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Credit Cards For Bad Credit



Have you ever given much thought to credit cards for bad credit? Bad credit can be debilitating to those who suffer it. If it’s not bad enough that you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re sure to feel like you’re destined to a creditless future because bad credit seems to beget bad credit. But what if that’s not true? Bad credit borrowers have found reasonable ways to rebuild their credit after having low scores, and so can you.

There’s a lot to consider when looking for credit cards for bad credit with low APR. This guide and review have been put together to present you with the top options on the US market and help you identify what sets them apart.

Credit Cards for Bad Credit – Best Cards for Bad Credit List

Below is a brief list of the best credit cards for bad credit available in the US. Just like each credit card is unique, so is each individual’s financial situation and goal, so it’s important to select a card that helps you achieve your goals without further putting your credit at risk. Each of these credit cards is reviewed in more detail a little further along in this guide.

  • Secured Mastercard from Capital One – Best For Limited Credit Scores
  • Self Credit Builder Card – Best for Reporting to All Three Credit Bureaus
  • OpenSky Credit Card – Best for No Credit Check and No Bank Account
  • Credit One Bank Credit Card – Best for Prequalification and Credit Building
  • Discover It Credit Card – Best for Rewards
  • Petal 2 Credit Card – Best for No Credit
  • Milestone Gold Mastercard – Best for Reporting to All Three Credit Bureaus
  • Fingerhut Credit Account – Best for Easy Approval
  • First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard – Best for Low APR
  • Destiny Mastercard – Best for Quick Prequalification and Reporting to All Three Credit Bureaus

What Are Credit Cards for Bad Credit?

You probably don’t want lenders poking around your credit history if you’ve earned yourself a poor credit score. This is where credit cards for bad credit come in handy.

Credit cards for bad credit come with fewer qualification requirements and a different fee structure from regular credit cards. They’re designed with a bad credit borrower in mind and therefore offer various features to help individuals build credit along the way.

Credit cards for bad credit offer:

  • Low credit limits
  • Cash back rewards
  • Easy online applications
  • Credit-building opportunities
  • Opportunity to upgrade from unsecured to a secured credit card over time (in some instances)

The best way to benefit the most from your credit card for bad credit is to choose wisely – there are plenty of options on the market to choose from. Some are best for quick approvals and carrying out only soft credit checks; others are ideal for reporting to all three credit bureaus so that you can build your credit quickly and reliably.

Bad Credit FICO Scores

With products such as credit cards aimed at those with bad credit (FICO scores of between 300 and 579) becoming readily available, all individuals with a less than perfect credit score can make inroads towards opening more doors. Credit cards for bad credit no deposit are helping thousands of people win the trust of landlords, employers, lenders, and stores even with a previously less than stellar credit history.

It’s one thing to see low or bad credit score credit cards and apply for them, but what is considered a “bad” or “low” credit score? Most lenders and credit providers use FICO scores to determine if you have a bad credit score. Bad credit scores are below 670. Here’s a look at what the scores mean:

  • 300 – 579: Poor
  • 580 – 669: Fair
  • 670 – 739: Good
  • 740 – 799: Very Good
  • 800-850: Exceptional

No Credit Checks

Credit cards for bad credit are also designed to overlook the credit score and focus on something more important: affordability. These credit card approvals are based on whether or not you can afford to pay. The credit provider will take a look at your pay stubs, bank statements, and your listed expenditure (this should be verifiable on your bank statement, too) and then determine if you are a viable candidate. Of course, if you’re opting for a secured credit card, you still won’t need a credit check, but you will be required to put down a deposit. The credit provider will usually extend a line of credit to the same amount.

Types of Credit Cards for Bad Credit

How it works all depends on what type of credit card you opt for. For instance, when you get a secured credit card, you typically pay a certain amount of money upfront. That amount is loaded onto your card as your line of credit. The deposit you pay protects the lender if you don’t pay your bill, and because of this security, getting this type of credit card with a dwindling credit score is easier, and the interest rate is typically lower.

There are two types of options available to people with substandard credit on the lookout for a credit card:

  1. Secured credit cards for bad credit – you have to put up a security deposit of the same amount of the credit you want
  2. Unsecured credit cards for bad credit – specifically designed for people with poor credit

Secured Credit Cards For Bad Credit

For some, the idea of putting down a deposit on a secured card is an unattractive option, but it’s best to be aware that you’re not avoiding costs when getting unsecured credit cards for bad credit with guaranteed acceptance, either. These cards typically carry monthly service fees and high APRs.

If you decide to opt for a secured credit card, make your selection carefully. The best options are those that report to all three credit bureaus so that you can pay on time and in full, earning a good credit rating at the same time. Another thing to look out for is credit cards for bad credit with rewards. You might not think rewards are your number one priority, but it’s never a bad thing to earn a few rewards along the road to credit building.

Unsecured Credit Cards For Bad Credit

Unsecured credit cards are riskier to the lender, and it shows in the interest rates offered. Instead of putting down a deposit, the lender will pay close attention to your monthly transactions while comparing your income and expenditure. Because you have poor credit already and the lender is wary of risk, the loan comes with high interest, low credit limits, and strict terms. Still, it’s worth it if you can rebuild your credit score.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit

There are undeniable benefits and disadvantages of acquiring credit cards for bad credit for people with bad credit.


  • Rebuild your credit history
  • Lower cost of borrowing compared to loans
  • Earn rewards
  • Quick access to emergency funds
  • Repay in minimal monthly installments
  • Fraud protection
  • Lower interest rates and fees compared to regular credit cards
  • A quick and easy approval process
  • Options of secured and unsecured card options


  • High temptations to spend
  • High interest rates in some cases
  • Annual fees on credit
  • Opportunity to get into further bad credit if you miss payments
  • Strict terms
  • In some instances, you need to put down a cash deposit to open the card

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit Reviewed

Learn everything you need to know about our top pick of 10 credit cards designed for people with poor credit.

1. Secured Mastercard from Capital One

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is ideal for people who have a low credit score that isn’t destroyed. This credit card for bad credit offers a good opportunity for bad credit borrowers to start building their credit up again.

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is our top pick for low deposit. Unlike other secured credit cards where you’re required to pay a deposit to the value of the credit you want, this card allows you to put down as little as just $49 for the $200 credit limit.

If you make your payments on time, the credit provider may reward your security deposit back in statement credit. This is a great card for those who are credit card shy because of past fraud on their account – the card comes with $0 fraud liability to the cardholder in the event of unauthorized charges. As a customer of Capital One, you can check your credit score for free without hurting your credit score.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
0% 26.99% Variable $49 $200 reviewed in 6 months



  • Get a $200 credit limit when you deposit $49, $99, or $200
  • Make your deposit in installments and build it up
  • Considered for higher credit with no additional deposit in just 6 months
  • No annual fee


  • You must have a checking or savings bank account
  • Individuals with prior bankruptcy cannot apply

Card Details

  • Recommended credit score 300 – 629
  • No frills card – no rewards or bonuses
  • No foreign transaction fees

2. Self Credit Builder Card

The Self Credit Builder Card works differently from a regular credit card. The card is designed specifically to help low credit borrowers save money and improve their credit scores. Once you activate the account, you pay a minimum of $25 dollars per month which is put onto the card. You cannot spend the amount. The contributions typically happen for 24 months, and after that, you will receive access to the accrued funds.

One of the perks of a Self Credit Builder Card is that there’s no hard check on your credit profile when applying. When it comes to paying off your credit card, you can select suitable payment terms and dollar amounts that fit your financial situation. Every time you make an on-time payment, you make inroads to improved credit and build your savings at the same time. Once you’ve paid up the agreed total, the funds are unlocked, and the money is yours. Fees and interest will be deducted from the total.

As a Credit Builder Account holder at Self, you get the opportunity to upgrade to a Self Visa Credit Card. To qualify, you need to have a Self Credit Builder Card that’s in good standing, have made at least three months’ payments on time, and have $100 or more saved.

Cost Implications

Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$25 per month 15.97% APR $9 admin fee n/r Min $520 – 24 months



  • No possibility of getting into further debt
  • Develops saving skills and habits
  • The credit provider reports your account handling to all three credit bureaus
  • No hard check on your credit score


  • You don’t actually have access to credit until the agreed contributions have been made
  • Building credit in this way will cost you money (it can be expensive)

Card Details

  • Quick approval process
  • An excellent way to build up credit

3. OpenSky Credit Card

The OpenSky credit card is designed to help individuals build up a non-existent credit score or rebuild a poor one. This is a secured credit card for bad credit, and as such, you will need to put down a deposit as collateral.

The credit provider doesn’t check your credit score when you apply for the card. Instead, you choose the line of credit you want by securing it with a one-time refundable deposit of the same amount. The credit provider also encourages bad credit borrowers to increase their finance and credit-building knowledge by offering access to a wealth of credit 101 resources on their website.

OpenSky Credit Card offers automatic reporting to the three major credit bureaus monthly. Because the OpenSky Credit Card is a Visa card, you won’t experience difficulties with acceptance at stores, restaurants, and businesses, and it also makes cardholders eligible for Visa discounts.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
35% 17.39% Variable APR $200 Dependent on deposit



  • No credit check to apply
  • The credit card company reports to all three credit bureaus
  • Free credit tips and education are available
  • Activate the card with just a $200 deposit that becomes your line of credit


  • No option of upgrading to an unsecured card
  • Annual fee is charged

Card Details

  • Recommended credit score of 300 – 689
  • No need for a bank account
  • Low deposit required

4. Credit One Bank Credit Card

Credit One Bank credit card is marketed as the ideal card for people with low credit scores. If you’re a frugal shopper, this is a good choice for you. The cash back rewards are an alluring prospect. When you make certain purchases, you will earn rewards, but if you keep your spending to specific partners ofCredit One Bank, you’ll receive additional rewards. The rewards and cash back offers range between 1% and 3% typically, with a max of 5%.

This card is interesting to committed cashback strategists and those who specifically want to use the card to rebuild credit. As a customer of Credit One Bank, you will have free online access to your credit record, and there is zero fraud liability for the cardholder.

Your account will also be reviewed often to determine if you’re eligible for a limit increase. The online credit card application pre-qualification system takes one minute to complete and won’t negatively impact your credit score (no hard credit check). If you pre-qualify and like the credit offer presented to you, you can apply immediately.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$75 first year
$99 p/y after that
23.99% Variable $0 $300+



  • No credit check to apply
  • The credit card company reports to all three credit bureaus
  • Free credit tips and education are available
  • Activate the card with just a $200 deposit that becomes your line of credit


  • High annual fees
  • Very limited cashback reward program
  • Confusing terms and tricky application process

Card Details

  • Annual fee $0-$99
  • Recommended credit score 350 – 850
  • Credit limit increases based on regular account handling reviews

5. Discover It Credit Card

The Discover It credit card designed for people with no credit or low credit are secured cards that require a deposit to activate the account. In fact, it’s considered one of the credit cards for bad credit college students. When putting down a deposit, you will receive credit up to the same amount. After eight months, your account is reviewed, and if you have stuck to the terms, you will possibly be invited to upgrade to an unsecured card and get your deposit back. The card is marketed as a smart way to rebuild credit and offers a decent rewards system.

While applicants don’t need excellent credit to get this card, Discover It will still do a credit check and use the information retrieved along with your affordability and other details from your application. In the event that your credit application is rejected, they will provide you with the score they got for you, along with a list of reasons why your application was rejected.

A security deposit determines the line of credit you receive when applying for a Discover It Credit Card. The card also comes with a good cash back reward program. You will earn 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 and 1% cash back on all other purchases. At the end of your first year, the Cashback Match feature will kick in, and you’ll receive credit for the value of all the cash back you have earned over e year

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$0 22.99% Variable $200 ($2,500 max) Matched with deposit



  • 2% cash back on qualifying purchases
  • Cashback Match Feature kicks in after the first year
  • Build good credit every time you pay your account on time and in full
  • The credit provider reports your credit history to all three major credit bureaus


  • The card isn’t accepted everywhere, so you’ll need to carry a backup payment option with you when shopping or dining out

Card Details

  • Small deposits to get started (as little as $200)
  • You get a real card with no annual fee
  • No annual or foreign transaction fees

6. Petal 2 Credit Card

The Petal Credit Card is a great first time credit card as it’s a credit card for bad credit with no fees. It’s also a great fresh-start card for those who have bad credit and want to turn it around. The credit provider will have a look at your bank’s transaction history to determine if you qualify for the card. Approval has nothing to do with your credit history and everything to do with how you handle your money now.

The card comes with a good reward system, offering 2$ to 10% bonus cash back at selected merchants. The credit card provider also encourages good credit behavior by offering 1% to 1.5% cash back on qualifying purchases. On time payments also go towards improving your credit rating, as Petal reports to the three major credit bureaus monthly. The provider offers the option of setting a budget and monitoring your spending and allows you to freeze your card to protect your account.

Minimum credit limits start at $500 with the Petal 2 Credit Card. It also offers no late and returned payment fees and no annual or international transaction fees either. The online application is designed to match a credit card deal from Petal with your financial situation.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$0 12.99% – 26.99% $0 $500 to $10,000



  • No fees whatsoever
  • Earn 1% cash back rewards on purchases
  • Make 12 (months) full payments on time, and your rewards increase to 1.5%
  • No credit history required


  • No cash advance or balance transfer options

Card Details

  • No security deposit to activate (unsecured card)
  • No late or over limit fees
  • Decent credit limit available ($500 to $10,000)

7. Milestone Gold Mastercard

The Milestone Gold Mastercard is a viable option for individuals with little to no credit history or with negatives on their credit score. It’s a card better suited to individuals who have little to no options left but still want to improve their credit. This is an unsecured credit card which means you don’t have to put down a deposit.

While the card is one of few that allow bad credit borrowers to receive credit without a downpayment, many reviews list this credit card as an expensive option considering its $300 limit and $99 annual fee.

The Milestone Gold Mastercard offers identity monitoring and zero liability protection. The pre-qualification is quick and easy and doesn’t have a negative impact on your credit score.

The company reports to the three credit bureaus monthly, enabling good payers who handle their credit well to build a better credit rating over time.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$75 24.99% $0 $300



  • No deposit required (unsecured credit)
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Price protection benefits


  • The first-year service fee is $75, the second year it goes up to $99

Card Details

  • Identity theft protection (0% liability to the cardholder for unauthorized purchases)
  • No deposit to activate
  • Get up to $300

8. Fingerhut Credit Account

Fingerhut is a unique credit card account and can be used to rebuild credit steadily. This particular credit card is a revolving credit account instead of an installment account. The credit provider offers credit to consumers who shop for products on their sites. You will find over 450,000 products on their site, including popular brands like KitchenAid and Samsung.

Fingerhut accounts offer 24/7 customer service access, no application fee, low monthly payments, and no annual fee or over-limit fee.

There are two types of credit accounts available to Fingerhut customers: the Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account and the Fingerhut Freshstart Installment Loan. You have to apply with Fingerhut to find out which option you qualify for. Those who aren’t eligible for an Advantage Credit Account are automatically considered for the FreshStart Installment Loan.

In most instances, individuals who other credit providers have turned down are protected. Unfortunately, some of the products on their website are more expensive than you will find in other stores.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$0 29.99% $30 $125 to $230



  • No annual fees, over-limit fees, or membership fees
  • No interest charged if you pay before the due date
  • The credit provider reports to all three major credit bureaus


  • Products offered to purchase within their exclusive offers are expensive

Card Details

  • Low monthly payments
  • Two account options: WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Revolving Credit Account or a WebBank/Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account
  • Ideal for bad credit customers

9. First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard

This card is designed to help people establish or rebuild credit. The card offers secured credit, which means that you need to put down a deposit to activate the card. One perk of the First Progress credit card is that you can eventually increase your credit limit without providing an additional deposit if you handle your account well. The maximum amount you can increase your credit to over time is $5,000. You can contact the credit provider every six months for a credit limit increase.

Cardholders are provided with access to the mobile app (for Android) and 24/7 access to their online account. Applicants who wish to use the card to build credit can get free real-time access to their credit scores. Online credit monitoring is also made possible through Experian. The credit provider also reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus.

When applying, your credit line will be secured by a refundable deposit. Simply pay your balance in full and get your deposit back. One perk for the overindebted is that having a discharged bankruptcy on your credit bureau won’t affect the outcome of your application.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$39 13.99% Variable $200 Up to $2,000



  • Free real-time access to your credit score
  • No credit check required
  • Credit line matches your deposit


  • The credit card is not available to applicants in New York, Iowa, Arkansas, and Wisconsin.

Card Details

  • Up to $2,000 credit limit
  • Expedited processing gets you your card in a hurry
  • Three quick points

10. Destiny Mastercard

The Destiny Mastercard provides unsecured credit to those with fair to bad credit – it is also available to individuals with previous bankruptcy. When applying for the card, pre-qualification is supplied within one minute.

This card focuses on allowing a small line of credit to people who are trying to rebuild their credit rating over time.

This no-frills card offers pre-qualification with no hard credit check to protect your credit rating. It also offers zero-dollar liability protection, free access to your FICO credit score, and identifies theft protection.

Unfortunately, the card offers no perks and rewards other than its standard service of a $300 credit limit and interest up to 24.90% APR.

Cost Implications

Annual Fee Interest Rate Min Deposit Typical Credit Limit
$59-$99 24.90% APR $0 $300



  • Credit provider reports to three major credit bureaus
  • Identity theft protection
  • Available to bad credit borrowers
  • Reduction in the first-year annual fee


  • Higher interest rate than the majority of other credit cards for bad credit
  • No rewards for any purchases

Card Details

  • No security deposit required
  • Free FICO credit score access
  • Set credit limit of $300 (this cannot be adjusted)

How Can I Build My Credit Score Using a Credit Card?

Low credit scores aren’t as dramatic as they seem. Once you have a bad credit score, there are things you can do to rebuild it over time. Getting a credit card is one strategy that many people use.

Start out by finding credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee to save on costs. Then, the first way to use a credit card to build your credit score is to use the card. It’s no use getting a credit card and never using it – that will do nothing for your credit score. By using the card, you will show how you transact. The credit bureau will see how much you have spent and how regular your repayments have been. The more payments you make on time and in full, the better for your credit.

Never max the card out. You need to prove that you know how to utilize credit without going overboard. A good percentage to aim for is 30% – only use that much of your line of credit.

Being a good and prompt payer is important. If you pay the full amount due before the due date, you’ll never have to pay interest! If you’re unable to get the full amount paid, pay at least the minimum due on the account. Another route to boost your score is to choose credit cards for bad credit or no credit with a provider who reports monthly to the three major credit bureaus.

Best Credit Card for Limited Credit: Capital One Secured Mastercard

Capital One Secured Mastercard

Our number one choice in terms of the best credit card for limited credit is the Capital One Secured Mastercard.

This card doesn’t offer a lot in terms of perks – in fact, it’s a no-frills option for people who focus primarily on rebuilding their credit without the risk of getting themselves too deep in debt.

Cardholders only need a $49 deposit to get the card activated to get a $200 credit limit. As far as secured credit cards go, this is a very low fee.

After six months, your situation will be reviewed, and you may be offered a higher credit limit. As it’s a Mastercard, using the card anywhere isn’t a problem.

See if you pre-qualify for Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card >

Best Credit Card for No Credit Check: Petal 2 Credit Card

Petal2 Credit Card

The Petal 2 Credit Card is our top pick for credit cards with no credit check.

If you have no credit or bad credit, you can find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place. You need credit to build your credit, yet no one will give you credit because you have no credit or bad credit.

The Petal 2 is one of a few credit cards for bad credit Visa options. This credit card addresses this issue by allowing individuals with poor credit to apply for the car. The decision is made on how responsible you currently are with your finances.

If you’re approved, you will be given access to $500 to $10,000 and won’t pay any fees on the card at all.

See if you pre-qualify for Petal 2 Credit Card >

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit with Rewards: Discover It Credit Card

Most credit cards for bad credit with rewards offer rewards to attract customers, but the card with the most generous rewards is undoubtedly the Discover It Credit Card.

This card offers a great perk of 2% cashback on the value of transactions at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000) in one quarter. When you meet the quarterly cap, the percentage will drop to 1% cash back. The Cashback Match feature is attractive to people who enjoy bargains as at the end of the first year; the credit provider will match all the cashback credit you have earned. Another way you get rewarded is receving a refund of your security deposit after having the account for eight months.

See if you pre-qualify for Discover It Credit Card >

Best Credit Card for Prequalification and Credit Rebuilding: Credit One Bank Platinum Visa

Credit One Bank provides this Platinum Visa card to poor credit individuals who want unsecured credit cards for bad credit.

These cards are used to rebuild credit without having to worry about being set back by the outcome of a credit check. Credit One Bank provides a simple process for seeing if you pre-qualify for credit without negatively impacting your credit score.

If you don’t pre-qualify, you don’t go through the hard credit check only to be denied credit and suffer a comment on your credit profile. The regular credit limit reviews can also be beneficial for credit building when you qualify for a higher line of credit. The drawback is that the annual card fee can be costly at $99.

See if you pre-qualify for Credit One Bank Platinum Visa Credit Card >

Best Credit Cards for Reporting to All Major Credit Bureaus

Part of credit building is ensuring that the credit bureaus receive regular updates on how you’re handling your credit and other finances.

That’s why credit cards have become a popular option for building a stronger credit background. Not all credit providers report to all three major credit bureaus

Several of the credit cards we have reviewed actually report to all three credit bureaus, and these include OpenSky Credit Card, Milestone Gold Mastercard, Destiny Mastercard, Capital One Secured Mastercard, Credit One Bank Credit Card, Discover It Credit Card, Petal 2 Credit Card, Fingerhut, and First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard.

See if you pre-qualify for OpenSky Credit Card >

Best Credit Card for Bad Credit with Low APR: First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard

The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard is our top pick of credit cards for bad credit with low APR.

This card is designed to help people who want to build credit without incurring excessive debt along the way. The card comes with a $39 annual fee and just 13.99% variable interest.

As far as interest rates go for credit cards for bad credit, this is appreciated by many people. The credit provider even offers another credit card with a lower APR. This is the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard, which is a secured credit card and comes with a 9.99% APR.

See if you pre-qualify for First Progress Platinmum Credit Card >

Credit Cards & Terms Explained

The terms surrounding credit cards for bad credit can be confusing. One moment you’re applying for a $300 credit limit, and the next, you’re faced with jargon and terms you don’t understand. Familiarizing yourself with each of these terms will help you in your quest to find the best credit-building credit option for you.

1. Credit Cards for Bad Credit with No Annual Fee

If you get a no annual fee credit card, it means you will not be charged every year for using the card facility. Most credit cards that charge an annual fee use the collected fees to fund their rewards and benefits programs linked to the card. If you find a credit provider that offers rewards and no annual fee, you’ve found a pretty good provider.

2. Credit Cards for Bad Credit Instant Approval

What exactly does “instant approval” mean? Despite common belief, it doesn’t mean that you apply and get the funds straight away. Instead, it means that when you apply for a credit card online, you will receive a decision on whether you qualify within a few minutes. These types of cards fall into the credit cards for bad credit easy approval category.

3. Credit Cards for Bad Credit Pre-qualify

Pre-qualifying for credit cards for bad credit is a good idea if you’re trying to build credit. This means that there is no hard check done on your credit, but instead, a soft check has provided sufficient information in terms of financial information to deem you eligible for the loan. In addition, pre-qualifying can help you avoid applying for loans with credit providers who aren’t likely to approve your request.

4. Credit Cards for Bad Credit with High Limits

High limit credit cards usually come with a line of credit between $5,000 and $10,000 (although some high limit cards offer more). These cards are risky for people who have a tendency to overspend.

5. Credit Cards for Bad Credit with Guaranteed Approval

Guaranteed approval credit cards allow applicants to receive approval for credit without the need for a credit check. The convenience of these cards costs – you will pay higher interest. Guaranteed approval cards also have fewer features and a lower credit limit than regular credit cards.

6. Credit Cards for Bad Credit Debt Consolidation

Using credit cards for bad credit debt consolidation is a process of combining several debts into one amount and then taking out a new loan to pay off the debt. The idea is to reduce your monthly outlay. It’s a form of debt refinancing.


How Long Will it Take for My Credit to Improve Using a Credit Card?

Should I Pay Off My Credit Card Immediately or Over Time to Improve My Credit Score?

Should I Pay the Minimum Amount Due on My Credit Card or Pay More?

When Credit Building, How Often Should I Use My Credit Card for Bad Credit?

Is it Bad to Pay My Credit Card in Small Amounts Daily?

Will Not Using My Credit Card Hurt My Credit Score?

How Can I See My Credit Score?

What Can I Do to Improve My Credit Score in Addition to Getting a Credit Card for Bad Credit?


About Jayme Wium PRO INVESTOR

Jayme is a professional freelance writer specializing in personal finance, business, nutrition, botany and mental health. She has studied extensively in these fields and spends a considerable amount of her time creating content to help simplify complex concepts for the everyday person.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.



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