Poor Credit Credit Cards - 3 Tips to Getting Approved
Just a few black marks on your credit report--a couple of late payments, an account that's been "charged off"--can be enough for creditors and lenders to consider you a "high risk" customer. But even if you have less-than-perfect credit, you can still get approved for a credit card! Here's how:
A secured credit card is available to almost anyone, even if you've declared bankruptcy. Essentially, you "secure" your credit with a cash deposit, which equals the amount of your credit line. For example, you give the credit card company a $500 deposit. Then you'll be issued a card with a $500 limit. Like any card, you'll make payments each month on any balance you carry. However, it's a safer type of credit for the company, because if you fail to make your payments, they have your $500 deposit. In many cases, if you use the card regularly and always make on-time payments, the company will eventually raise your credit limit past that of your deposit.
If your credit is just a little damaged--such as your credit score is just a little bit lower than what's normally considered acceptable--you may be able to get approved for a credit card if you're willing to pay a little bit more. In most cases, your interest rate will be higher than average, your terms will be less lenient (such as a shorter grace period), and you'll probably have to pay an annual fee of $40 or $50. However, if you're willing to accept these higher costs, you may be able to get approved for a credit card.
Store or retail credit cards--like department store cards and gas cards--tend to have more lenient criteria for borrowers. So even if you can't get approved for a major credit card, you may be able to get a store card. And if you use it wisely by charging only what you can afford and making regular payments, it can help you build up your credit again until you qualify for a major credit card.
If your credit isn't the greatest, you may think you won't qualify for a credit card. But, actually, there are a few different options that are available to you. Just remember to use any credit card you obtain wisely--never charge more than you can afford, and make your payments on time each month.
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