If you’re one of the 37% of Americans with a poor credit rating, you’ll know the challenge it can be to secure a loan or credit card. To add misery to misery, the only way to build a better credit rating is to show creditworthiness- something that’s nigh on impossible without having some line of credit to your name. Fortunately, more and more providers are turning onto the need for “bad credit’ credit cards, resulting in a slew of cards for those of us with a less-than-stellar history of borrowing. The flipside is that some providers mitigate against the risk of uncertain lending by applying excessively high-interest rates- something that, over time, can kill your finances and leave you struggling to repay your monthly debt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best credit cards for people with bad credit in 2019.
1. Capital One Secured Mastercard
While most secured credit card providers will only approve a credit limit equal to the amount of your initial deposit, Capital One will give you a credit limit of up to $200 when you deposit just $49, making it one of the most generous “easily approved” credit cards available. As an extra incentive for making your first 5 payments on time (and improving your credit score in so doing), Capital One will reward you by increasing your credit limit still further. In addition to granting access to CreditWise (a free service that allows you to monitor your credit score), a Capital One Secured Mastercard will also allow you the benefit of the full range of Capital One’s Platinum Mastercard benefits, including extended warranty and travel accident insurance plans.
2. Citi Secured Mastercard
You’ll need to put down a $200- 2,5000 deposit to open a Citi Secured Mastercard, but once you do, you’ll have access to a credit line equal to your deposit. The secured credit card comes with no annual fee and a variable APR of 24.74%. Once you’ve opened the account, you’ll enjoy immediate access to Citi’s range of benefits, including Citi Identity Theft Solutions, Purchase Protection, and free account alerts to help you manage your money on-the-go. Although the card offers easy acceptance, you’ll need to show proof of income to qualify.
3. Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
In addition to offering easy acceptance, the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit comes with several interesting benefits, including a 1% cashback offer on all eligible purchases. Although the initial credit limit may not be the highest (just $300), Credit One will regularly review the limit and happily increase it if you keep up with your regular monthly repayments. One thing you’ll need to bear in mind is that unlike many secured cards, this one comes with an annual fee, which can vary from $0-99 depending on your financial history.
4. DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card
The DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card comes with a number of perks, including no annual fee, no fees or higher rates for cash advances and balance transfers, embedded EMV chip for security, a range of insurance, car rental, travel, and warranty benefits, and an APR of just 12.75%. The card is secured with the funds in your DCU account and can be applied for either online, by phone or at any DCU branch.
5. Discover it Secured Credit Card
One of the best features of the Discover it Secured Credit Card is the 2% cashback you’ll earn for purchases at restaurants and gas stations and the 1% cashback on all other purchases. Although you’ll need to put down a security deposit of between $200 to $2,500 to get the card, Discover will review your account after 8 months and return the deposit on the provision you’ve kept up with your monthly repayments.
6. Primor Secured Credit Card
One of the few providers to offer multiple easy- acceptance cards is Primor, a division of Green Dot. Options include a Classic or Gold Visa and a Classic or Gold Mastercard. The Classic cards come with lower annual fees, but the Gold versions come with lower interest rates (9.99% APR compared to 13.99%). Both versions allow you to set your own security deposit amount, providing it’s in the range of $200 to $5,000.
7. Milestone Gold Mastercard
Some of the best perks of the Milestone Gold Mastercard include its generous $300 minimum credit line, instant prequalification assessment (which has zero impact on your credit score and will determine which of the four credits cards on offer is the best fit for your financial circumstances), and no upfront security deposit requirement. As a Milestone Gold Mastercard, you’ll qualify for a range of Mastercard Gold benefits, along with 24/7 free online account access. On the flipside, you’ll need to stump up an annual fee of $35, $49 or $75 (depending on your financial history).
8. Navy Federal Credit Union Rewards Secured Credit Card
To open a Navy Federal Credit Union Rewards Secured Credit Card, you’ll need to deposit a minimum of $200 from your Navy Federal saving account (the funds in which will also determine your credit limit). Once you’ve opened the account, you stand to earn 1 reward point for every dollar you spend on the card, which can then be applied to your statement balance. Additional perks include no cash advance fees, no foreign transaction fees, no balance transfer or annual fees, and a pretty decent 18% variable APR.
9. Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card
The Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card is another option that will match your line of credit with your initial security deposit (which can vary between $200 and $3000). Although it has an annual fee, it’s fairly insignificant (and considering Merrick reports your account information to three major credit bureaus, the chance to rebuild your credit rating is probably worth the $36 yearly charge).
10. Unity Visa Secured Credit Card
Unity Visa Secured Credit Card from One United Bank offers you the chance to learn how to rebuild your credit history with its very useful “How to Rebuild Credit” program. It also provides a generous line of credit (anything between $250 to $10,000), which it regularly reviews and increases depending on how well you’re managing your account.