Bad credit and credit repair cards were designed to help consumers with debt issues rebuild poor credit histories. Credit can easily go from good to bad due to poor budgeting or simply by an overlap between jobs. If your credit score is less than satisfactory, it does not mean you cannot qualify for a credit card.
There are several options available to those who have had bad credit in the past and for those who are currently trying to repair their credit.
Depending on your specific situation, debt consolidation or use of introductory APRs on balance transfers may be wise choices. If you still need credit or want to start repairing your credit by proof of action, Secured and Prepaid credit cards may suit this purpose.
Secured credit cards require collateral for approval. A security deposit of a predetermined amount is needed to secure the credit card; and the security deposit generally needs to be of equal or greater value than the credit amount.
Collateral can come in the form of a car, boat, jewelry, stocks or anything else of monetary value. Secured credit cards are for people with either no credit or poor credit who are trying to build or rebuild their credit history.
Cards that help rebuild credit often come with low credit lines (such as $250) and additional fees, such as an application fee, may apply. Be sure to read over any terms and conditions for these add-on services before applying.
If you use the card responsibly and pay all your bills on time, you can ask for a credit line increase down the road. The extra fees and low credit lines may be worth it if a secured credit card helps you get your overall credit back on track.
Prepaid credit cards are not credit cards at all, but are used and accepted just like them. The advantages of prepaid cards are that there are no finance charges and they help you avoid debt since all purchases are paid for beforehand.
With these cards, you determine the credit line by transferring however much money you’d like to have available to spend to the card. This eliminates the risk of running up debt on this credit card and makes the budgeting process much easier.
Although most prepaid cards do not charge finance fees, other fees may apply, including monthly fees, startup or application fees, over-limit fees, ATM fees, reload fees and more. Be sure to thoroughly look over the terms and conditions for each specific card before applying.