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Best credit cards for people with no credit
Using a secured credit card responsibly will help you eventually level up to a regular credit card.
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Best credit cards for no credit
Best for secured card with a low interest rate: Refresh Financial Secured Card
Purchase Interest Rate
Min. Recommended Credit Score
|Min. Credit Score||N/A|
|Purchase Interest Rate||17.99%|
|Interest Free Period||Up to 21 days|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3.5%|
- No credit check is reequired for approval.
- This secured card offers an interest rate of 17.99%, which is typically lower than most cards offered in Canada.
- With a secured card, you're offered the chance to work on improving your credit score. Timely repayments will be reported to the credit bureau, which means you can improve your score over time.
- Your monthly credit limit is determined by the amount of your security deposit, keeping you in control of your card. Credit limits start from a minimum of $200 to a maximum of $10,000.
- You get access to free educational financial training on their online portal called Refresh f.i.t.
- Receive $100 per successful referral after the person you referred has signed up and made their first payment.
- If you don't pay your balance in full by the end of the month, you'll be charged a 17.99% interest rate.
- If you don't use your card within the month, you'll be charged a $2 inactivity fee.
- The $3 monthly fee combined with the $12.95 yearly fee can really add up.
Best for secured card with a low minimum security deposit: Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard
Purchase Interest Rate
Min. Recommended Credit Score
Applying for the Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard is quick and easy. Because Capital One regularly reports to the credit bureaus, using your card regularly and paying off the balance before interest accrues will help improve your credit score.
|Min. Credit Score||N/A|
|Purchase Interest Rate||19.8%|
|Cash Advance Rate||21.9%|
- Enjoy an interest rate of 19.8% on your everyday purchases.
- You’ll be approved for this card if you meet basic criteria such as being the age of majority in your province or territory, being in good standing with Capital One, not having an existing Capital One credit card and being able to submit a minimum security deposit.
- You can use this card with a deposit as small as $75.
- Enjoy protection from unauthorized use of your card with Mastercard Zero Liability protection.
- This card comes with an annual fee of $59.
- Because this is a secured credit card, the amount you can spend is limited to what you can load onto the card up to a maximum of $2,500.
- The Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard doesn’t offer rewards points or cash back on your purchases.
How we picked our best cards
We’ve chosen the cards on this page by considering eligibility criteria, annual fees and interest rates. We also considered other factors like rewards and complimentary perks. No single credit card will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before applying for a new card.
How to get a credit card with no credit
To get a credit card with no credit:
- Look for a card that’s open to those in your financial circumstances. This typically means a secured card. Don’t count on getting a card that’s stacked with features, as these usually require strong credit.
- Check the requirements. Depending on the type of card, you may need to supply a security deposit that can range from $75 to hundreds of dollars.
- Apply for the card. Have information on hand like your contact details, Social Insurance Number (SIN) and total annual income. You may also need to provide banking information.
Can I get a credit card if I’m an immigrant to Canada?
If you’re just moving to Canada, you’ll want to look at credit cards that cater to those without prior credit history and a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Financial institutions don’t have to require a SIN but may choose to do so to verify your identity. Though your choices are more limited than traditional credit cards, you do have several strong no-credit options for immigrants.
How to build good credit
If you have no credit history, follow these steps to start building it:
- Decide on a credit account.
Compare different types of credit accounts that can help you start accumulating data on your credit report. You can open a credit card, for example, or get a credit-builder loan.
- Compare lenders or issuers.
Make sure your lender reports to Canada’s major credit bureaus: Equifax and TransUnion. Your credit will build over time as lenders pass on details of your payment history and responsible spending habits. This is important because lenders often pull credit reports from just one bureau when making approval decisions, so you want to make sure your credit is getting reported to all the major bureaus.
- Make payments consistently.
Once you’re approved for a credit account, make your payments on time and keep your account in good standing. This will ensure your lender reports positive activity to the credit bureaus. After about 6 months of credit activity, you’ll get a credit score.
The aim is to eventually build a good credit score of 660 or higher. This gives you the opportunity to apply for more valuable credit cards and get better interest rates on loans. There are 4 types of credit-building credit cards that are especially useful if you’re just starting out.
How to choose a credit card for no credit
When you’re looking for the right credit card for no credit, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions to narrow down your choices:
- Do you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)? If you’re an immigrant to Canada, check to see if you need a SIN to apply for any card your interested in getting.
- Are you still in school? There are a variety of credit cards designed for students. These are often preferable options if you qualify for them.
- Do you need a business card? You’ll find a few no-credit options designed specifically for businesses.
- Do you intend on carrying a balance? If so, you’ll want to choose a card with a low APR. It’s also wise to look for a card with low fees just in case you’re worried about missing payments in the early months.
If you have no credit, your credit card options will be limited. But there are a number of great options for Canadian cardholders. As you make card payments on time, you’ll steadily build your credit score. With a strong score, you can apply for better credit cards, including ones with rewards and valuable travel perks.
Frequently asked questions
Header image: Getty Images
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