13 Easy Credit Cards to Get with Bad Credit

13 Easy Credit Cards to Get with Bad Credit
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Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: December 4, 2015
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

Regardless of how your credit got to be “bad” in the first place, getting and using a new credit card responsibly is one of the first steps toward rebuilding your credit. But when you have poor credit, getting approved for a new card can be a daunting task, as issuers frequently deny poor credit applicants.

Still, there are credit cards available specifically for those with subpar credit and they come in two forms: unsecured and secured. The difference between the two is unsecured cards do not require a deposit to secure a line of credit, whereas secured cards do. The deposit amount can vary but typically equals the amount of credit issued.

10 Best Unsecured Credit Cards (By Issuer)

Unsecured credit cards are regular credit cards — no security deposit required — with easy application processes. All 10 of these cards report to the credit bureaus, so if you pay on time each month, your credit will begin to reflect your good behavior.

First PREMIER Bank

First PREMIER Bank logoWe like First PREMIER Bank for its fast approvals and wide selection of cards for subprime applicants. Our top offer is a great option for anyone who’s had trouble getting credit in the past. “We take pride in offering a transitional credit card to help our customers nationwide develop better credit habits,” states the First PREMIER website.

  • Checking account required
  • We may approve those currently building their credit history
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statements
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card activity is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month. Making your payment on time and keeping your balances low relative to the credit limit will result in positive marks on your credit report
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
6 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10

Once approved, you’ll be required to pay a processing fee of $25.00, $55.00 or $95.00 based on your creditworthiness. This offer is not available in New York or Wisconsin due to state laws.

  • Checking account required
  • Monthly reporting to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • We provide a response in 60 seconds or less
  • No security deposit required
  • Apply today, and if approved, pay a Program Fee to access your available credit (additional fees and charges apply)
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10
  • Checking account required
  • A manageable credit limit can help you stay in control
  • This is a credit card - not a debit or prepaid card
  • Track your progress. Your quarterly FICO Score is provided for free on your monthly billing statement
  • Make your payments on time each month, and keep your balance low relative to the credit limit, for positive marks on your credit report
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10
  • Must have checking account to qualify
  • A good choice for those with less than perfect credit
  • Credit card response in 60 seconds or less
  • First PREMIER Bank may approve you when other issuers will not
  • Apply today, and if approved, pay a Program Fee and you could begin enjoying a manageable credit limit (subject to available credit, additional fees and charges)
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.4

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10

First PREMIER has millions of customers nationwide, and has received MasterCard’s Performance Excellence Award four times.

Credit One Bank

Credit One logoCredit One provides its cardholders free credit score tracking and cash back rewards with select card offers. Credit One also allows you to choose your payment due date, so you can coordinate payments with your own pay schedule.

  • Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment date. Terms apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit with free online access to your credit score
  • Show off your style with a premium card design, a fee may apply
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 16.99% - 24.99% (Variable)* Yes 9.0/10
  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify without affecting your credit score
  • This unsecured card provides opportunities to raise your credit score
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • Monitor your credit with free online access to your credit score
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges
  • Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 Minutes 16.99% - 24.99% (Variable)* Yes 9.0/10

Credit One has more than 7 million cardholders nationwide, and is the fastest-growing card issuer in the US.

Best of the Rest

The following cards conclude our list of the easiest unsecured cards to get with bad credit. (In the following section we’ll explore some of the best secured card options available.)

  • Checking account required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a processing fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10

The TOTAL Visa card offers a decision “in as little as 60 seconds” and does not require perfect credit for approval. If approved, an $89.000 processing fee is required.

  • Holiday gifts they'll like, payments you'll love! Use your line of credit to shop over 550,000 items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Take advantage of low monthly payments if you apply and are accepted for a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, who determines eligibility and qualifications for the terms of credit
  • Fast, easy online application process and a quick decision
  • Not an access card
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
 
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
5 Minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10

While the Fingerhut Credit Account can only be used toward Fingerhut purchases and its select partners, the card is one of the easiest credit cards to get with bad credit and can help you rebuild your credit with regular on-time payments. Not to mention, Fingerhut sells more than 700,000 products.

  • Applying is quick and easy with a fast decision process
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • 24/7 access to your account information, even on mobile
  • Card designs to fit your personality at no extra charge
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.2

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 23.90% Yes 9.0/10

Milestone strives to “deliver a customer experience equal to or better than any ‘prime’ credit card issuer.” See if you pre-qualify for the Milestone Gold Mastercard with no impact to your credit score.

  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • All credit histories considered
  • Online servicing available 24/7 at no additional cost
  • Unsecured credit card, no security deposit required
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.2

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 Minutes 23.90% Yes 8.0/10

It’s important to note that these cards carry high interest rates, which is one way the issuer protects itself to offset the higher default rate. But if you pay the balance in full each month, you’ll avoid paying any interest at all.

3 Best Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards require a deposit that is usually equal to the amount of credit you’re issued, but your deposit is fully refundable after your balance is paid off or if you close the account. Watch the video below for a more in-depth explanation.

These cards generally offer a more lenient application process and may not require a minimum credit score or credit history.

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000. Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate.
  • No minimum credit score requirements. We invite all credit types to apply. No processing or application fees.
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use.  Reports to three national bureaus.
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
  • See additional primor® Secured Visa Gold Card details
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details
   
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 9.99% Yes 9.0/10
  • Credit line secured by your fully-refundable deposit of $200-$2,000 submitted with application
  • Pay off your balance & get your deposit back any time
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Not available in: NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • No credit history or minimum credit score required
  • See if you are pre-approved in 60 seconds or less
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★

3.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 19.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10
  • Credit line secured by your fully-refundable deposit of $200-$2,000 submitted with application
  • Pay off your balance and get your deposit back any time.
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history.
  • Not available in: NY, IA, AR, or WI.
  • No credit history or minimum credit score required.
  • See if you are pre-approved in 60 seconds or less.
  • Click for for official site, terms, and details.
★★★

3.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 9.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10

All of these secured cards report to the credit bureaus, so your payment behavior will be documented and allow you to rebuild your credit and eventually upgrade to an unsecured card.

Don’t Apply For Cards You’re Not Qualified For

Don’t apply for the best rewards and cash-back credit cards because if you’re denied (which is probable if you have bad credit), the hard inquiry can further hurt your score.

Only apply for the cards that are within your reach, and as time goes on and your credit improves, you can then go after the cards with lower interest rates and the most benefits to its customers. In the meantime, these cards can be your gateway to improved credit and all the benefits that come along with it. Good luck!