When you get turned down for a credit card because of bad credit, you may think it’s the end of the world. Don’t get discouraged you still have options. Here are 4.
Option #1: Your Credit Union/Bank
Most credit unions and banks now offer special credit cards for their customers. If you have a checking or savings account with a financial institution, check with them and see if they offer a credit account. If they do, apply for it. Chances are, you’ll get accepted, albeit with a low credit limit, simply because you’re a current customer and they don’t want to lose you. If, however, you’ve overdrawn your checking account, you may want to wait 6 months before applying.
Option #2: Local Stores
Getting a credit account from a place like JC Penney, Sears or Target, means you’ll be paying a higher interest rate than a standard Master Card or Visa. And of course the card can only be used at that particular store. Store credit can be the start of re-establishing credit and getting a better card in the future. More than likely, if you apply for such a credit account, not only will you be accepted, but you’ll probably get a decent credit limit. As long as you pay the balance in full, it’ll be a good deal for you.
Option #3: Co-Signer
A lot of people with bad credit overlook one fact: if they get someone with good credit to co-sign with them, they’ll most likely be accepted. The decision to grant credit is based on the co-signer. That person is legally responsible for the account even if a card is issued and the billing is sent to someone else. Asking someone to co-sign can be a difficult step. The co-signer could decline and that would be embarrassing. It can be a solid solution provided you’re willing to make payments on-time every month. If you default you’ve damaged the co-signers credit.
Option #4: Secured Credit Card
There are quite a few companies that offer something called a secured credit card. Secured cards are credit accounts that are backed by the borrower’s cash deposit. That deposit secures the account so the lender knows that the money lent will be paid back. There is little to no risk for the lender with a secured account. The deposit can’t be used to make up a missed payment. It will probably be kept by the lending institution for the life of the card. While secured credit cards aren’t for everyone, they’re a great way of helping someone with bad credit to re-establish themselves.
A word of warning: when you apply for a loan, mortgage, or credit card, the inquiry is reported to the credit bureaus. Too many inquiries will decrease your credit score. It’s not a good idea to apply for a number of different credit accounts, hoping one of them will be approved. Pick out 2 or 3 you’re reasonably sure will be approved and stick with them. You can get a credit card with bad credit.
There are options to get a credit card when you have bad credit.
Dee Power is the author of several nonfiction books and the novel “Over Time.” Get your free credit report and scores Dee writes on the topics of loan consolidation and how to get out of debt