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A Complete Guide on How to Get a Credit Card with No Credit or Bad Credit

Norbert Juma
Published on June 18, 2020 8:10 AM EST
A Complete Guide on How to Get a Credit Card with No Credit or Bad Credit

Do you have a credit card in your wallet right now? If not, you’re in the minority in this country.

In recent years, studies have shown that about 70% of American households have people who use credit cards living in them. This accounts for more than 180 million people.

A Complete Guide on How to Get a Credit Card with No Credit or Bad Credit

Credit cards are very useful tools for those who want to build up their credit and give themselves access to available credit. They’re also great for those who want to earn rewards and steer clear of fraud when making big purchases.

For all these reasons, you should learn how to get a credit card if you don’t have one now. It won’t take you long to wonder why you didn’t take steps to get a credit card sooner.

If you’re concerned about not being able to get a credit card because you have no credit or bad credit, don’t worry. You can get your hands on a credit card even if you don’t have the best credit in the world.

Here are the steps you can take to do it.

Begin by Finding Out What Your Credit Score Is

Before you start trying to apply for a credit card, it’s important for you to know where your credit score stands at the moment. There are a large number of people in this country who have absolutely no idea what their credit score is.

In fact, a recent survey showed that about 12% of Americans don’t have a clue when it comes to their credit score. They’re blindly making their way through life without the benefit of knowing how their credit is.

This isn’t going to be an option when applying for a credit card, especially if you suspect that your credit score might be on the lower side. You don’t want to be left wondering why you keep getting rejected for credit cards when the answer could be that you have bad credit or even no credit at all.

It’s better to know that you might need to focus on applying for poor credit credit cards from the beginning as opposed to finding out about it down the line after you’ve already applied for a bunch of cards.

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Consider Trying to Bring Your Credit Score Up

If you check your credit score and find that it’s considered good, very good, or even exceptional, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about getting turned down for a credit card. It’s so easy to qualify for credit cards when you have good credit.

But if you find that your credit score is down in the dumps right now, it might be difficult to convince a credit card company to give you a card. You’ll have to try to bring your credit score up to stand a chance of scoring a credit card.

How can you do this? Well, it might not be as hard as you think it is.

In some cases, you can improve your credit score by leaps and bounds by fixing an error on it. Studies have suggested that about 20% of Americans have errors on their credit reports right now and don’t even realize it. Fixing an error is easily the quickest way to bring your credit score up.

But there are also lots of other ways to do it. You can improve your credit score by:

  • Taking out a debt consolidation loan and using it to pay down debt
  • Asking a family member to add you as an authorized user on their credit card
  • Using the debt avalanche or debt snowball methods to eliminate debt

Whatever you do, don’t pass up on the chance to try and bring your credit score up. You could qualify for all kinds of credit cards if you’re able to get your credit score moving in the right direction again.

Look for Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit or No Credit

By taking the time to improve your credit score, you can put yourself in a position to qualify for almost any credit card that you want. But if you don’t have a ton of time to sit around and wait for your credit score to go up, you can also qualify for certain credit cards even with bad credit or no credit at all.

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There are secured credit cards for bad credit and no credit that can work wonders for those who use them right. These credit cards will require you to put down a certain amount of money in order to get your hands on credit cards. The money that you put down will act as collateral just in case you’re ever not able to make payments on your card.

You might also be able to find certain credit cards for bad credit with no deposit if you look hard enough. But regardless of which type of credit cards for bad credit or no credit you decide to go with, the point is that they are out there for those who want them.

Choose One of the Best Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit or No Credit

People who have bad credit or no credit are often tempted to apply for the first decent credit card that they can find. They’re so desperate to obtain a credit card that they’ll sometimes jump at the first opportunity that presents itself.

Don’t do this! If you don’t remember anything else about how to get a credit card with bad credit or no credit, remember this: There is more than one option out there for you, so you shouldn’t ever feel pressured to apply for one specific credit card just because it’s the first one that you find.

Instead, you should take a look around at all the different credit cards for people with bad credit and no credit and pick the one that looks the best to you. It should come with:

  • A reasonable interest rate
  • Affordable minimum payments
  • An opportunity to increase your available credit over time
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Your credit card should also come with access to a customer service department that can help you to build your credit up. They should make it easy for you to apply for a credit card and easy to make payments on it over the months and years.

Include Information About Your Income in Your Credit Card Application

When you’re filling out an application for a credit card, you won’t be asked anything about your credit score. That’s because a credit card company will pull a copy of your credit report themselves to find out all about your credit history.

You will, however, be asked about your income level. And that will give you a chance to shine if your income is on the higher side.

You should think about all of the different forms of income that you have coming in and include them all. From your primary wages to the money you make at your second or even third job, you want to include all your income on your application.

Your credit card company might not be blown away by your credit report and the debt you have hanging over your head. But if they see that you make good money and seem like you can afford to have a credit card, they might be willing to roll the dice on you.

Think About Asking Someone to Serve as Your Co-Signer

Once you start applying for credit cards for people with bad credit or no credit, you might find that no credit card companies want to approve you for one. This can frustrate you to no end and make you wonder what in the world you’re going to do to get a credit card.

Practicing patience is one way to get over this hurdle. If you’re able to improve your credit score over time and wait things out, you should eventually be able to qualify for a credit card.

But you might also have another option if you want to get a credit card now. You can try to convince someone close to you who has good credit to sign up to be your co-signer. A co-signer is someone who agrees to shoulder the financial responsibility of getting a credit card with you.

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In the eyes of a credit card company, having a co-signer makes you a much better candidate for a credit card. Reason being, they no longer see you as a liability since you will have someone on your side who has the incentive to help you make your credit card payments every month.

Taking on a co-signer can be risky for both you and the co-signer. It’s not an ideal arrangement for everyone. But it could be a great way to get a credit card and build your credit up.

Prepare to Receive Less-Than-Ideal Interest Rates From Credit Card Companies

No matter how you choose to go about getting a credit card when you have bad credit or no credit, you’re probably not going to get the best interest rates in the world. Most credit card companies will manage the risk associated with giving those with bad or no credit a credit card by extending higher interest rates to them than they would otherwise.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still apply for these credit cards. But it does mean that you should be careful about how you use them. You don’t want to run up a huge balance on a card with a high interest rate attached to it since it could put you deep into debt.

In a perfect world, you should make small purchases with your credit card and pay down the balance on it each and every month. It’ll show your credit card company that you’re using your card responsibly and allow you to build up your credit.

Before long, they’ll be offering to increase your available credit in an effort to entice you to use your card more, and that alone will make your credit score go up. As long as you continue to use your card responsibly, you should be able to turn this into a trend before too long. 

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Keep an Eye on Your Credit Score and Apply for More Credit Cards Later

From the second you start using one of the credit cards for bad credit or no credit, you should get yourself into the habit of checking your credit score early and often. You can do this for free at least one time a year.

By monitoring your credit score more carefully from now on, you’ll be able to spot errors quicker. You’ll also be able to keep tabs on how much your credit score is improving over the years. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how high it goes when you stay on top of making your credit card payments.

As your credit score inches closer and closer to being good, great, and eventually exceptional, you can begin to apply for more credit cards. You’ll be able to obtain credit cards with better interest rates than the ones you have now.

It’ll feel so good to see your credit score skyrocketing. You’ll find yourself in a completely different space than you were in before you applied for your original credit card.

Knowing How to Get a Credit Card Improves Your Chances of Qualifying for One

People with bad credit or no credit often make the mistake of applying for credit cards without putting too much thought into it. They’re then surprised when they’re not able to qualify for a credit card because of their credit score.

By learning how to get a credit card with bad credit or no credit in advance, you can avoid finding yourself in this kind of situation. You’ll have a much better chance of getting approved for a credit card when you take the steps listed here. It’ll allow you to put yourself onto the right track and improve your financial future.

Want to read more about improving your finances and making your future brighter? Check out the informative articles on our blog.

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