Credit cards can be a true lifesaver in certain situations, providing you with a convenient and reliable way to pay for expenses when no other reasonable options are available.
Many people often use them as a financial backup plan for dealing with emergency situations, and some people also use them to pay for items that they did not include in their budget. As beneficial as credit cards can be to your everyday life, the reality is that some people do not qualify for traditional credit cards because of low credit scores. If you have bad credit and are looking for a credit card offer that is right for you, rest assured that there are some options available to consider.
Secured Credit Cards
There are several credit card solutions available that offer a guaranteed approval for individuals with bad credit. While this knowledge alone can set your mind at ease, it is important to understand how different types of credit cards work. One credit card option available for borrowers with bad credit scores who want a guaranteed approval is to pay an initial deposit to the credit card company.
What The Deposit Is For
Essentially, your deposit of $100, $500 or more made to the credit card company is used as collateral against the amount that you borrow through your credit card. This is consequently the maximum amount of your credit line. However, with regular use of the card and by making regular payments, your credit line may be increased or your initial deposit may be refunded to you. While this offer may work for some people, others may not have several hundred dollars that they want to hand over to a credit card company indefinitely.
Unsecured Lines of Credit
Unsecured credit cards are also available to some individuals with bad credit score, but these may be more difficult to come by. Some credit card companies will accept applicants lower credit scores and without an upfront deposit, but they may not offer guaranteed approval for all credit scores. Some will offer guaranteed approval on a very small credit line, such as $100. While this may be most common, some guaranteed offers will extend a credit line of $1,000 to you. It is important to shop around to compare the offers before you make a final decision about which offer to move forward with.
Qualification Based on Income and Expenses
Many credit card companies have a strict credit score requirement, but there are alternatives available that disregard the credit score and look at the income and expenses of the applicant instead. For example, a credit card company may want to see that your guaranteed or provable monthly income exceeds the monthly expenses on your credit report by a specific amount in order to qualify you for the credit card. Provided you meet the qualification, you will be guaranteed approval regardless of your credit scores. If you have provable income that exceeds your monthly expenses, this may be a great option for you.
How to Make Your Decision
As you can see, there are many different credit card options that have guaranteed approval and that are designed for applicants with bad credit scores. Generally, you can expect to have a low starting credit line, but this amount varies from offer to offer. You should not make a hasty decision when deciding which credit card offer to apply for. Your monthly finances, your credit rating and your ability to manage your debt are all going to be affected by your decision. Take time to determine which offers you qualify for. Explore the interest rates, monthly fees, late payment penalties, deposit requirements, and credit limits.
Research Will Pay Off
By doing so, you can easily rank the offers based on their desirability. This can tell you which offer you should apply for today. Your credit card for bad credit applicants can be used to meet your current financial needs or to pay for emergency expenses when they arise. This can help your budget now and in the future. While this may be the primary benefit that you relate to the use of a credit card for bad credit applicants, keep in mind that your credit card gives you the incredible ability to begin improving your credit rating. By making each payment on time, you may see your credit rating begin to rise. With this in mind, take time to find the right card for you, and make the additional effort to use your credit card responsibly for the best results.
Where Can I Find These Credit Cards
Finding out which cards are a guaranteed approval is relatively easy. You can go on various websites and find lists, based on your credit score, of cards you may qualify for. Cards that offer guaranteed approval will, often times, require a deposit. The deposit will match your credit line. So, if you are required to put a $250 deposit, your credit line will be $250. There may be an opportunity, in the future to convert these over and get your deposit back. So, do your research when finding out which cards are guaranteed approval.
Additionally, there are catalog companies that will offer you a credit line to use for buying their products – either online or through the mail. One such company is Fingerhut. They offer Fingerhut Advantage credit products that will give you a small line of credit. As long as you make a number of on-time payments, they will convert your account to a regular Fingerhut account, which may include an increase in credit. This helps you establish that you can responsibly make purchases and pay for them over time.
Prepaid Visa or Mastercard
Another product available is a prepaid Visa or Mastercard. This is an alternative to credit cards and works kind of like a secured credit card. The difference is that you are simply putting money on the card, so you can use that money through a Visa or Mastercard. No credit check is required, but they also do not report to the credit bureaus. So, this kind of card will not improve your credit. But, perhaps it will get you into a habit of better managing your money.
Benefit In The Long Run
Rebuilding your credit can take some time, but with regular, on-time payments, you can eventually raise your credit score enough that you may qualify for a card that does not require a deposit. There are some companies that will grant unsecured credit cards even if you have poor credit. Many times, credit cards for those with poor credit score will have higher interest rates and lower credit lines. As you pay your bill on time, they will increase your credit line. However, the interest rate will probably stay the same. And, interest rates can be upwards of 36% plus an annual, and sometimes the monthly fee. Plus, some of these cards will charge a processing fee to open up the cards credit line. This means that if they charge $99, you either have to pay it upfront or they deduct it from your available credit. So, if they grant you a credit line of $250 and charge a $99 processing fee, your available credit will only be $151.
These Fees Can Add Up
An example of this kind of credit card is First Premier Bank. The credit cards are relatively easy to qualify for, but they charge a bunch of fees. This is the kind of card to use when beginning to rebuild your credit, but you want to get rid of once your credit allows you to get a less expensive (fees) credit card with a better interest rate (theirs is around 36%). Another example is Credit One Bank. This card has better, albeit still high (around 24%), interest rates, but doe not charges a monthly fee.
Because there are a number of companies that will grant credit to those with poor credit, you can easily find yourself having too many credit cards and get stuck in a position of not being able to pay them. This is a dangerous situation and you should try to avoid this. Too much credit can be almost as damaging as having poor credit or no credit. You need to show creditors that you can spend wisely and pay your bills on time. Mortgage companies base much of their approval decisions on credit history and if they think you owe too much to pay the mortgage and your credit card bills, you will probably get denied the loan.
When It’s All Said And Done
Furthermore, if you do qualify, you may have to pay a higher interest rate. Car dealerships operate in the same way. In both situations, you may need to either pay a higher rate or put more money down up front. Doing your research on the fine print of a loan or a credit card is important. You should know all the associated fees with the credit, including the interest rate. If you are just starting out, you might be forced to take a product you are not 100% happy with, but over time, you can improve your situation and end up with a better credit score and a product that suits your needs.
Credit Cards can be one of the most important tools for not only balancing our finances but also ideal for building credit. At Credit Card Inspector we understand that! Our site focuses on helping you gain an accurate understanding of the many available credit card products that can cater to any sort of circumstance or situation. Whether you're looking for a new credit card to transfer a balance or looking for a credit card to rebuild your creditworthiness, let Credit Card Inspector's inspection results point you in the right direction.