For those who have a credit score of 550 or less, it might seem impossible to get a credit card. You might have applied to several, only to be turned away due to a low credit score. With a FICO (NYSE: FICO) score under 599, it means you qualify as having poor or bad quality.
While many traditional credit cards might be unattainable for you right now, there are other options like an unsecured card for bad credit. Here is how you can get a credit card with a 550 credit score.
One type of card you might want to consider is a secured card. This credit card works just like a traditional credit card, but it requires you to put down a deposit, which will likely be equal to your credit limit. Therefore, if you put down a deposit of $500, your available credit will be $500 as well. Once you have proven that you can pay consistently on time, your deposit might be returned to you.
Unfortunately, one drawback to unsecured cards is they will often have lower credit limits and higher interest rates or APR. However, if you use this card responsibility, you will see your credit score start to increase, so you can hopefully move to an unsecured credit card.
Another option available to you might be an unsecured card. You aren’t required to put down a deposit to use this type of credit card. Unfortunately, if you have a poor credit score like 550, then you likely will have to pay higher fees and will have a higher interest rate or APR. Just like the secured cards, unsecured cards can be an excellent way for you to build up credit and upgrade to a card with lower fees and interest rates.
Prepaid Visa Or Mastercard
A prepaid Visa (NYSE: V) or Mastercard (NYSE: MA) can provide you with the convenience of using a credit card without the responsibility of having a credit card. These types of cards don’t require a credit check, and your payment behavior is not reported to credit bureaus.
Many times, a prepaid Visa or Mastercard will work just like a credit card and allows you to make online and in-person purchases. However, because your credit and payment behavior is not reported to any credit bureaus, it won’t build up your credit, but it also won’t hurt it. The cards come pre-loaded, and you can usually reload them as necessary, sometimes for a small fee or for free.
If you need to build up your credit, then using a secured or unsecured credit card is the better option. If you want something that works like a credit card, however, then a prepaid card could be right for you.
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