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Securing A Credit Card When You Have Bad Credit

Aug 17, 2007
Having bad credit can make getting a credit card difficult, but the situation is not impossible. If you need or want a credit card but are worried that your poor credit history will stop you, then you perhaps you need some advice about how to get a credit card even with poor credit. If you follow these steps then you will have a much better chance of getting a credit card:

Retail store cards

If you have poor credit then the best place to start applying for credit cards is at small retail stores. These companies are more likely to give you a chance, although their rates are usually much higher and your credit limit will be low. If your application is approved, then buy something small each month and then pay off the bill. This will show other credit card companies that you are able to handle credit and pay your bills.

Go to your bank

After you have had a store card for some time, you can apply for a card at your bank. If you have been with your bank a long time and you have performed well with them, then they might be able to help you out.

Secured cards

If you are unable to get a bank or store card, then try and get a secured card. This involves putting down a deposit that is held by the lender whilst you use the card. This collateral takes away some of the risk for the lender and you are much more likely to be approved for this type of card. If you pay your bills then eventually you can upgrade to a regular unsecured card.

Co-signing

If you are still having problems, then get a friend or family member with good credit to co-sign for the card with you, as their credit will count towards the application. Remember that if you cannot pay the bill they will have to, so be sure you can pay back anything you spend or you will not only damage your credit but someone else's as well.

Avoid annual fees

Even if you are desperate for a card, avoid getting a credit card with an annual fee. There are plenty of cards that do not charge fees, and even if the interest rate is higher you will be better off. Also, stick to well known card types like Visa and MasterCard as they are widely accepted. This will help you to make the most of the credit you have.

Using your card

Once you have a card, remember that you can use it to your advantage rather than putting yourself into debt. Only spend what you can pay back easily, and if possible pay back the whole balance each month so that you avoid paying interest. If you pay off your bills well then your credit rating will improve quickly and you can get better terms and a higher credit limit.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb.co.uk.
For additional articles and an extensive resource for everything about credit cards, please visit us at Credit Cards and Credit Cards UK
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