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Credit Card Offers For People With Bad Credit Or Poor Credit History

Published 11/20/08 (Modified 4/25/13)
By MoneyBlueBook

Updated List Of The Best Secured and Unsecured Bad Credit Cards For Credit Improvement

Credit card usage is a fact of life whether you agree with its pervasiveness and all around commercial necessity or not. What started out as a way for consumers to make payments quickly and efficiently without the need to carry around cash bills and coins has morphed into a mish mash variety of credit card rewards, airline credit card miles, and balance transfer offers. Today, credit cards are used and needed for everything from airline ticket and hotel room reservations to car rental bookings. Credit card numbers are also necessary for frequent online shoppers as traditional bank accounts and debit cards don't offer the same high degree of fraud protection that credit card issuers do. Owning at least one credit card and paying back the balance on a regular basis is also one of the easiest and most established ways to build up a credit score history, and secure your future ability to get approved for home mortgages and car loans.

Even those who are generally opposed to the use of credit cards and revolving debt on principle may find it difficult at times to survive without one. During tough economic times, independent minded people such as myself have used credit cards as emergency fund money to weather momentary periods of unemployment instead of relying on family handouts or resorting to desperate measures like high interest payday loans.

Of course, tapping into the myriad of credit card programs available in the marketplace requires that you be credit worthy and reliable as a borrower, as reflected by your existing FICO credit score, the 3 digit numerical expression most commonly used by credit card issuers and loan officers to evaluate your ability to pay back debt based on past payment history. Those with high FICO credit scores naturally have the inside fast track to the best credit card offers featuring the lowest interest rates with most lucrative cash back reward tantalizers, but even those with poor credit scores or a damaged credit history still have viable options at their disposal. While credit card issuers are significantly more leery about lending credit to those with troubled pasts, it's not impossible for those with no credit history or those with bad credit to obtain a credit card, although it will probably cost you. Those with poor credit must recognize that the bad credit or subprime credit cards will almost certainly demand higher interest rates, annual fees, and account maintenance charges than regular consumer or business credit cards. However, the stiffer terms are necessary to compensate credit card issuers for the extra credit risk they must take on to lend money to applicants with less than perfect credit.

Secured and Prepaid Credit Cards Provide Credit Options To Those Denied For Regular No Fee, Low Interest, Unsecured Credit Cards

Those with out of control shopping obsessions, with damaged credit histories and no self control when it comes to credit card use, should stay away from applying for credit cards altogether, bad credit cards or otherwise. However, those with limited or no credit history, or those with a less than stellar past when it comes to debt, who wish to improve their credit scores may want to consider credit card programs set up to help cardholders rebuild, repair, and improve their credit for the better. Because people who have never used credit or those who need to repair a poor credit history may not qualify for regular card terms, applying for either a high interest unsecured credit card, a deposit-secured credit card, or even a prepaid credit card may be the only way to establish or re-establish credit. These so-called bad credit credit cards in all their variety provide cardholders the ability to maintain their access to the day to day consumerism benefits of credit card usage and take steps towards salvaging their financial lives and credit histories. By making regular monthly payments towards their secured or prepaid credit cards, their FICO credit scores are likely to see improvements, allowing them the opportunity in a few months time to possibly qualify for a regular consumer card with substantially more favorable terms.

Of course at the same time, it's important to bear in mind that if you fail to meet your bad credit credit card's monthly payment obligations, you will likely be hit with stiffer fees and interest payment demands resulting in further deterioration of your credit rating. But those with poor or damaged credit who are genuinely planning on walking the straight and narrow path to improving their credit status will benefit from the poor credit credit card programs listed below. Even in this current tough economic climate amidst the credit crisis, there are still ways to approach debt usage responsibly.

Unsecured credit cards for people with average or slightly bad credit in need of improvement (low fees, but require average credit):

If your credit is merely average or could use some improvement, then applying for an unsecured credit card designed for those with average credit may be your best option. These cards still provide a reasonable array of reward offers without the hassle of overly high annual fees or extraneous charges. The only downside is that compared to their excellent or good credit card comparable, the credit cards for those with average credit tend to have lower and more modest credit limits ($1,000-$3,000).

Unsecured credit cards for people with poor or bad credit (No deposit required, but need to pay attention to fees):

Those with a troubled credit history or those with a bad track record of timely credit card payments may have to resort to higher annual fee unsecured card options. Credit card issuers that cater to the bad credit or subprime market are willing to extend you credit, but will undoubtedly demand more restrictive terms and conditions in exchange for the higher risk. While some unsecured cards do not demand a potentially hefty upfront deposit, many do require higher maintenance charges. Of course, despite the higher fees, the very purpose of applying for bad credit credit cards is to help you improve your credit usage history so that one day you can upgrade to a more traditional card program in 12 months or so.

Secured credit cards for people with very bad or damaged credit (Security deposit needed):

While there is a growing trend away from secured cards and towards unsecured cards with lower credit limits and higher interest rates and fees, secured credit cards still remain a viable option for those with nowhere else to turn for credit. Unlike an unsecured card, a secured credit card requires an upfront cash collateral deposit that becomes the credit limit for your account (for example if you deposit $500, your credit limit is $500). While the deposit is held by the card issuer for security, the deposit generally earns interest and is refundable once the cardholder no longer wants to access the secured credit line. Of course, because all secured credit cards charge an annual fee, it's important to shop around and compare.

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10 Responses to “Credit Card Offers For People With Bad Credit Or Poor Credit History” 

  1. sidney N. Stafford Jr. says:

    My name is sidney Stafford . I know I got back credit. The reason that is because I came Disable. Back in 2003. I have had any income sense. I just got my appeal from the Judge. I was in full favorable to my favor. I got to go to my local Social Security offe April 21th 2009. They going to be telling me what I be making every month. plus I have 5 years back pay coming to. I want to get back good on my credit. I had good credit at one time. But things happens sometime. so if you help me .I got about 3 credit cared thats against me. The total on thoses about 2000,00 dollars.And telephone bill i need to pay. You are welcome to check my credit if you like to do so. Thank you Sidney

  2. Richard says:

    Those with bad credit should absolutely NOT be qualified to apply for credit cards...PERIOD! Its these bad credit people who constantly apply for bad credit card offers and actually get approved, and then start using them to rack up debts they can't afford to pay that got us into this economic mess. I have always paid my credit card bills on time and have never been late on a payment. It's people like me who deserve access to credit card rewards....people who are irresponsible ought to stick to cash and stop trying to find loopholes. Besides, while these bad credit offers seem attractive on paper, they offer bad rates and such....but then again, beggers for credit cant be choosy...

  3. Raymond says:


    Yes, consumers and individuals with poor credit scores should be extremely cautious when applying for credit cards and other financial instruments that offer new access to credit, however for those trying to repair their credit based lives, there has to be a way for them to rebuild their FICO credit scores....these secured, prepaid cards offer possible and readily available solutions. But you are absolutely correct - they ought to be extremely vigilant in how they handle plastic - or else they are compounding an already bad problem.

  4. Eric M. Wiseman says:

    Me and my girls well we've owned more prepaid credit cards over time than we can total, including Netspend, Greendot, etc. But, the last few years I've found that one is the best for are family AccountNow Visa. Why? Because I was pleased to discover how well-designed and no sweat to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) AccountNow Visa's are.

  5. successcool says:

    i want you to send me a software that will generate a name and password of the owner, pls i need it urgently.

  6. karen says:

    for richard: you are not right! i have had good credit for a long time, then i became disabled do to working in nursing homes since i was 15 i had to stop because of nerve damage done to my back and torn cartalige in both knees when my job let me go for liability to patients [they didnt want me falling] my crds went out the window on payments and the insurance didnt pay for any thing on cards that i payed for youare an idiot to think that people are the same and dont deserve credit i couldnt help it, my meds are 1400. a month im a diabetic you probably are not the perfect payer that you say you are grow up u hostile jerk !!!!!!!!!!!

  7. CHRISTY says:


  8. GIGI says:

    Let's just hope Richard never has to go through what some people have. I have been through a car wreck, car explosion, a surgery gone bad that almost killed me, and two rounds of cancer.

  9. Adele Dannels says:

    If you have bad credit, your most likely going to have get a secured card. If you do get a unsecured credit card the credit limit will be low and the interest rate will be high. Your best option is to use a free consumer organization such as "Bad Credit MD" to locate the best card for your situation.

  10. Manny says:

    Many times it gets hard to deal with bad credit because you have to get out of the debt that you are at. Therefore I would suggest that people begin to take a proactive approach and make sure they are out of debt before dealing with their credit problems.

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