If you’ve got a bad, or no, credit history, you’ll find it hard to get accepted for a credit card, loan or even a mortgage. The trouble is, if no-one gives you credit, how can you ever improve your credit score and benefit from less expensive borrowing costs?
Credit cards for poor credit give you an opportunity to repair or build your credit score but, because the APR is high, you should try to avoid borrowing on them.
You’ll need to spend on the card to have a balance to repay (and therefore evidence your responsibility as a borrower). However, you should aim to repay the balance in full each month – most cards will allow you to set up a direct debit to do this.
Credit cards for poor credit should not be looked at as a method of racking up yet more debt. At best, these cards can improve your creditworthiness and get you accepted for credit more easily. At worst it can just end up as another maxed out credit card – and an expensive one at that.
You don’t have to get a credit card – some prepaid cards allow you to repair your credit score as well. Some charge a monthly fee (usually in the region of £5) and, once you’ve paid your fee for a year, a positive entry is added to your credit file. There are other ways to improve your credit rating – even if you’ve missed payments before, keeping up-to-date with all your existing credit agreements will improve your score. And it’s also a good idea to request your credit report – just to make sure there are no errors or fraudulent credit agreements in your name.
If you can trust yourself not to give in to the temptation to spend, a credit card for poor credit might be right for you. If you’re unsure how you’ll behave with the card, it’s wise to stay well clear.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.