Bad credit is frustrating and inconvenient on many fronts. For example, if you’re interested in obtaining a credit card, you may have concerns about your credit history and score holding you back.
But before you give up, there’s something to remember: there are a variety of steps you can take to improve your chance of obtaining a credit card. You simply have to make the right moves at the right time.
Here are four points of consideration:
1. Search for the Right Credit Card Offers
If you have a low credit score, don’t compare offers that are designed for consumers with good or excellent credit. Stick to those that you can actually qualify for. Not only does this give you a chance of success, but it also saves you time.
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to do this. A quick search will turn up a long list of credit cards targeting consumers with bad credit.
2. Choose a Secured Credit Card
It’s not ideal for most consumers, but it’s one of the best tools for getting your credit back on track.
With a secured credit card, you provide your lender with a security deposit. This also acts as your credit limit. Should you stop making payments, the lender has the legal right to take your security deposit to cover their losses.
Tip: before you apply for a secured credit card, check with the lender to ensure that they report all account activity to the three major credit bureaus. You want to get credit for responsibly using your card, as this can help boost your score.
3. Increase Your Score, First
If you’d rather not apply for a bad credit credit card or a secured credit card, take a step back to assess your situation. There are steps you can take to increase your score before applying, such as:
- Paying down debt
- Catching up on past due payments
- Making all future payments in full and on time
Try this for six months and see where it gets you. This may be all you need to boost your score, thus allowing you to obtain a more desirable credit card.
4. Find a Cosigner
Alone, your credit may not be good enough to secure a credit card. However, with a cosigner, typically someone with good or excellent credit, you’re in much better shape.
This person agrees to pay your balance should you default. It’s a big responsibility, so make sure you’re serious about what you’re doing. If you leave your cosigner with your debt, it can harm your personal relationship.
Even if you have bad credit, you can still obtain a credit card. There are both secured and unsecured options to consider, so keep an open mind as you compare each and every one.
Once you have a credit card in hand, use it responsibly as a tool for raising your score. Soon enough, you may find that you can apply for a credit card with more perks and better features.