9 Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit (2017): No Deposit Required

9 Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit ([current_year]): No Deposit Required
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Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: July 25, 2017
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

Although it can often appear complex from the outside, the world of finance is actually based on a remarkably simple concept. Indeed, at its heart, finance is built on the idea that every action has a certain amount of risk and a certain amount of reward, and you always want your rewards to outweigh your risks.

This concept can be illustrated easily by the way most institutions approach consumer lending, where consumer risk is determined based on each consumer’s credit reports and scores. In general, those consumers who represent the least amount of risk (i.e., those who have the best credit reports and highest credit scores) are easily approved for new credit and given low interest rates.

Conversely, consumers whose low scores indicate financial risk will have a harder time finding credit. While some may benefit from opening a secured credit card by providing a cash deposit, not everyone can afford the lump sum needed for a secured card. Unsecured credit cards, on the other hand, won’t require a deposit to open, but may have higher fees and interest rates. Check out the top unsecured card providers for less-than-perfect credit below.

Credit One | Fingerhut | Other Issuers

Credit One Bank: Unsecured Cards for Poor Credit

Founded in San Rafael, California in 1984, Credit One Bank has been headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1998. Serving over 7 million consumers nationwide, the bank has made a name for itself by providing subprime cards to consumers with bad credit. Credit One is also known for being the Official Credit Card of NASCAR.

In addition to reporting to the major credit bureaus, your Credit One card will also provide you with your credit score each month. Our picks for Credit One Bank credit cards will also have one feature that’s pretty rare in the subprime card market: cash back rewards. That’s right, qualified purchases made with your Credit One credit card can earn you 1% cash back.

  • 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
  • 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

The exact cash back program in which you will be enrolled will depend on the exact card and your individual creditworthiness. Depending on your level of qualification, your cash back rewards may be limited to certain eligible categories or apply to all eligible purchases made with your Credit One card.

Screenshot of Credit One Homepage

Additionally, your exact interest rate, credit limit, and annual fee will also vary based on your credit and card choice, with some qualified candidates receiving $0 annual fee. If charged an annual membership fee, the first year’s fee posts as a lump sum when you open your account. Additional annual fees will be charged as recurring monthly payments after the first year.

Fingerhut: Unsecured Card for Poor Credit

Established more than 60 years ago, Fingerhut spent several decades as a mail-order catalog company before going digital in the 1990s. Today, the giant online retailer carries thousands of products across hundreds of categories, selling everything from bath and bedding to tires and tools.

Similar to a store credit card, a Fingerhut Credit Account can be a good way to get back on track with your credit — all while finding deals on tons of popular items. Even better, applying for your Fingerhut account won’t require paying an application or processing fee, and you won’t be stuck with an annual fee, either.

  • 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 you’ll only be able to use your Fingerhut Credit Account to make purchases through Fingerhut, it will still act the same as a traditional credit card in many other respects, such as reporting your payment activity and account balances to the major credit bureaus. This means paying your Finger account on time each month can help build (or rebuild) your credit history.

Screenshot of Fingerhut Homepage

As with a regular credit card, your Fingerhut account will also charge interest on balances you carry from month to month. To avoid paying interest on your Fingerhut purchases, be sure to pay your balance in full before the end of each billing cycle (usually 27 days after the start of the cycle).

Other Issuers: Unsecured Cards for Poor Credit

Despite each providing credit to millions of Americans, First PREMIER, Fingerhut, and Credit One are hardly the only names in the subprime credit card world. Consumers looking for an unsecured credit card for rebuilding their bad credit should compare all of their options to ensure they’re getting the best offer possible.

Our top-rated unsecured card picks will all report to the three major credit bureaus, so responsible use of your new card can help improve your credit score over time. Each option will also provide a simple online application, making it quick and easy to start your new credit journey.

  • 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
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; may approve you when others won’t
  • You may be eligible for a Credit Line Increase after six months
  • Easy and secure online application
  • Receive your card more quickly with optional Expedited Processing (additional fee applies)
  • Get a result in as little as 60 seconds upon completion of the online application
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
10 Minutes See Terms Yes 8.0/10

Keep an eye out for any annual fees or processing fees that your new card may require. These fees will likely be charged to your account as soon as it is opened, immediately reducing your available credit, and will need to be paid in full to avoid paying interest on the charges.

Regardless of the issuer, most unsecured credit cards will require that applicants have an active checking account to qualify. You’ll also need a regular source of income, though minimum income requirements will vary by card and issuer.

Responsible Card Use Can Foster Better Credit

As complicated as it may seem from the outside, understanding the basics of consumer finance can be easy once you learn the key concept of risk versus reward — and where your credit falls on that all-important risk spectrum. In general, good credit equals low financial risk, and low risk equals happy lenders.

That said, some lenders are happy taking on a bit more risk, and without requiring a deposit — but it’ll cost you. The best way to beat the high interest rates is also the best way to improve your credit so you can graduate to a prime card. In short, pay your credit card in full and on time each billing cycle; in next to no time, your credit (and your lenders) will thank you.