Do you have bad credit?
Are you interested in applying for a credit card? Are you concerned that you won’t qualify for an offer that suits your financial needs?
It’s simple to apply for a credit card when you have good credit. The only thing you have to worry about is choosing the right offer.
Conversely, when you have bad credit, you’re faced with the challenge of finding an offer designed for consumers in your position.
What is a Good/Bad FICO Score?
Before you do anything, you need to understand the finer details of your situation. This means knowing where things stand in regards to your credit score.
According to Experian, your score will fall somewhere between 300 (lowest) and 850 (highest). Here’s a breakdown of what your score means:
- 300 to 579 is very poor
- 580 to 669 is fair
- 670 to 739 is good
- 740 to 799 is very good
- 800 to 850 is exceptional
So, if your score is 579 or less, you have your work cut out for you when applying for a credit card.
Now that you know your situation, here are three tips to keep in mind:
1. Know the Qualifications Before You Apply
There are credit cards designed for people with all types of credit. You need to understand the qualifications before you go through the application process.
For example, if a card is designed for people with very good credit, there is no point in wasting your time. Not only will your application be denied, but this will also result in a hard inquiry on your credit report.
In other words, you should only apply for credit cards that you qualify for.
2. Consider a Secured Credit Card
It may not be something you want to do, but it’s a step you can take if you have bad credit and hopes of boosting your score in the months to come.
With a secured credit card, you’re required to make a security deposit that serves as collateral. If you default for any reason, the credit card company can take your security deposit.
As long as your activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus (check on this before applying), responsible use can help boost your score over time.
3. Talk to Your Bank
Let’s face it: you may not have much knowledge of how to apply for a credit card when you have bad credit.
Fortunately, there are places you can turn for help. For example, your local bank may be able to provide advice on the best bad credit credit cards, including any that they personally offer people in your position.
You can learn a lot by searching online, but there’s no replacement for speaking with a knowledgeable professional over the phone or in a face to face environment.
Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t carry a credit card.
Do you have any experience with bad credit credit cards? How did you rebuild your credit score? Share your personal strategy in the comment section below.