For those with limited or no credit history, secured credit cards tend to be some of the easiest to get. A secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit, which is typically equal to your credit line.
This deposit acts as collateral and minimizes risk for the card issuer, making it easier for people with poor or no credit history to qualify.
Examples of these types of cards include the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. These cards often have minimal requirements in terms of income and credit history, but do require a deposit, usually a minimum of around $200. You can see why they might be a good first step into the world of credit cards!
Store credit cards are another category that often have more lenient approval requirements. These are cards linked to specific retailers, like Target or Macy’s. They can be easier to get approved for, but it’s important to be aware that they often come with higher interest rates and are typically only usable at the respective store or retail chain. So, while you might have an easier time getting approved, the card’s usefulness could be quite limited.
For those with fair credit (typically a FICO score of at least 580), there are also some unsecured credit cards that might be easier to get approved for. An unsecured card doesn’t require a security deposit, which can make it more attractive than a secured card. However, it generally needs a somewhat better credit history. The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is one example of an unsecured card designed for people with fair credit.
Remember, when you apply for a credit card, the issuer will generally perform a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score. It’s important to be reasonably confident that you’ll be approved before applying, to avoid unnecessary hits to your credit score.
Here’s a list of 10 credit cards that are generally considered easier to get, especially for individuals with limited, fair, or poor credit history.
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card: This card requires a security deposit but offers cash back rewards on purchases. Discover also reviews your account regularly to see if you can transition to an unsecured card.
- Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: This secured card from Capital One requires a security deposit, and it offers an initial credit limit of $200.
- Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: Designed for those with fair credit, this card offers a lower barrier to entry and no annual fee, but doesn’t come with a rewards program.
- OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card: This secured card doesn’t require a credit check for approval, making it an excellent option for those with poor or no credit history.
- Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card: This card is designed for those with fair credit and offers a cash back rewards program.
- Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card: This card doesn’t require a credit history to apply, making it a good choice for those new to credit.
- Milestone® Gold Mastercard®: Aimed at those with poor credit, this card offers quick pre-qualification with no impact on your credit score.
- Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®: This card offers pre-qualification and custom design options, and is aimed at those with less than perfect credit.
- Amazon Store Card: This store card is relatively easy to get approved for and offers special financing on Amazon purchases.
- Target REDcard™: This store card offers 5% off purchases at Target and Target.com, plus free shipping and extended returns. It has lenient credit requirements compared to many other cards.
- What’s the easiest credit card to get? Secured credit cards, like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card or the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, are considered some of the easiest to qualify for, particularly for those with limited or poor credit.
- What are secured credit cards? Secured credit cards are types of cards that require a security deposit when you open the account. This deposit is usually refundable and serves as your credit limit. They’re often used by individuals looking to build or rebuild their credit.
- Are there credit cards available for those with no credit history? Yes, there are credit cards available for those with limited or no credit history. These often come in the form of secured credit cards, student credit cards, or certain types of retail or store cards.
- What is the difference between secured and unsecured credit cards? The primary difference is that a secured credit card requires a security deposit, while an unsecured card does not. The deposit for a secured card reduces the risk for the issuer, making these cards easier to get for those with poor or limited credit.
- Can I get a credit card even if I have poor credit? Yes, there are options available even for those with poor credit. These usually include secured credit cards, and some unsecured cards designed for people with lower credit scores.
- What are store credit cards? Store credit cards are cards issued by a retail store or chain. They’re often easier to qualify for than regular credit cards, but are usually only usable at the issuing store and often have higher interest rates.
- Does applying for a credit card impact my credit score? Yes, when you apply for a credit card, the issuer usually performs a ‘hard’ credit inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points. It’s important to apply sparingly and only when you’re reasonably confident of approval.
- What factors do credit card companies consider when I apply? Credit card issuers generally consider your credit score, income, employment status, and debt-to-income ratio when reviewing your application. They’ll typically verify this information via your credit report and the details you provide on your application.
- How can I increase my chances of getting approved for a credit card? Building a positive credit history is the key. Make sure to pay all your bills on time, keep your debt levels low, maintain a steady income, and avoid applying for new credit too frequently.