If you’re one of the consumers wondering whether or not you can really get credit cards with bad credit, you’re not alone. Millions of people have had credit problems and the fact of the matter is that the people with credit blemishes outnumber those with perfect credit scores. The trick is in finding the credit cards that will treat you with the respect you deserve. Here are three things to look for.
1. The Fees
If you’ve got a tarnished credit history, it’s not the end of the world. It is possible to get credit cards with bad credit. The problem is that there are good, bad and downright ugly credit card companies out there and you’ve got to learn how to tell one from the other.
When looking at a bad credit credit card, you need to look at the fees and charges before you look at anything else. Some credit card companies are honest and ethical. Others are not and they will nickel and dime you to death if you let them.
Some credit card companies charge those with credit challenges a modest annual fee ($60 or less) while others charge annual fees in addition to ridiculous processing fees, application fees and enrollment fees. Before you know it, you’ve paid $250 in fees for a credit card with a $300 credit limit. Your fees have almost maxed out your credit limit and the card isn’t even in your wallet yet!
If you want to make sure you’re getting a good credit card, make sure the fees are reasonable — no matter how bad your credit is.
2. The Terms
I’ve seen credit card offers for people with bad credit with interest rates as low as 9.99 percent. The problem is, these fees aren’t fixed rates. It’s a “teaser” rate that jumps up to 20 or 30 percent when the “intro period” is over. Oftentimes people who need credit cards with bad credit care apt to jump at this type of deal. That’s a big mistake.
If you don’t want to find yourself paying two or three times as much interest as you intended to, make sure the credit card you’re applying for has a fixed rate — not an intro rate. If you have damaged credit, you’re going to have to pay a higher rate. If a rate sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
3. The Type of Card
Now this should go without saying, but it’s probably a good idea to mention it anyway — a prepaid credit card is not really a credit card. It’s a gift card with a credit card logo on it.
If you want a credit card to rebuild your credit rating, a prepaid credit card isn’t going to do it. They don’t report your account activity to the credit bureaus and it’s not going to do your credit any good. You need either a traditional unsecured credit card or a secured card — not a prepaid card.
So if your question is whether or not you qualify for a credit card, the answer is most likely yes. The real question is, which of the credit cards should you go for and which should you avoid? These three tips will help you find the available credit cards with bad credit while avoiding the common pitfalls of this segment of the credit card industry
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