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Compare second-chance credit cards

There may be many reasons your credit score isn’t where you want it to be. Maybe you’ve missed a few payments or needed to declare bankruptcy in the face of financial hardship.

If you’re ready for a fresh start to take control of your finances, a second-chance credit card can help. Use these cards to take another shot at using credit responsibly. If you consistently make payments on time, you could see your credit score rise.

Compare cards for building or rebuilding credit

Below are cards that are designed for a second chance to build your credit. Consider the annual fee, as well as the security deposit.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
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.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
N/A
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
300
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
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What are second-chance credit cards?

The biggest difference between second-chance and regular credit cards is second-chance cards are meant for those rebuilding credit with poor credit scores of 300 to 619. Because lenders understand that customers looking for these cards tend to have damaged credit histories, they are typically more lenient with their acceptance criteria, giving you another try at using credit responsibly.

Which second-chance cards should I pick?

If you have poor credit, you won’t qualify for the majority of credit cards. However, you’re not out of luck. There are two types of second-chance credit cards to choose from: secured credit cards and unsecured cards for poor credit.

Secured credit cards

Secured credit cards require an upfront deposit — around $250 — before you can open an account. Your deposit is collateral for your card provider if you fail to pay your balances.

Although locking away hundreds of dollars isn’t ideal, doing so gives you a higher probability of getting a credit card.

Though it’s fairly easy to get a secured card, you may still be declined for one if your credit is too low. In that case, consider a secured card that doesn’t require a credit check, like the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card. Your chances of card approval are extremely high as long as your income exceeds your expenses.

Unsecured credit cards for bad credit

Alternatively, you can look for an unsecured credit card that’s marketed to those with bad credit. The good thing is you won’t have to pay a security deposit. On the downside, this type of card is relatively rare and tends to come with high fees.

Look for a card that allows you to prequalify without affecting your credit score. That way, you’ll know beforehand if you have a good chance of approval. Try the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit, which is open to those with less-than-stellar credit. You can prequalify for either one with no effect on your credit score.

Should you carry a balance on your card?

Whichever card you pick, consider paying off your balances in full each month. Because second-chance cards are geared toward people with poor credit, they typically come with high interest rates. Avoiding a balance will keep you out of debt and focused on the real goal: building your credit score.

What should I do once I get my card?

Once you receive your card, your second chance begins in earnest. Now’s the time to watch your payment due dates like a hawk. Commit to making timely payments, because this is how you’ll increase your credit score. Mark your calendar, set reminders on your phone or set up auto pay to more easily manage your payments.

Along the way, you can work on your financial habits. For example, overspending may have contributed to your poor credit. Your second-chance card likely comes with a low credit limit, which could help you practice controlling your spending. You can also learn how to pay off your card balances before spending more.

Ultimately, succeeding with a second-chance card boils down to keeping your spending in check and paying off your balances on time. If you can do this, you’re sure to see your work rewarded with an improved credit score.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    LindaDecember 13, 2017

    I have horrible credit, I’m trying to find a credit card that will help me with my credit. Can you help? Is someone there?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Linda,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Basically, when getting a credit card, the bank or credit card company would require you to have a good credit rating. That way, they will be able to know whether you’re able to repay them back. For people with bad credit, there is a very slim chance that they will be approved for a credit card. Although, it is still possible for them to get an unsecured or secured credit card, just like the ones featured above.

      Given your credit history, you can also find more information from our guide on how you can get a secured credit card and what are some other alternatives available for you. It’s always best to check the details of the card and the eligibility criteria before applying.

      Hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      May

    Default Gravatar
    MrjunOctober 31, 2017

    Okay so my question is, I’ve never had a credit card I never had opened up a credit card since I was 18 or my adulthood life. Every time I sign up for a credit card I get turned down. What do I do?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldOctober 31, 2017Staff

      Hi MrJun,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you are a first time borrower and you do not have a credit record yet, generally, banks and lenders will consider you to be a high-risk borrower. You may want to consider building your credit history first before you apply for any credit card to avoid rejection.

      As a first time borrower, you can consider applying for a secured credit card to help build your credit. Once you have built up a credit history overtime, you can then try applying for credit card again. Meeting all the eligibility criteria can help you get approved for a credit card so please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions before applying.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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