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Unsecured Yet Easy Credit Cards to Qualify For

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Even if you have bad credit, you can still often find an easy credit card to qualify for. Depending on whether you have a poor credit history, or just no credit, you might even get approved for a solid unsecured card. In fact, those who have limited credit have quite a few attractive options.

Students: Your options are a bit different.

Credit cards for fair or average credit

If you have a short credit history (versus having a bad credit history) or average credit, you have a few options on the table. Remember, though, that this is for people looking to build, not rebuild, credit. Some thin-file-friendly credit cards include:

Barclays Rewards MasterCard - Average Credit Credit Card
Apply Now

on Barclays's
secure website

The Barclaycard Rewards for Average Credit offers no annual fee and a decent rewards program: 2% cash back on gas, groceries and utilities, and 1% cash back elsewhere. Again, though, this card is for people with average or limited credit, not bad credit. You should check your credit score before applying, because every time you apply, your credit score takes a brief hit, and you don’t want to waste your time applying for something you can’t qualify for.

Barclays NFL Extra Points Credit Card
Apply Now

on Barclays's
secure website

The NFL credit card isn’t just for Thursday-through-Monday football diehards; it’s also a good option for fair-credit folks. It gives 1 NFL point on every $1 you spend, and 2 per $1 on NFL or team gear. Those points are redeemable as a statement credit, so they’re basically as good as cash back. It has a higher signup bonus than the Barclaycard Rewards, at 0% on balance transfers for 15 months (must be completed within first 45 days of account opening), so despite its inferior rewards program, it’s a better card if you only hold it for 1-2 years. Like the Barclaycard, it has no annual fee.

Unsecured credit cards

In addition to the cards mentioned above, there are a number of unsecured credit cards for bad credit out there – you’ve probably heard of the First Premier, Matrix Hybrid, Cerulean, Applied Bank and others. The unfortunate part about these cards is that they often have very expensive annual fees, which are deducted from your initial credit line. For example, the Matrix Discover card has a $75 annual fee, so your initial credit limit is just $225, not $300. Moreover, your annual fee rises to $219 after the first year ($75 billed annually, plus $144 billed at $12 monthly). That’s insanely expensive for a $300 line of credit.

Again, contrast this with the Capital One Secured, where you can put down as little as $49-$200 (depending on your credit score), get a $200+ line of credit, and increase that limit without having to pay a fee. The Matrix card charges $30 for every $100 credit limit increase.

The Cerulean card is just as bad – it’s the exact same card, more or less, with the same shoddy terms. And the First Premier card is worse: It charges a $95 application fee, on top of a $75 first-year annual fee and $120 ongoing annual fee ($45 billed annually, $6.25 billed monthly). You also have to pay a fee of $25 for every $100 credit limit increase, after the first year, which is assessed against the credit limit. So if you increase your limit by $100, you’re really only getting $75 in available credit.

This is all to say – unsecured cards are a bad idea. Really, they are. If you’re still convinced that you want one, you can find an unsecured card via Google, but they tend to be far more expensive than secured cards and in most cases not as good of a product.

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  • Carmelo Basilisco

    I recntly applied a credit card from chase slate visa platinum and was not approved at this time I recently applied for a new car loan and was approved through ally finnanial I was in bankruptcy in 2001 and I do have a tax lien that Im trying to take care of now for $8,500.00 that is why Iam trying to get a loan of $8,500.00 I recive a pension and social security Disability which totals a sum of $3647.16 a mounth I been a victim Identity Theft that reflects on my credit report is there any bank or creditcard company help me contact me at cbasilisco@wowway.com thank you

    • WARRZONE

      Your bankruptcy doesn’t matter anymore. They disappear after 10 years.

  • seth venus

    Credit cards are easy to obtain with bad credit. But finding work and finding a loan for a home are much more difficult. If you’re looking to repair your credit I strongly suggest hiring out Lexington Law. They have been in the business a really long time and have a great reputation.

    • Pittsburgh Kid

      3rd parties are the worst way to go all it shows is that the people at fault are not capable of taking care of their own problems they also put you further in debt doing things people can do on their own in the days of rapid rescores

    • JerkfaceMcGee

      Then you go to this guy’s comment history and it’s all Lexington Law. SHILL

      • Mr. Nice guy

        Hilarious!

    • Mr. Nice guy

      Uh no ma’am.

    • Makes_Sense

      What’d they pay you Seth? $.10 for that post?

  • disqus_wgs9PgGIjr

    how do i get a credit card with bad credit and no bank account help please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      If you have bad credit, take a look at secured credit cards. They’re like credit cards with training wheels.

      You send in a deposit, the card company gives you a credit limit. You send in further deposits, the card company gives you a higher credit limit. See where I’m going with this?

      The higher the credit limit, the longer you pay your bills in full and on time, the quicker your score will bounce back. Do that, and you can graduate to a card with rewards.

      One of our favorite secured cards is from Capital One. There is a small annual fee, but that’s difficult to avoid with secured cards — and it’s not always a bad thing. For more detail about all that, just follow that link, to the card, and read the brief review.

      Best of luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/allison.m.hunter.1 Allison Mary Hunter

    I’ve been trying to get ANY credit card since I was 18, I am now 23 and was JUST approved for a Fingerhut card TONIGHT. My credit score is LITERALLY zero. I have applied for EVERY credit card I can think of, including store cards. So the theory that establishing credit as being easy, is 100% BS.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joetta.crawford JoEtta Crawford

      Every time u apply for a card your credit score goes down so only apply for cards you are sure u want and are ok with the fees etc.. I think my first visa was a clout gold visa card. Really the secured card is the way to go rather than pay a ton in fees. I wish I had done that way back when rather then taking the first card I got approved for. You can get a secured capital one card even with student loans as thats the only credit card I use now as I stay on a cash only basis most of the time. Much fairer card than many out there.

    • Makes_Sense

      You need to investigate more then. Obviously, you are doing something wrong. Cap One secured card is what you need.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allison.m.hunter.1 Allison Mary Hunter

    Also, I have never filed bankruptcy or had any identity theft problems. I am the ONLY person that anyone I know has EVER met who has a credit score of 0 and is 18 or older and who has never had any type of credit card.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerry-Summers/1503767562 Jerry Summers

      Just you purchase something with fingerhut and as soon as your credit file i finally established, it should be much easier

    • Rena

      You don’t have a score of 0, you have No Credit. there is a difference. Did you try a card with your bank? When I was 18 and going off to college I got a package with my bank: Checking, savings, and Credit.

      Of course I effed that all up.

    • Tom Blackburn-DeSade Owens

      Credit scores start at 350. Contact the major credit reporting agencies and explain your score is showing 0!!

      • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

        Generally, a credit score of zero means you haven’t built up a credit history – this means you’ll find it easier to get credit than if you had a poor history, but you’ll probably still struggle. I recommend starting off with a secured credit card to build up your score.

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