Having poor credit adds difficulty to virtually every aspect of your life. If you have a low credit rating, you’ll have trouble obtaining financing for a major purchase such as a car or home — and if you are approved, the interest rate will be unattractive. When you pay higher interest rates for everything, you’ll never have any money to spare — and your financial situation won’t improve. The best way to improve your credit and let lenders know that your difficult days are behind you is to obtain a credit card designed for rebuilding credit.
A secured credit card is the best way to begin improving a poor credit score. To obtain one, you’ll need to provide the issuing bank a deposit to secure your debt. You then essentially borrow against the collateral you have provided to the bank. Even if you have poor credit, you generally have an excellent chance to obtain a secured credit card — because your deposit guarantees that the bank won’t lose money if you default on your payments. If you make payments according to the credit card’s terms, though, you’ll be on the road to building a positive credit history and obtaining loans with more favorable terms in the future.
These are our picks for the top five credit cards for people with bad credit.
Secured MasterCard From Capital One
With the Secured MasterCard From Capital One, you’ll get an initial credit line of $200. Your required deposit will vary depending upon your credit score. If you’d like, you can also deposit more money when opening your account to receive additional credit. If you make your payments on time for five months, Capital One will raise your credit limit automatically. Although the APR for this credit card is quite high, it comes with the standard suite of Capital One MasterCard benefits for platinum cardholders. Some of the benefits include extended warranties on items purchased with the card, travel insurance and roadside assistance.
U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card
The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card has a much lower APR than many other secured credit cards. However, this no-frills card includes few extra perks. You will receive insurance when you rent cars with your U.S. Bank Secured Visa, but there aren’t many other benefits of membership. In addition, this card carries an annual membership fee of $29, making up somewhat for the low interest rate. You can have an initial credit limit of up to $5,000 with this card — if you’re able to deposit that much. After 12 months, U.S. Bank will review your history and determine your eligibility for an unsecured card.
Digital Credit Union Platinum Secured Visa
The process of obtaining the Digital Credit Union Platinum Secured Visa is a bit more complex than with other credit cards for bad credit. To obtain the card, you’ll first need to join the credit union. That requires a minimum savings deposit of $500. You’ll earn interest on the deposit, though. Next, you’ll need to join one of the organizations the credit union supports. Once you’ve jumped through the hoops, you’ll have a secured credit card with an incredibly competitive APR.
Milestone Gold MasterCard
Compared to some other secured credit cards, the Milestone Gold MasterCard has a potentially high membership fee. The yearly fee varies from $39 to $99, depending on your credit history. While holding a Milestone Gold MasterCard can be somewhat expensive, being a member entitles you to every benefit of having a gold MasterCard.
Indigo Platinum MasterCard
The Indigo Platinum MasterCard bears many similarities to the Milestone Gold MasterCard — the initial deposits and APRs are the same. However, those with slightly better credit have a chance to obtain an Indigo Platinum MasterCard with no annual membership fee. An additional benefit of the Indigo Platinum MasterCard is that you can choose from several different card designs at no cost.