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How low income credit cards work

Apply for a credit card, even with low or no income.

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Some cards make it easy to apply for a credit card when your income is low. There are even provisions for those who earn no income at all to get access to credit. But it’s important to remember that income is never the sole factor in your qualification for a credit card.

Are there low income credit cards?

Yes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau amended the Credit CARD Act to make it easier for stay-at-home spouses and partners to get credit cards. Card issuers can now consider third-party income if the applicant has access to that money — for instance, a stay-at-home spouse who has access to their spouse’s income. If this applies to you, you may list your spouse’s income on your application when applying for a credit card.

Even with low income, you can still get your hands on a few terrific credit cards, such as the Discover it® Cash Back. Just know that your income can affect your total credit limit.

What should I look out for when applying for a credit card with low income?

Low income credit cards have their benefits but also their drawbacks. Keep an eye on:

  • Annual fee. Because someone with a low income is considered a higher risk by banks, they will look to get as much money from you upfront in case you default on your monthly credit card payments. Watch out for credit cards with a high annual fee.
  • High interest rate. Again, because you may be considered high risk, you can expect a higher APR, which means you’ll be paying more in interest on your purchases. Look for the lowest possible APR, but more importantly — pay your balance in full and on time.
  • No frills features. Most cards that a low income earner will qualify for don’t offer extras such as rewards, access to concierge services, travel benefits and complimentary rental car insurance coverage.
  • Low credit limit. If you earn a low income, your credit limit will also be low. By law, card issuers can only extend credit that the borrower can realistically repay. In some cases, you can request a credit limit increase.

Consider secured credit cards

If you are turned down during the application process, don’t lose hope. There are still options available to those with low income and poor credit. If you find yourself in this situation, consider applying for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards present a great opportunity to fix your credit history and build your credit score. With a low security deposit, you can start adding positive information to your credit history and eventually qualify for a non-secured card.

Compare secured credit cards

This type of cards can be a solid option as a low income credit card. Just make sure you compare multiple cards until you find the best card for your financial needs.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% variable
$49
300
Build or rebuild your credit with this secured card.
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% variable
$39
300
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
17.39% variable
$35
300
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% variable)
$49
300
A rare secured card with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, followed by 12.99% variable.
First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
19.99% variable
$29
300
Build your credit with all three major credit bureaus.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Become an authorized user

If your income is keeping you from the credit card you want, consider tagging along on a loved one’s application as an authorized user. While the card account won’t be in your name, you’ll reap the benefits of the card as and good credit habits will reflect on your credit score in addition to the primary user.

Find a co-signer

Similar to becoming an authorized user, you can also find a co-signer to vouch for you and apply alongside you. In this case, you’ll both take responsibility for the card account.

Bottom line

Having a low income doesn’t have to stop you from getting a credit card. But if you keep getting declined for ones you want, consider a secured credit card to compare your other options.

Frequently asked questions

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    J.C.G.April 9, 2018

    A friend sent me, then started pressuring me into applying for an Uber CC.What’s not being told to me about this CC?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaApril 10, 2018Staff

      Hi J.C.G.,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      It is wise to obtain as much information as possible regarding a card before applying for it. Thus, I understand you want to know more about Uber’s credit card.

      Though it is called Uber Visa Card, it is not just a card for Uber passengers. It also comes with other perks and rewards for people who eat out a lot and those who travel frequently.

      There are just so many things to say about this card and this reply isn’t enough to cover all of them. If you wish to know more about Uber Visa Card, I highly recommend that you visit this page.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    RajeshkumarOctober 17, 2017

    My salary is 9937 I can apply credit card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JudithOctober 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Rajeshkumar,

      Thanks for contacting finder, a comparison website and general information service.

      In order to determine someone’s eligibility, the card issuer will weigh several factors, including income. Specifically, issuers will look at your debt-to-income ratio — your combined monthly debt payments in comparison to your monthly income. Issuers will look at this figure when determining how much you can afford to pay and will then set your credit card limit accordingly. This includes being able to make payments on a fully maxed-out credit card. Other important factors include your credit score and your credit history. You may also find this information on the page you’re viewing.

      You may want to read this page for tips in applying for a credit card.

      I hope this helps.

      Best regards,
      Judith

  3. Default Gravatar
    ArmandoJune 27, 2017

    Is there such a thing as this $0 down on primor cards on advertisements as stated?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlJuly 2, 2017

      Hi Armando,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are referring to application or processing fee, yes, this secured credit card does not charge such fee. It worth noting though that the credit limit assigned to your account will be equal to the amount of your savings account, which can be between $200 and $5,000. For more information about primor® Secured Mastercard Gold Card, you may click the green button or the “More Info” link.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Kind regards,
      Liezl

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