By Adam Jusko, ProudMoney.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no set definition of bad credit, but if your credit score is lower than 600, most credit card issuers will consider that bad credit (though they’ll call it by the nicer name of “subprime”). If you’re trying to rebuild your credit score with a new credit card or cards, here are our suggestions on the path you should consider:
Step 1: Will Capital One or Discover approve you?
Capital One and Discover are the two major credit card issuers that are most open to accepting people with bad credit scores. You might not qualify for their best cards, and you might get a very low credit limit if you are approved, but your chances are best with these two banks, so our advice is to try them first.
Do a Pre-Approval
If you’re unsure about being approved, do a pre-approval or pre-qualification with Capital One or Discover. You fill out a form and they do a “soft inquiry” on your credit report to see what cards you’re likely to qualify for. While a pre-approval is not a guarantee that you’ll be approved, it should give you a solid idea of your chances. Use the links below to get started:
Cards You Might Get Approved For:
- Capital One Quicksilver or Capital One QuicksilverOne – If your credit isn’t too bad, Capital One might approve you for one of these cards that offers 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases. However, if you are approved for the QuicksilverOne version of the card, note that it will have a $39 annual fee.
- Capital One Platinum – This is Capital One’s most basic unsecured card for those with lower credit scores. No rewards and a fairly high interest rate, but no annual fee. It may be the place to start if you can’t get unsecured credit anywhere else.
- Discover it – If your credit isn’t too bad, you might qualify for this no-annual-fee rewards card that gives 5% cash back in certain rotating categories and 1% cash back everywhere else.
- Discover it Chrome – If your credit score is low, Discover still might accept for this no-annual-fee credit card that gives 2% cash back on dining and gas purchases, and 1% back everywhere else.
- Discover Secured Card or Capital One Secured Card – If you get offered one of these cards, it means your credit score was too bad to offer you an unsecured credit card. Choosing to get a secured credit card is often a very smart choice for people with bad credit, but unlike “regular” credit cards, a secured credit card requires you to put down a refundable security deposit to get the card. We will come back to the idea of getting a secured card further down in this article, but if a secured card is the only thing that Capital One or Discover is offering you, there are still other options to consider before going the secured card route.