How to get a Credit Card when you have Bad Credit

You’ve made some bad credit decisions, but now you are ready to get back on track. Unfortunately, your credit is in a massive crater, and you need to find a way to get a credit card and bring it back up. It can be very difficult to get a credit card with bad credit. Fortunately, there are ways that you can accomplish this, especially if you take a step by step approach.

The first thing to do is to make sure that you are ready to have a credit card, especially if you have used them irresponsibly in the past. You do not want to get yourself into trouble. If you are ready to take this step, then try the following methods.

First, open a bank account if you do not already have one. This can provide stability and show that you are looking to save money. You can open accounts at many banks with very low minimum amounts, and there are many free bank accounts. Some credit card companies only take applications from those who can furnish a checking account number.

Next consider the type of credit card to apply for. Realistically, you are probably not going to get a great credit card with a high credit amount and low interest rate, however that does not mean you will not qualify for anything. You can try by getting a credit card from a retail store. You can also look to a gas card. Many of these are easier to get than a regular card, and they can help you build up your credit and make it easier to get the more versatile and better credit cards in the future. These are offered by many different stores.

You can also look to get a credit card with a place you have done business with. This might increase your chances of getting a card.  Do not go for a card that would be impossible to get, but one that has reasonable terms. Some specifically specify that they are for people with excellent credit and this would not be you.

You should also think about the timing of your application. Because of your bad credit, you want as much as possible to be in your favor. For instance, credit cards like stability so you can look for a card when you have been at the same address for a while. Also, you are much more likely to get a credit card when you have a job, thus you might want to wait until you can show income to start applying for credit cards.

There are other strategies that can increase your chances of getting a credit card. Be consistent in how you write your name (i.e. whether you use a middle initial). Also, if there are extenuating circumstances for your bad credit such as a major illness that prompted the problems, then try to explain that on the credit applications.

A secured credit card is another option. With this, you might put money into a bank account and then get credit equal to that amount. If you do not pay it, the money will come out of the account. Be very careful when you get this because not all of them report to the credit agencies, and then you won’t build credit. If you can find one that allows you to build credit, then this can be a good way to start off.

You can also try to get someone to cosign with you on the credit card. Again, make sure that they will report to the credit agencies on your behalf so that you can build credit.

Once you have your credit card be responsible with it. Pay it off on time. You can increase your credit and hopefully move on to a better card. If you have a secured credit card, you may be able to switch it to an unsecured one. Look for cards with this option.

Just because you have bad credit does not mean you can’t get a credit card. Try the above methods to help you get a credit card and build good credit.