It can be difficult for a consumer with a poor credit history to obtain credit, but it's not impossible. When applying for a credit card with bad credit, the applicant should be prepared to be charged an interest rate that is higher than someone with a good credit score. He or she might also need to borrow from a bank that is not a household name because, sometimes, it is the lesser-known financial institutions that are willing to take on the risk of a low credit score. Another option is to obtain a secured credit card so that, in the future, credit might be extended at a lower interest rate.
There are banks that specialize in granting credit cards to people with credit problems. Their customer base is comprised of people who may have filed for bankruptcy or experienced other financial failures. Applying for credit is in essence asking for another chance, and there are financial institutions willing to do just that for a price. The bank might be lesser known but might still carry the common Visa or Mastercard logo as a result of a partnership with one of these credit companies.
It is vital for an applicant to read the fine print on a credit card application to understand the interest rate that will be assigned to any balance and also for any fees. Sometimes, banks ask for an upfront fee when servicing customers with poor credit. This payment could be due right away or added to the balance of the credit card if approved. Also, it's important to know if it's a one-time fee or an annual expense.
When applying for a credit card with bad credit, a bank that provides a low annual percentage rate should be selected. Every credit card charges an interest rate, and these costs are higher for consumers who have not yet earned the right to credit. For consumers with bad credit, banks might charge rates that are much higher than they would charge consumers with good credit. If a consumer pays the outstanding balance on a monthly basis, high interest payments can be avoided.
Providing a security deposit may help when applying for a credit card with bad credit. This is a type of secured credit card, and in exchange for a deposit, the customer receives a credit limit equal to the amount of the secured money. Customers must still make monthly payments, with the security deposit there in the event the customer defaults on the loan. If payments are made, the customer begins rebuilding his or her credit.