Credit cards are a convenient way to make purchases, pay bills, and book travel arrangements. As an added benefit, many credit cards offer cash back, points, or miles on your spending, which can save you money. A credit card can also help with establishing and building a good credit score. But what is the easiest credit card to get when you have a limited credit history or poor credit? Here’s a closer look at which cards may be within reach.
- Credit card companies focus largely on credit scores when making approval decisions.
- A credit card can be secured, meaning it requires a cash deposit, or unsecured, meaning you don’t need to make a deposit.
- It’s possible to get approved for a credit card with no credit or poor credit, but you may pay a higher APR and/or fees.
- Unsecured credit cards typically offer better interest rates, rewards programs, and features compared with secured credit cards.
Credit Card Approval Requirements
Credit card issuers differ in terms of what it takes to be approved. But generally, these factors are considered when you apply for a card:
- Your credit score
- Your income
- Your employment
- Your monthly rent or mortgage payment
These things give card issuers an idea of your ability and likelihood to pay back what you spend with a credit card. Credit card companies can also perform a hard inquiry of your credit report to learn more about your credit history. That can trim a few points off your credit score.
Checking your own credit reports before applying for a credit card won’t affect your credit score.
What Is the Easiest Credit Card to Be Approved For?
The easiest credit card to get is different for everyone since it will depend on your credit score and the other factors listed above. The credit cards that are available to you may also depend on whether:
- You’re a student
- You have no credit or a thin credit file
- You have bad or poor credit
If any of those apply to you, there are some specialized types of credit cards that will be easier to get than others. They include student credit cards, starter credit cards, and secured credit cards.
Student credit cards
Student credit cards are designed for college students who are just beginning to establish their credit history. These cards can offer rewards, and if they do, they’re typically geared toward purchases students spend the most money on, such as dining out or gas.
A student credit card can be easier to get than a regular one if you have no credit history at all or a limited one. The federal CARD Act requires you to be at least 21 to get a student credit card in your name, although you can apply as young as 18 if you have sufficient income or a cosigner who is at least 21.
Starter credit cards
Starter credit cards are also designed for people who are just starting out with credit but who aren’t necessarily students. These types of cards are more likely to charge annual fees and carry a higher annual percentage rate (APR).
Secured credit cards
Secured credit cards work just like unsecured credit cards except that they require a cash deposit to open. This deposit typically doubles as your credit limit. The difference is that a standard secured credit card will usually require a hard check of your credit to get approved. Once you have had a secured card for a period of time, and demonstrated that you use credit responsibly, you may be eligible to graduate to a regular, unsecured card.
Before you apply for a starter or secured card, make sure the credit card company reports your activity to at least one of the major credit bureaus. Otherwise, using the card won’t help you to build credit.
What Is the Easiest Credit Card to Get With No Credit or Thin Credit?
Having no credit means you don’t have any credit history at all. A thin credit file means you have some credit history, but it’s not enough to generate a credit score. In either case, you could be “invisible” to credit card companies when trying to apply for new credit.
In that case, the easiest credit card to get may be a starter card or secured credit card. Examples of cards you might qualify for include:
- OpenSky Secured Visa: The OpenSky Secured Visa is a no credit check card that’s also a secured credit card. You can set your credit limit by making a cash deposit of $200 to $3,000, and your account activity will be reported to all of the three major credit bureaus.
- First Progress Platinum Elite Secured Mastercard: The First Progress Platinum Elite Secured Mastercard requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval. Your security deposit is refundable, and the card is accepted nationwide.
- Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students: The Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students doesn’t require a Social Security number to apply, so it could be good for international students.
What Is the Easiest Credit Card to Get With Fair Credit?
If you have fair credit, rather than no credit or bad credit, then you might have a different range of credit card options to choose from. Fair credit on the FICO credit scoring scale generally means a score between 580 and 669.
Here are some of the easiest credit cards to get with fair credit:
- Capital One Platinum Mastercard: The Capital One Platinum Mastercard is geared toward people with fair credit who are interested in improving their credit. This card has a $0 annual fee and includes access to CreditWise credit monitoring.
- Discover it Secured Card: The Discover it Secured Card can help with building or rebuilding credit. A security deposit is required, but it’s refundable. This card also has a cash back rewards program.
- Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa: The Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa is designed for people with fair credit who are interested in earning rewards on purchases. Keep in mind this card does have an annual fee and a higher APR, which could make carrying a balance expensive.
If you’re considering a credit card that offers rewards, be sure to balance the rewards you’re likely to earn against the card’s annual fee (if any).
What Is the Easiest Unsecured Credit Card to Get Approved For?
Unsecured credit cards require no cash deposit to open. It’s possible to get some unsecured cards if your credit is in the fair, or even bad, range.
If you have poor credit or no credit, consider these unsecured card options:
- Credit One Bank Platinum Visa: The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa offers cash back with no security deposit required. This card does have an annual fee, however.
- Total Visa: The Total Visa is an unsecured credit card designed for people who don’t have perfect credit. The card reports to all three credit bureaus, which can help in building a better credit history. Note that there’s an initial program fee for opening an account.
- Petal 2 Visa: The Petal 2 Visa is a cash back rewards card that offers higher credit limits with no fees. There’s no deposit required at sign-up, and you can use the card to build or rebuild credit.
Is There a Difference Between No Credit and Bad Credit?
The short answer is yes, and understanding the difference could be instrumental in getting better credit.
No credit and bad credit often get grouped together. It’s understandable why, as they both sound similar enough. And if you have either, the next step forward is to focus on improving your credit.
The two situations aren’t the same, though. It’s important to know the difference, because the right way to build your credit often depends on whether you have no credit history or bad credit.
Start your journey to financial success with a bang
Get free access to the select products we use to help us conquer our money goals. These fully-vetted picks could be the solution to help increase your credit score, to invest more profitably, to build an emergency fund, and much more.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
The difference between no credit and bad credit
Having no credit means that there’s not enough information on your credit file to calculate a credit score for you. It’s also known as being credit invisible. Sadly, this is an issue that affects millions of Americans.
There aren’t any problems on your credit file; the credit bureaus just don’t have enough data on you. That means when a lender or any other third party checks your credit, there’s nothing to go on.
Meanwhile, “bad credit” is a common term used to describe a low credit score. That low score is because of negative items on your credit file, such as not paying your credit card bill.
When you have no credit, the solution is to build your credit. When you have a low credit score, the solution is to rebuild your credit. Now, let’s look at how you can do each one.
How to build credit for the first time
Here’s the simplest way to build credit:
- Open a credit card.
- Use the credit card for at least one purchase per month.
- Always pay your credit card bill on time and in full.
It’s that easy; that’s all you need to do to get a good credit score. When you use a credit card and pay the bill on time, you establish a positive payment history. That’s the biggest credit scoring criteria.
The tricky part when you have no credit is finding a credit card you can qualify for. Secured credit cards are one of the most common options for consumers in this situation. You pay a security deposit for this type of card, so it’s possible to open a secured card even if you have no credit.
If you’re in college, credit cards for students are available. These are often an option for applicants without any credit history.
How to rebuild a low credit score
It’s a little more complicated to rebuild your credit. First, you need to find out what negative items are affecting your credit score. Here’s how to start:
- Use an online credit score tool to check your score and learn about any items damaging your credit. If you have a credit card, there may be a credit score tool in your online account. If not, there are plenty of free ways to get your credit score.
- Request your credit report from the three consumer credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can pull a free annual credit report from each bureau, and through April 2022, you can get free weekly credit reports. Your credit report will show you exactly what’s affecting your credit.
Once you know what’s affecting your credit, you can work on correcting it. Below are a few of the most common issues and how to fix them.
Problems with your payment history
This includes anything related to not paying a bill on time, from late payments to having accounts go to collections.
The first step is catching up on your payments. If you can’t pay in full, contact your creditors and see if you can set up a payment plan with them. They may be willing to work with you if that means you’ll be making regular payments.
Next is rebuilding your payment history. The easiest option is to use a credit card at least once per month and pay in full by the due date. Why do you need to use a credit card? Credit card companies report on-time payments to the credit bureaus, which helps your credit score. With other types of bills, your on-time payments typically don’t get reported to the credit bureaus. That means you may not be able to improve your payment history with rent, utilities, or other monthly bills.
If you already have credit cards, you can continue using them to rebuild your payment history. If you don’t, look for secured credit cards and apply for one you like.
Using too much of your credit
A big factor in your credit score is your credit utilization ratio — your credit card balances divided by your credit limits. If this number gets too high, it can lower your credit score. The standard recommendation is a credit utilization ratio of under 30%.
Let’s say you have one credit card with a $4,000 balance and a $5,000 credit limit. That would put your credit utilization at 80% ($4,000 divided by $5,000 is 80%), a very high number that would decrease your credit score.
Fortunately, only your current credit utilization matters. Once you pay down your credit card balance, your credit score will bounce back.
Errors on your credit history
A low credit score may be due to an error and not any action on your part. This is why it’s so important to pull your credit reports from each credit bureau. By reviewing those, you can see if there are any mistakes.
If there are errors on your credit report, you can go to the credit bureau’s website to dispute them online and get them removed.
A low credit score and a nonexistent credit score are both things you can change. After you determine exactly what the issue is, you’ll be able to choose the best solution to fix it.
‘There is no new normal’: Worcester small business owner pivoted during COVID-19 and expects only more change after pandemic
It took about eight minutes for the bank to reject Natalie Rodriguez’s application for a loan through the Small Business Administration.
Rodriguez opened Nuestra, a Puerto Rican inspired restaurant in Worcester, in January of 2020. When COVID-19 arrived months later she discovered Nuestra wasn’t eligible for the federal or state funding that thousands of other establishments received.
To qualify, restaurants were required to show payroll and salary for years before 2020. Those figures didn’t exist for a restaurant that weren’t open in 2019.
“[I was] determined and knew that ‘no’ is not an OK answer,” Rodriguez said. “A door may close but you may need to kick down another door.”
Rodriguez then applied for conventional loans only to be led to more closed doors. Less than 10 minutes after applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, she received notice that her poor credit score resulted in her application being denied.
Rodriguez used the dead end with the SBA to create a new path for herself and Nuestra.
She not only learned how to improve her credit but wanted to ensure others didn’t have to follow her journey as an entrepreneur.
Rodriguez extended the “Nuestra” brand to include financial advising. She started Nuestra Financial in April of 2020.
“Now I’m helping others. I’ve been able to restore my credit,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been able to help others restore their credit and be able to help them make a business themselves if they so choose. I’ve been able to survive.”
Without grants and other funding, Rodriguez managed to keep her restaurant open through funds generated from Nuestra Financial.
“I was very quiet about it in the beginning. I didn’t want people to be like, ‘Oh look at this girl, she just opened a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic,’ and talk smack,” Rodriguez said. “About a month or two later, a light bulb hit and I was like, nobody pays my bills but me. I needed to mind my own business and not worry about what other people thought.”
In creating Nuestra Financial, Rodriguez said she’s helped Worcester residents restore their credit and purchase new vehicles and homes.
Rodriguez said financial literacy is rarely taught to children in school and wasn’t something she learned. When a situation arises like a rejection notice for an economic disaster loan, many don’t know how to respond or where to find answers.
Rodriguez said she’s helped young and old people, along with those who have bad credit or no credit.
“We lack the confidence, including myself, because we weren’t taught,” Rodriguez said. “So if you don’t know something, you weren’t taught, you’re not going to be confident about it.”
Coming out of the pandemic, Rodriguez remains confident about both her businesses. Nuestra, the restaurant, while closed for daily service continues to provide catering services. Rodriguez is still preparing what the future holds for the restaurant but plans to announce an update soon.
As masks start to become less a part of daily routines, Rodriguez, as a small business owner, doesn’t envision many differences from this year to last.
So many aspects of life remain uncertain from rising food costs to a potential third booster for vaccines and whether the country will ever reach herd immunity for COVID-19.
The pandemic arrived with Rodriguez immediately pivoting. As it approaches its potential end, Rodriguez will continue to do what helped her to navigate it.
“I feel like there is no new normal just yet,” Rodriguez said. “I think we’re all just trying to adjust and pivot at the same time and getting creative. I think it’s where we all are.”
Columbus Mattress Wholesale moves to newer, larger Gahanna store
More than four years back, Cathryn Clark’s boyfriend, Christopher Robbins, was on the hunt for a new mattress. He just couldn’t find one at an affordable price.
Clark, 29, and Robbins, 34, who are now engaged, were living in Franklinton, where they still live today.
They had no experience owning or operating a small business; Robbins worked as a retail assistant for SAS Retail Services while Clark worked as the communications director for two Methodist churches.
But in 2017, Robbins, with Clark at his side, took the leap and opened Columbus Mattress Wholesale on the West Side, with the goal of helping low-income consumers secure mattresses and other bedtime products.
“We really wanted to bring a store to people that, you know, they weren’t paying an arm and leg, but they still could get a good night’s sleep,” Clark said.
Customers at Columbus Mattress Wholesale can pay cash or credit, for example, but the business also works with financing companies that serve people without credit scores, with bad credit or who are lower income.
Last month, the business made a big move. It expanded from its original location on Harrisburg Pike to a store double the size at 435 Agler Road in Gahanna.
Clark said she and Robbins saw a need in the broader area, with many of their customers coming from outside the Hilltop, such as Linden.
Nestled between Dollar Tree and the Ohio BMV in Gahanna, the new storefront opened Memorial Day weekend and sells mattresses, bed bases, bed frames and pillows. Mattress prices range from under $100 to more than $1,000, depending on the size and brand, which includes some well-known names such as Serta, Beautyrest and Casper.
Clark said while she and Robbins originally sold solely Ohio-based brands, they’ve branched out to national brands as business has grown.
Columbus Mattress Wholesale also offers free same-day delivery on most orders from customers living in Columbus.
Clark does a little bit of everything for the business, from running communications, to working on the sales floor, to managing the sales team, to ordering what they sell.
She said a big mission for herself and Robbins, beyond doing business, is aiding the community.
“We’ve seen a lot of people struggle,” Clark said.
Clark said she and Robbins work to mentor other people who are hoping to open or currently own a small business. She added that the store starts employees at $17 per hour.
She and Robbins haven’t decided yet what they will do with the original location — which is currently closed — but said they might shift it into an accessory store.
- Bad Credit1 year ago
All you Need To Know about Bad Credit Scores in 2020
- News11 months ago
Financial Complaints Soared During Pandemic, Reports Say
- Bad Credit1 year ago
The General Car Insurance Review 2020
- Credit Repair Companies1 year ago
How to improve your credit score
- Bad Credit1 year ago
How to Get an SBA Coronavirus Disaster Loan
- News1 year ago
Global Credit Repair Services Market Demand and Status, Forecast 2025 | • CreditRepair.com • MyCreditGroup • The Credit People • Veracity Credit Consultants • TransUnion • MSI Credit Solutions • Lexington Law • USA Credit Repair
- Bad Credit1 year ago
Bad Credit? Best Bad Credit Mortgage Refinance Companies • Benzinga
- Bad Credit1 year ago
Bad Credit Payday Loans Online