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Bad Credit Credit Cards

Is a credit repair card right for me?

Are you credit invisible or have you hit a road bump with your credit? Credit repair cards can help you to rebuild your profile, all you need to do is keep making repayments on time.

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Today's Best Credit Repair Cards

Today's Best Credit Repair Cards

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  • Barclaycard Forward Credit Card Visa
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    0.0% for 3 months
    APR
    33.9%
    Additional Information
    0% on purchases for 3 months
    No zero% balance transfer offer
    Start with a low credit limit that may later increase
    Go To Provider's Site
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 33.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 33.9% APR variable.
  • Marbles Mastercard
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    No introductory rate for purchases
    APR
    34.9%
    Additional Information
    Can help improve your credit rating
    Rates dependent on credit rating
    Manage your card online
    Go To Provider's Site
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 34.95% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 34.9% APR variable.
  • Capital One Classic Complete Mastercard
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    0.0% for 4 months
    APR
    34.9%
    Additional Information
    Introductory 0% balance transfer term of 4 months
    High rate for cash withdrawals
    Low credit limit. For people who've had credit problems in the past
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 34.94% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 34.9% APR variable.
  • NewDay Ltd Amazon Classic Mastercard
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    0.0% for 3 months
    APR
    29.9%
    Additional Information
    0% for 3 months on purchases
    Rates dependent on credit rating
    Manage your card online
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 29.95% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 29.9% APR variable.
  • Capital One Luma Purchase Mastercard
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    0.0% for 3 months
    APR
    35.9%
    Additional Information
    Good for credit building
    Rates dependent on credit rating
    Credit limit up to £1,500
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 35.94% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 35.9% APR variable.
  • Tesco Bank Foundation Clubcard Credit Card Mastercard
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    No introductory rate for purchases
    APR
    27.5%
    Additional Information
    Earn Tesco Clubcard points for spending on your card
    Rates dependent on credit rating
    Available to help rebuild your credit
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 27.542% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 27.5% APR variable.
  • Barclaycard (Branch) Better Together 28.9pc Initial Visa
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    No introductory rate for purchases
    APR
    28.9%
    Additional Information
    For customers new to credit
    Available in branches of Barclays
    Start with a low credit limit that Barclaycard may later increase
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 28.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 28.9% APR variable.
  • Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card Visa
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    No introductory rate for purchases
    APR
    29.5%
    Additional Information
    Can help improve your credit rating
    Rates dependent on credit rating
    £1,500 max limit on opening (may be increased later)
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £250.00 charged at 29.5% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 29.5% APR variable.
  • Capital One Classic Platinum Mastercard
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    No introductory rate for purchases
    APR
    29.8%
    Additional Information
    24 hour customer service
    Maximum credit limit of £1,500
    For people who've had credit problems in the past
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 29.84% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 29.8% APR variable.
  • HSBC Classic Credit Card Visa
    Intro Rate for Purchases
    No introductory rate for purchases
    APR
    29.9%
    Additional Information
    Contactless payments up to £45
    High APR of 29.9%
    Available to HSBC current a/c customers only excluding Basic
    Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 29.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 29.9% APR variable.
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Disclaimer

All credit cards are subject to the applicant’s status. The APR quoted is representative of the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you are offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit. Fees and rates subject to change without notice. Please check all rates and terms before borrowing.

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Compare the best credit cards for poor credit

Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert

At a glance

  • Credit repair credit cards can help you improve a poor credit score, providing you use them responsibly.
  • Also known as credit builder cards or cards for bad credit.
  • As they are for people considered ‘higher-risk’ in terms of credit, they charge higher interest rates than other credit cards.

What are credit repair credit cards?

Credit repair credit cards are also sometimes called credit builder cards or credit cards for people with bad credit.

As the name implies, these are a special form of credit card that enable people with a poor credit score to improve this over time. These cards typically have higher interest rates and much lower credit limits than other types of credit cards.

If you have been refused a credit card or other form of loan due to a bad credit score, then you may find that these are useful as a way of improving your credit score over time.

Credit cards for bad credit should not be used to access more credit and increase your total amount of borrowing. Their purpose is to show you can pay back your balance in full each month and it is this that boosts your credit score over time (subject to how you manage your other debts and finances).

Have you considered a bad credit loan?

Bad credit loans are for people with low credit scores, or who have little to no credit history. These loans typically have higher interest rates and greater restrictions than other loans however, they can be useful if managed responsibly. Compare bad credit loan rates today.

How do credit repair credit cards work?

Credit repair cards work under a simple principle: they allow you to demonstrate that you can responsibly manage a small amount of credit, and so improve a poor credit score over time.

Credit card companies use your credit history and their view on how affordable the credit card is for you to determine if they will accept you for a credit card. If you have no credit score or a low credit score, they may not accept your application.

This is why credit repair cards can be a good way to improve your credit score over time.

They are usually not suitable for large purchases or debt consolidation since the interest rates they carry are higher than other credit cards.
The best way to use credit repair cards is to make small purchases each month, which you then repay in full when you receive your monthly credit card bill.

You should never miss a monthly payment or this will have a decidedly negative effect on your credit score. It could even result in your credit rebuilder card being taken away.

Once your credit score has improved you can then you can apply for another credit card at a lower rate of interest or another form of credit.

What credit card can I get with bad credit?

The only credit cards you’ll likely be eligible for if you have bad credit are ones aimed at those with low scores. There are several such cards available, with all of them designed to prevent you from getting into unmanageable debt while ideally boosting your credit score, provided you manage them appropriately.

These cards will typically have low credit limits, but will also have much higher APRs than mainstream credit cards for those with a decent credit history. It’s for this reason that they should only be viewed as a way to build your score, and you’ll want to manage them accordingly – use such cards for small purchases each month, and then repay the full balance when the statement arrives. This way, you’re avoiding hefty interest charges while showing future lenders that you’re a responsible borrower, and will raise your credit standing accordingly.

Try our new credit card calculators

Calculate what you need to know before applying.

Balance transfer calculator – calculate how much you could save by switching to a 0% balance transfer credit card.

Minimum repayment calculator – calculate how long it will take to clear your balance when only making the minimum repayments.

Repayment calculator – calculate how quickly you could pay off your credit card.

Why do I get denied for credit cards?

If you’ve been denied a credit card, it’s likely because your credit score isn’t high enough to meet the required standard. It’s usually the case that a higher score equals a better chance of being approved for credit, and if you’ve got a low score, you’ll likely be declined for the best cards. This could also be true of those who have never had any form of credit before, and therefore won’t have built up a score at all – no credit history can often be as detrimental as having a bad one, as providers have nothing against which to assess your level of risk.

There are other factors that go into credit card approvals, however, with credit card companies often having their own set of criteria. Income appraisal is often a key part of their approvals process, and if you don’t earn enough to meet their income criteria, you’ll likely be declined.

While there’s nothing that can be done about being declined due to your income – bar trying to increase it, such as by applying for a new job – there are things you can do about poor credit. You can check your credit score and work on improving it, and in the meantime, you may want to consider looking for a card that’s been specifically deigned for those with poor credit scores.

What do we mean by bad credit score?

A bad credit score means your credit score is lower than most lenders will accept to give you credit. A credit score is determined by how you have previously managed your debts and you can find out more about this in our guide: How debt impacts your credit score.

Sometimes a low credit score can simply mean that you have never used credit before. A credit score requires you to have a history of using and paying back credit. If you have never applied for credit, then there will be no data to score you.

How do I know if I have a bad credit score?

You can quickly and easily find out your current credit score by using our FREE credit check facility. This enables you to check your current creditworthiness, identify any errors that might be unfairly reducing your score and find out your chances of being accepted for credit. You can also find some tips on how to improve your credit score here too.

Why would I need a credit builder card?

These are used by people who have a bad credit score or have not used enough debt to have built up a credit score. Credit builder cards are a way to improve creditworthiness.

While these cards can be used for purchases, it’s a good idea to make sure you can pay off the whole amount owed every month. This is because the interest rates on credit rebuilder cards are higher than on normal credit cards.

Spending carefully and then repaying the whole amount owed each month will steadily improve your credit score – demonstrating that you can use credit sensibly and responsibly.

Where can I apply for the best credit rebuilding cards?

To find the best deals currently available simply go to the table above.

Here you’ll be able to compare differing credit repair cards by annual percentage rate (APR), as well as take advantage of any special introductory deals being offered. You will also be able to apply directly for some credit repair cards here.

Got a bad credit history and need a bank account?

Learn more about bank accounts for bad credit

What should I look for when choosing a credit repair credit card?

There are three primary things to consider when applying for a credit repair card:

  1. Look for the lowest interest rate for purchases – just in case you fail to pay back your bill in full.
  2. Check the fees – some may charge late or missed payment fees.
  3. The minimum monthly payment – different cards will have different values for the minimum amount of your balance that you must pay back each month.

What credit cards build credit fast?

Credit builder cards could build your credit score in a matter of months, but you’ll need to be strict with how you manage them. Only use them for small purchases and always aim to repay the full balance each month, and if you do, you could soon see your credit score begin to tick up. At the very least, make sure you never miss a repayment – the slightest hint that you’re unable to manage your commitments could lower your score even further, so only ever apply for such a card if you’re confident you can manage the card sensibly and appropriately.

How does credit card interest work?

Figuring out how credit card interest works can be a complex and difficult task – the Moneyfacts guide, How does credit card interest work?, gives you an idea of the basics.

Why are the APRs on credit-building credit cards different to other credit cards?

Credit repair cards are offered to people who are considered to be a “higher-risk” than those borrowers with a better credit score. This means the credit card provider is taking a larger risk than with an ordinary credit card application. As this risk is greater, the credit card firm charges higher APRs than compared to mainstream credit cards.

Some credit cards have APRs that reduce over time as you become considered less of a risk.

What if I’m refused a credit repair credit card?

Being refused a credit repair card is a warning sign you should not ignore. If you have been refused, don’t be tempted to apply somewhere else – each failed application you make is logged on your credit history. Consequently, you can hurt your credit score even more by making multiple failed applications.

If you haven’t done so already, use our credit check guide to find out more about checking your credit score and how to apply for your credit file.

Will cancelling a credit card hurt my credit score?

It depends on the situation. If you’ve got a lot of credit cards with high available balances on them, then it’s worth cancelling one of them in order to show lenders that you don’t have access to too much credit (already having access to a lot can make it less likely that you’ll be approved for additional finance, as your debt could quickly become unmanageable if you used all the credit available to you).

That said, if you’ve got one card that’s nearing its limit and another that you’ve paid off, it’s worth keeping the latter card open in order to keep your credit utilisation ratio at a reasonable level. You want to only ever be using up to 30% of the credit available to you to show lenders that you can effectively manage your debt, so if you cancelled the paid-off card it could push you well above that desired ratio and could hurt your credit score as a result.

Worried about your credit card debt?

Read our guides and find 8 ways to improve your credit score, understand what is persistent credit card debt and how to free yourself from credit card debt.

What are the negatives about credit repair cards?

Credit repair cards are designed for people with a poor or no credit score, which means that these cards do not usually have the lowest interest rates or the same promotional offers available with other types of credit cards. However, some credit repair cards may offer a short introductory offer, such as a 0% APR for the first three months, etc.

Credit repair cards will often have higher interest rates than other credit cards, making them a more expensive way to borrow money. For example, other credit cards tend to have APRs of around 18% to 21%, while credit repair cards in comparison can have APRs of 30% to 45%.

If you are using a credit repair credit card to improve your credit, then it is important that you clear your balance every month. The shows the credit reference agencies that you are able to regularly pay back your debts and will steadily improve your score over time. In addition, the higher interest rates make these cards more expensive to use for balance transfers or to roll-over your balance over many months.

Never miss a repayment due on a credit repair card. Doing so will certainly worsen your credit score – it may even result in your card being suspended and your credit card provider demanding immediate repayment of your outstanding balance.

Pros and cons of credit score rebuilding cards

  • Enables you over time to improve a poor credit score.
  • Lower credit limits to reduce the potential for building up a larger balance.
  • Some cards offer cashback and rewards.
  • Interest rates are usually higher on credit repair credit cards compared to other types of credit card.
  • You must spend on the card and pay this back on time and ideally in full to start to improve your credit rating.
  • Not paying back the full balance each month will result in you building up a debt, which could adversely affect your creditworthiness.
  • Missing repayments will have serious consequences, including a negative effect on your credit score and the possibility of having the card withdrawn.

Moneyfacts tip

Moneyfacts tip Michelle Monck

Remember that you may not get the advertised APR for a credit repair card. Providers can and will increase when you apply this if they feel you are a particularly bad risk. This makes it even more important to make sure you pay off the total owed every month to avoid these eye-watering interest rates

Bad Credit Credit Cards

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