Have bad credit and want to improve your credit score? Apply for a bad credit card. Even if you have very bad credit, there are many lenders who have bad credit card products, available for clients with low credit scores. The problem isn’t finding a credit card product, but to make sure that you don’t get taken to the cleaners on high interest rates, annual fees, signup fees and more. If you know how to compare credit card offers, you can find a bad credit card to help you get back on track.
Some lenders send out costly offers expecting that you’ll jump at the first card you are offered. These lenders add outrageous fees, which can total over $200, just to open an account. Some of the typical fees they charge are high annual fees, a one-time application fee, monthly fees if you are late or over limit, and of course an interest rate way over market rates, from 10% and up. The interest rate will get jacked up another 10-15% if you do go over your credit limit or are late with a payment. Not all lenders charge high fees and costs, so don’t just take the first offer you get in the mail. Before applying for a card, do a search for bad credit cards online, and look for cards from larger, nationally-known lenders.
Even with bad credit, you can find a reasonable deal on credit cards. Most card companies will look at your credit rating of course, but that’s not the only factor when you have bad credit. A lender will also check your income. Your income will override your credit score in some cases if you have steady income, meaning a regular W2 job for at least 3 months at the same employer, and your income is sufficient to pay your debt. Usually, a credit card lender will start you off with a small credit limit, about $300, to see how you handle the payments.
Of course, with bad credit you will pay higher than the market interest rates, but you shouldn’t accept a card that has an application fee or other one-time charges just to apply for and be approved for the card. Keep shopping until you find a card company that offers you a chance to rebuild your credit, and doesn’t start you off with a lot of debt right at the outset.
Once you receive your card, be sure to make the payments on time! That’s the reason you want to apply for a bad credit card in the first place, to repair your credit. By making your payment on time with this card, your credit score will start to improve.