6 Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit (2021): No Deposit Required

Unsecured Credit Cards For Bad Credit
GUIDE
Anne Chumley
By: Anne Chumley
Updated: August 10, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

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.

Fingerhut | Visa & MC | Credit One

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. (See complete WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account Terms and Conditions.)

  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • 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).

Visa & MasterCard: Unsecured Cards for Poor Credit

Despite each providing credit to millions of Americans, Fingerhut is hardly the only name 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
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Multiple card designs available
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Rebuilding credit depends on factors like making on-time payments, keeping balance below credit limit and paying at least the minimum monthly payment
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.5

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See Terms Yes 8.5/10
  • Checking Account Required
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
  • Easy and secure online application
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • The First Access Visa Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
10 minutes See Terms Yes 8.0/10
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified with no impact to your credit score
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
  • Mastercard Zero Fraud Liability Protection (subject to Mastercard guidelines)
  • Checking Account Required
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 24.99% - 29.99% (Variable) Yes 8.5/10

Keep an eye out for any annual fees or processing/program 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.

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.

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.

  • See if you Prequalify without harming your credit score
  • Earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible gas, grocery purchases and mobile phone service, internet, cable and satellite TV services, terms apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • View your free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • This unsecured card requires no deposit and can help build your credit
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • Never miss an account update with customizable text and email alerts
  • Manage your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Show off your personality by selecting from a variety of card designs, a fee may apply
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 23.99% 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.

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.

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