requirements
            • Low foreign transaction fee
            • Reports to three major credit bureaus
          • Cons:
            • Annual fee
            • Additional fees and high APR
            • No rewards system
          • Benefits:
            • Greater access to credit than before - $700 credit limit;
            • Get a Mastercard accepted online, in store and in app;
            • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S;
            • $0 liability for unauthorized use;
            • Access your account online or from your mobile device 24/7.
          View all Milestone® Mastercard® details
          Apply now
          On Milestone Mastercard® website
          Card detail
          Apply now
          Synovus Bank First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
          Annual fee:
          $39 annually
          Regular APR:
          19.24% Variable
          Our Rating:
          1.75
          scorer
          Credit score
          No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
          • Rewards Rate:
            • 1% Cash Back rewards on payments made to your First Latitude Secured credit card account.
          • Issuer name:
            Synovus Bank
          • Details:

            First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a full-feature Platinum Mastercard® with a credit line based on a security deposit rather than on a credit score.

            The Card earns 1% Cash Back rewards on payments made to your credit card account.

            The First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card charges an annual fee of $39 annually. The APR for Purchases is 19.24% (25.24% for cash advances). These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

            Read full review

          • Pros:
            • Available to people with limited credit history
          • Cons:
            • Foreign Transaction Fee
            • Balance transfers are not available
          • Benefits:
            • 1% Cash Back rewards on payments made to your First Latitude Secured credit card account;
            • Minimum refundable deposit of $200.00 up to $2,000.00*;
            • Reports Monthly to All 3 Consumer Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History;
            • Quick and Easy Online Application.
          View all First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card details
          Apply now
          On Synovus Bank‘s site
          Card detail

          Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card best for 18 year old

          Apply now
          Gold Preferred® Secured Visa® Applied Bank
          Annual fee:
          $48 annually
          Regular APR:
          9.99% Fixed
          Our Rating:
          4.23
          scorer
          Credit score
          No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
            • Issuer name:
              Applied Bank®
            • Details:

              The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® features a fixed-rate 9.99% APR on purchases.

              The Applied Bank® Gold Preferred® Secured Visa® Card charges several fees in addition to the $48 annual fee. Fees include an up to $38 late payment fee, an up to $38 returned payment fee, a $30 stop payment fee, a $12.95 fee for each optional payment, a $30 fee for additional or replacement cards a $50 reinstatement fee, and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

              Read full review

            • Pros:
              • Extremely low regular APR
              • No penalty rate
              • Guaranteed approval
              • Increase your credit limit
            • Cons:
              • No rewards system
              • A lot of fees
              • Can’t upgrade to an unsecured credit card
              • No grace period
            • Benefits:
              • Reports to All Three National Credit Bureaus;
              • Zero Fraud Liability;
              • Refundable Security Deposit;
              • Global acceptance;
              • Emergency card replacement and cash disbursement.
            View all Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card details
            Apply now
            On Applied Bank®‘s site
            Card detail
            Apply now
            First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
            Annual fee:
            $49 annually
            Regular APR:
            15.24% Variable
            Our Rating:
            3.8
            scorer
            Credit score
            No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
            • Rewards Rate:
              • 1% Cash Back rewards on payments.
            • Issuer name:
              Synovus Bank
            • Details:

              The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card for people with a limited credit history.

              The Card earns 1% Cash Back rewards on payments.

              The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® comes with an annual fee of $49. The card's APR: 15.24% (Variable for purchases), 24.24% (Variable for cash advances).

              Read full review

            • Pros:
              • Low APR for Purchases
              • No Minimum Credit Score Required
              • Reports to Three Major Credit Bureaus
              • Suitable Range of Credit Limit
            • Cons:
              • High Annual Fee
              • High Transaction Fees on Cash Advance
              • High Penalty Fees
              • Foreign Transaction Fees
            • Benefits:
              • 1% Cash Back rewards on payments;
              • Accepted Nationwide;
              • No Minimum Credit Score;
              • No Credit History Required.
            View all First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured details
            Apply now
            On First Progress’s site
            Card detail
            Apply now
            First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Synovus Bank
            Annual fee:
            $29 annually
            Regular APR:
            25.24% Variable
            Our Rating:
            3.3
            scorer
            Credit score
            No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
              • Issuer name:
                Synovus Bank
              • Details:

                The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is designed to help cardholders build credit with no credit check or minimum credit score required to apply.

                As a secured credit card, the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card doesn’t come with any welcome offers, sign-up bonuses or reward rates.

                As a Mastercard®-branded credit option, this First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is accepted nationwide.

                The initial Credit Limit for your Account will be equal to the amount of the Deposit that you make with us, which must be at least $200 (see “Security Interest” above). However, if you choose to deposit more than $200 your initial deposit and corresponding Credit Limit must be at least $300 and may not exceed $2,000.

                Read full review

              • Pros:
                • No credit history required
                • No Minimum Credit Score needed
                • Low Annual Percentage Rates
                • It builds your Credit Score
              • Cons:
                • No option to graduate to an unsecured credit card
                • Credit limit is equal to your deposit amount
                • There is no Rewards program
              • Benefits:
                • No Minimum Credit Score;
                • No Credit History Required;
                • Accepted Nationwide.
              View all First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured details
              Apply now
              On First Progress’s site
              Card detail
              Apply now
              Unique Platinum
              Annual fee:
              See website for details*
              Regular APR:
              0.00% Regular
              Our Rating:
              3.1
              scorer
              Credit score
              No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
              • Rewards Rate:
                • $25 With the Unique Platinum Card you’ll also get $25 in Reward Dollars every month that you can use to save in your choice of over 500,000 ways.
              • Details:

                The Unique Platinum Card is a good option for people with bad credit or no credit.

                With the Unique Platinum Card you’ll also get $25 in Reward Dollars every month.

                The card is valid only at My Unique Outlet.

                Read full review

              • Pros:
                • Unsecured credit line
                • Instant approval
              • Cons:
                • Valid only at My Unique Outlet
                • Minimum monthly payment
              • Benefits:
                • $1000 Credit Line;
                • $25 in Reward Dollars.
              View all Unique Platinum details
              Apply now
              On Uniquecardservices‘s website
              Card detail
              Apply now
              Secured Mastercard® Merrick Bank
              Annual fee:
              $36 for first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
              Regular APR:
              22.70% Variable
              Our Rating:
              3.2
              scorer
              Credit score
              No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                • Issuer name:
                  Merrick Bank
                • Details:

                  The Merrick Bank Secured Mastercard® credit card is a card designed for building or rebuilding credit. The cardholder’s initial credit line will be equal to the amount of their security deposit, which can be between $200 and $3,000.

                  The Annual Fee is $36 the first year. Billed $3 dollars per month thereafter.

                  The Card's APR: 22.70% Variable for purchases.

                  The Secured Mastercard® credit card reports to all three major credit bureaus.

                  Read full review

                • Pros:
                  • Up to $3000 credit limit
                  • Reports to three major credit bureaus
                  • You don’t need a bank account to apply
                  • Access to FICO score
                  • Low APR
                • Cons:
                  • No rewards or intro offers
                  • $200 minimum deposit
                  • Extra fees
                  • $36 annual fee
                • Benefits:
                  • Monthly Reporting to the 3 Major Credit Bureaus;
                  • $0 Fraud Liability;
                  • Low interest;
                  • FICO® Score for Free Each Month.
                View all Secured Mastercard® details
                Apply now
                On Merrick Bank‘s site
                Card detail
                Apply now
                First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
                Annual fee:
                $39 annually
                Regular APR:
                19.24% Variable
                Our Rating:
                3.5
                scorer
                Credit score
                No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                • Rewards Rate:
                  • 1% Cash Back on payments made to your First Progress Secured credit card account.
                • Issuer name:
                  Synovus Bank
                • Details:

                  The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured is designed to help cardholders build credit with no credit check or minimum credit score required to apply.

                  The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card earns 1% Cash Back on payments made to your First Progress Secured credit card account.

                  The card's APR: 19.24% (Variable for Purchases), 25.24% (Variable for Cash Advances).

                  The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® has an annual fee of $39. Plus, the card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

                  Read full review

                • Pros:
                  • No credit history required
                  • No Minimum Credit Score needed
                  • Low Annual Percentage Rates
                • Cons:
                  • Annual Fee
                  • Foreign Transaction Fee
                • Benefits:
                  • 1% Cash Back on payments made to your First Progress Secured credit card account;
                  • Accepted Nationwide;
                  • No Minimum Credit Score;
                  • No Credit History Required.
                View all First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured details
                Apply now
                On First Progress’s site
                Card detail

                First Electronic Bank Destiny® Mastercard® best for Unsecured

                Apply now
                Destiny® Mastercard® First Electronic Bank
                Annual fee:
                *see terms*
                Regular APR:
                35.90%
                Our Rating:
                1.47
                scorer
                Credit score
                No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                  • Issuer name:
                    First Electronic Bank
                  • Details:

                    The Destiny® Mastercard® is a good credit card for people with poor or no credit.

                    The Destiny® Mastercard® charges a high Regular APR of 35.90% and does not provide any intro APR offer.

                    The card charges an annual fee of $75 for the first year ($99 thereafter).

                  • Pros:
                    • No monthly fees
                    • Prior bankruptcies are acceptable
                    • Liability protection
                    • No security deposit required
                  • Cons:
                    • No reward
                    • High-interest rates
                    • No mobile app
                    • Credit limit
                  • Benefits:
                    • Mastercard® benefits;
                    • Fraud protection;
                    • Reports to all three major credit bureaus.
                  View all Destiny® Mastercard® details
                  Apply now
                  On First Electronic Bank‘s site
                  Card detail

                  Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa® best for 18 year old

                  Secured Visa® OpenSky®
                  Annual fee:
                  $35 annually
                  Regular APR:
                  25.64% Variable
                  Our Rating:
                  3.82
                  scorer
                  Credit score
                  No Credit History to Good (0-739)
                    • Issuer name:
                      Capital Bank
                    • Details:

                      With Secured Visa® Credit Card your credit limit is defined by your refundable deposit, as low as $200 and up to $3000*. You’re the one who decides what’s best for you.

                      Use your card to make purchases like gas or groceries, or for recurring bills like your phone, without changing your total monthly budget. Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® get reports every month — that's important to help you quickly improve your credit score.

                      Read full review

                    • Pros:
                      • No credit check required
                      • Does not require a bank account
                      • Reports to three major credit bureaus
                      • Low minimum cash deposit
                    • Cons:
                      • High annual fee
                      • High Foreign Transaction Fee
                      • No Rewards
                      • No Signup Bonus
                    • Benefits:
                      • No credit check necessary to apply;
                      • Reports to three major credit bureaus;
                      • Build credit quickly;
                      • Doesn't require a bank account.
                    Card detail

                    Short Review of Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

                    NameBest forRewards RateAPRApply
                    Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
                    2.39
                    Single mom, Without SSN
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 29.99% VariableLearn more
                    on our partner’s site
                    FIT™ Platinum Mastercard®
                    3.9
                    Unsecured
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 35.90% VariableApply now
                    On Continental Finance site
                    Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
                    3.2
                    Walmart purchases
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 35.90% VariableApply now
                    On Celtic Bank‘s site
                    Revvi Card
                    4.1
                  • 1% Cash Back rewards^^ on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card.
                  • 35.99% *Apply now
                    On the Revvi secure website
                    First Access Visa® Card
                    4.2
                    Low income
                  • 1% Earn 1% cash back rewards on payments made to your First Access Credit Card.
                  • 35.99%Apply now
                    On the First Access Visa® Card secure website
                    Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®
                    3.8
                    Unsecured
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 35.90% VariableApply now
                    On Celtic Bank‘s site
                    Total Visa® Card
                    3.32
                  • 1% Cash Back on all purchases.
                  • 35.99% *Apply now
                    On the Total Visa® Card secure website
                    Milestone® Mastercard®
                    3.5
                    Unsecured
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 35.9%Apply now
                    On Milestone Mastercard® website
                    First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                    1.75
                  • 1% Cash Back rewards on payments made to your First Latitude Secured credit card account.
                  • 19.24% VariableApply now
                    On Synovus Bank‘s site
                    Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
                    4.23
                    18 year old
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 9.99% FixedApply now
                    On Applied Bank®‘s site
                    First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                    3.8
                  • 1% Cash Back rewards on payments.
                  • 15.24% VariableApply now
                    On First Progress’s site
                    First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                    3.3
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 25.24% VariableApply now
                    On First Progress’s site
                    Unique Platinum
                    3.1
                  • $25 With the Unique Platinum Card you’ll also get $25 in Reward Dollars every month that you can use to save in your choice of over 500,000 ways.
                  • 0.00% RegularApply now
                    On Uniquecardservices‘s website
                    Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card
                    3.2
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 22.70% VariableApply now
                    On Merrick Bank‘s site
                    First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                    3.5
                  • 1% Cash Back on payments made to your First Progress Secured credit card account.
                  • 19.24% VariableApply now
                    On First Progress’s site
                    First Electronic Bank Destiny® Mastercard®
                    1.47
                    Unsecured
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 35.90%Apply now
                    On First Electronic Bank‘s site
                    Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa®
                    3.82
                    18 year old
                  • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                  • 25.64% VariableLearn more

                    Card's description:

                    Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

                    The Platinum Secured Mastercard® from Capital One allows you to get pre-approved without hurting your credit score. It's a nice card for building credit that has a very low minimum security deposit. Based on your credit score, you can get the card with a deposit of $49, $99, or $200. With the minimum deposit required of $49, you'll get an initial credit limit of $200. Your account will get reviewed automatically every six months, and you might be considered for a higher credit line. As your account is monitored, you may get your security deposit back as a statement credit. Of course, all of this is only possible if you've made timely payments and managed the card responsibly. Capital One offers great benefits with all of its credit cards, so cardholders of the Platinum Secured Mastercard® will enjoy them too. These include valuable features: CreditWise tool (enables you to monitor your credit), Virtual Card Number, Extended Warranty, 24/7 Customer Service, etc. Finally, on the good side, you won’t have to worry about an annual fee. However, you’ll have to be very careful with carrying a balance due to the high APR of 28.49%.

                    Read more about Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

                    Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

                    Those who want to rebuild credit will appreciate the Surge® Platinum Mastercard®, which enables them to stay on top of their credit. You can apply online, and if approved and enrolled in e-statements, you'll get free access to your monthly credit score. The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® also offers cardholders a solid credit limit between $300 - $1,000 with no security deposit. Your account will get automatically reviewed after six months for a potential increase. Unfortunately, the card comes with a high annual fee $99 and a high APR of 29.99%. Don’t forget about the monthly maintenance fee, which kicks in after the first year at $10 per month. If you're reckless with your payments, you might end up paying a late and a returned payment fee too. So be very cautious if you go for this card because if not, you might end up in a worse financial situation than before getting it.

                    Read more about Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

                    First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

                    The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured from Synovus Bank is one of the three secured credit cards they offer. There's no minimum credit score or credit history required, and those who qualify for one of the three cards also qualify for the other two. We decided to review this one because it has the lowest APR out of the three but also the highest annual fee. So, it's basically a trade-off, either a low APR or a low annual fee, whatever is more important to you. This card has one of the lowest APRs overall – 15.24%, which is great for those who struggle with balances. However, the price to pay for such a low APR is a $49 annual fee deducted from your line of credit. When a payment is late or returned, penalty fees will be applied too.

                    Read more about First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

                    Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa®

                    With a straightforward, 4-step application process and no credit check, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card is an excellent choice for anyone without a credit score or with a bad one. Those who don’t have a checking account can apply too. They'll be able to make the security deposit with a money order or a Western Union payment. The security deposit range is also explicitly listed on the card's website. It can be as low as $200 and up to $3,000 (please note that the amount is subject to approval and is individually determined for each applicant). Your line of credit will be equal to the security deposit's amount. You can also request a credit limit increase whenever you want, and if approved, you'll have to provide an additional security deposit. This card has one of the lowest APRs in the category (17.39%) and among all credit cards, considering the average credit card APR is 14.58%. Its annual fee is only $35, which we think is a low price for such a great card for building credit.

                    Read more about Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa®

                    What is bad credit?

                    Bad credit is usually defined as having a FICO credit score rating below 580 (on a scale between 300 and 850). Lower credit score indicate irresponsible credit behavior in the past, like not paying bills on time, loan defaults, bankruptcy, late payments, maxing out credit lines, etc. That’s why a bad credit might make creditors and lenders reluctant when deciding whether to approve a credit request. There are three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian), and credit scores might differ between all three. That’ll depend on whether your creditor (or lender) reports to one, two, or all of them. Note that creditors might use their scoring models as well, and they will also differ. If approved for a loan or a credit card, those with bad credit will likely get subprime rates. Subprime rates are higher than the average interest rates and are offered to high-risk borrowers.

                    How to improve your credit using a credit card?

                    A credit card can be a useful tool on your path to repair credit only if used in a responsible manner. Here's some advice on how to make that happen:

                    • Make payments on time – this one probably goes without saying, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded. Make sure to pay at least the minimum amount before the due date. Although, note that if you fail to pay the balance in full, you’ll accrue interest (think about the high APRs that come with credit cards!).
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                    Extra tip: Set up AutoPay (if the card offers this option) or set a reminder on your phone. Of course, some creditors also send you a notification ahead of the upcoming payment date.

                    • Keep in mind the credit utilization ratio – the credit utilization ratio is a significant factor with a great impact on your credit score. It's calculated by dividing the amount of money you owe by your available credit limit. Generally, it's recommended to keep it under 30%. That means that if you have a $1,000 credit line, you should never carry a balance that's more than $300.
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                    Extra tip: Annual fees usually get deducted from the credit line, so don’t forget to factor them in when calculating your credit utilization!

                    • Monitor your credit score – many of the best credit cards for bad credit listed above (like Capital One Platinum Secured Mastercard®) offer you credit score access. That allows you to always be on top of your credit and see how certain spending habits affect it.
                    • Avoid closing credit card accounts – closing your accounts might harm your credit score. For example, it might increase your credit utilization ratio, which you don't want to happen if you're trying to improve bad credit. If you want to close it because of an annual fee or to get back your security deposit, if possible, consider changing to a no-annual-fee version of the card or upgrading to an unsecured one. With the Discover it® Secured credit card, you might qualify for an unsecured card in as little as eight months.

                    Who should get a credit card for bad credit?

                    In addition to people with bad credit, of course, credit cards for bad credit might also serve well to people with no or little credit history. These two are put in the same basket because people without an established credit history also represent a risk to creditors and lenders. They have yet to prove to be trustworthy borrowers.

                    For instance, if you’re a student, you probably won’t have it easy to get a credit card (if you haven’t had a regular job or are paying off a student loan). Since cards designed for applicants with bad credit make it easy to qualify, they make for a worthy starter option.

                    How to choose a credit card for bad credit?

                    Choosing a credit card for bad credit requires careful consideration. You want to ensure that it’s the right card that’ll help you repair credit. Another important thing to bear in mind when applying is to assess your chances of getting approved for a particular card. A rejection never looks good on a credit report, and it will furtherly decrease your credit score. If you're not sure about your approval odds, first try applying for a card that offers prequalification. Such cards are Capital One Platinum Secured Mastercard®, and Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®.

                    The most important thing to look at in a card for building credit is whether it reports to all three major credit bureaus. If your good credit behavior goes unnoticed, it won't do much good to your credit score. Keep in mind that all the best credit cards for bad credit found here report to all three major credit bureaus. It might be helpful if the credit card also provides you with access to your credit score so you can keep track of it. Another important thing is fees. Credit cards for bad credit typically come with all kinds of fees - annual fee, late fee, returned payment fee, foreign transaction fee, and so on. Keep them in mind while using the card.

                    You also must be honest with yourself about carrying a balance. If you tend to do that, get a card with a low APR. The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured has the lowest APR (15.24% Variable), but it comes with a $49 annual fee. As we already explained, the credit limit has a high impact on the credit utilization ratio; consider the credit line that best fits you and your financial needs. The Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® offers a potentially high credit limit of up to $5,000.

                    Last but not least - the choice between a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card. Both can be used for rebuilding credit, so for a better understanding, check out the section where we explain the differences between the two.

                    What to do if your application is denied?

                    A denied credit card application is not the end of the world. You’ll get an explanation for the denial, and once you know the reason, the next step is to figure out how to work on it. Let’s look at some common reasons for rejection and your options for them:

                    • High balances – work out a plan for how to pay back your high credit card debt.
                    • Too many inquiries – too many applications on your credit report within a short period of time might get you denied, no matter if you were approved. Wait until some of them disappear from your credit report, and then apply again.
                    • Low income – the required income varies among different credit card issuers. Next time you should take your chances with a lower-range card.
                    • Recent delinquencies – some recent delinquencies, like a late payment, might negatively impact your chances of getting approved. What you can do is wait and try again.
                    • Thin credit history – if the credit card company cannot determine your creditworthiness, it's likely you won't get approved for a credit card. For a FICO score to be generated, you're required to have at least one account that's been active in the last six months. Or consider cards for which you can apply with no or little credit history like the Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®.
                    • Not old enough – the legal age for a credit card is 18. Still, there are some exceptions, like if you have your own income or you’ve already been added as an authorized user to a parent’s credit card.

                    Secured vs. unsecured credit cards for bad credit

                    Secured credit cards require a security deposit (which usually serves as a credit limit) that will be refunded later on. You can be refunded when you close the account, upgrade to an unsecured card, or if you qualify for a refund. Since these cards are secured with a refundable security deposit, they usually have no (or lower) annual fees.

                    If you can afford a security deposit, it's always better to get a secured card since you can get the deposit back, but the annual fee is a cost you won’t get back. However, if you cannot afford the security deposit, you can still go for a no-money-down, unsecured credit card. Although, in that case, be prepared that you might have to pay a hefty annual fee. The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® is an unsecured card that'll cost you a $125 annual fee in the first year and $96 after.

                    The costs of bad credit

                    Bad credit can hurt you financially in several ways. People with bad credit usually have to deal with the following:

                    • High APRs on loans and credit cards - probably the most obvious. It’ll be hard even to get approved in the first place, but if you do, the chances are that you’ll end up with high interest rates.
                    • Limited access to funding – if you need an emergency loan, you’ll likely have to go for an expensive alternative like payday loans.
                    • Larger minimum payments – several of these will eat away a significant portion of your budget.
                    • Expensive insurance premiums – it might come as a surprise, but insurance companies run credit checks too! So, get ready to pay more for auto insurance, for example.
                    • Getting housing – a bad credit score will make it harder to buy a house (affects your mortgage rate) or even rent an apartment (landlords tend to dislike poor credit scorers too).
                    • Deposit for utilities – If you don’t meet the requirements of a utility company, you might be asked to provide a refundable deposit to use the service.

                    FAQ

                    Can you get a credit card after bankruptcy?

                    Yes, but be prepared to have minimal options and to get high-interest rates. While the bankruptcy process is still in progress, you cannot apply for a credit card. Once it's settled, the time until you can apply for one will depend on the type of bankruptcy. If it was Chapter 7 (debts are wiped out with filing's court approval, which can take up to several months), you'd have to wait for four to six months. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy (payments continue with a court-ordered repayment plan), on the other hand, can take between three to five years.

                    Can you do a balance transfer with bad credit?

                    Yes, most of the best credit cards for bad credit allow you to make a balance transfer. However, since every card for bad credit usually has a high APR, it may not make much sense to transfer a balance. You might want to consider a personal loan instead that has more affordable rates. Another good alternative for balance transfers is improving your credit score first and then getting a card with an intro APR offer or a low ongoing APR.

                    What’s the easiest credit card to get with bad credit?

                    Out of all the best credit cards for bad credit we mentioned, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card is the easiest one to get since it doesn’t make a credit check. Generally, secured credit cards are available to most people with bad credit who are willing to pay the security deposit. In addition, store cards also fall under the easy-to-qualify-for category.

                    Which credit cards offer guaranteed approval?

                    Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as guaranteed approval when it comes to credit cards. However, there are some credit cards with very high approval odds.
                    Hanna VolkavaHanna Volkava

                    Financial and product expert

                    hv@myfin.us