5 Tips for Getting Your First Credit Card with Bad Credit

Written by on October 20, 2012 in Money - 1 Comment | Print this page


There are many reasons why you may want to apply for a credit card today. This type of account can be used to help a young adult establish a solid credit rating. It also may be the easiest type of account to be approved for if you have lower credit scores. You can use this account to re-establish credit by making payments on time. These accounts also provide you with extra funds to draw from during financial emergencies. If you have bad credit now, however, some banks and financial institutions may be reluctant to approve you for a new credit card. Here are a few tips to find success when applying for an account with bad credit.

1. Review Your Credit Report

As a first step, take time to review your credit report and ensure that all information being reported is accurate. Each of the three credit bureaus is required by law to provide you with one free copy of your credit report each year. You can most easily obtain a copy of your credit report by contacting the three credit bureaus directly. If you notice any inaccuracies, you will need to work with the credit bureau and with the particular financial institution that is reporting incorrect information to remove the false information from your report. Removing incorrect information can result in an increase in your credit scores, but it can take several weeks or even months to see a rise in credit scores.

2. Get a Co-Signor

You may consider asking a family member to co-sign on a new credit card with you. If you have bad credit because of serious financial irresponsibility, you may be hard-pressed to find someone who is willing to co-sign on an account with you. However, if your credit scores are lower because you have fallen on hard times after the loss of a job or some other issue, a family member may be willing to co-sign on an account to help you out.

3. Consider a Secured Credit Card Account

Many banks and financial institutions are more lenient with regards to extending credit when you are pledging some type of collateral in exchange. Some will accept items of value such as a car that you own free and clear as collateral. Others may require you to make a cash deposit in the amount of your credit limit with them.

4. Look for Mail Offers

If you are like most people, you receive numerous credit card offers in the mail that proclaim that you are pre-approved under a special credit offer. These pre-approval statements often come with contingencies and exceptions, so not everyone who applies will be approved for a new account. However, these accounts are generally more lenient with regards to credit rating than others may be.

5. Talk to Your Bank

A final step that you may consider taking is to talk to the bank that you normally work with. This may be the bank that holds your checking account, savings account or both. Your bank has access to your financial records that shows your income history, your spending and saving habits and other relevant financial data. In many cases, a bank that you have an established relationship with may be more willing to approve you for a credit card when other banks will not.

Keep in mind that your credit rating may decrease each time you apply for a new account. With this in mind, if your credit scores are already fairly low, it is important to carefully consider the options available to you and to select the best method for getting a credit card with bad credit. Avoid applying for every offer that you stumble upon.

It may be helpful to contact a representative from the credit company or bank and discuss your credit situation with them in detail before applying. The company representative may be aware of a minimum credit rating requirement that is not published online, and this can provide you with insight to help you judge whether you should apply for a specific account or not.

This is a guest post.  This article was written Wayne Lee, a part-time finance blogger. Click here to read more about his work.


About the Author

Guest Blogger

This article was written by a guest contributor. You will find their details at the bottom of the post. To submit your own Guest Post to our website, please visit our SUBMIT page for details about adding your article.