If you have bad credit, it can feel next to impossible to dig your way out. It’s hard to get approved for loans, you have a hard time saving and getting ahead, and everything can feel like an uphill battle. When you’ve got bad credit, how can you right the ship and get yourself back on track?
One of the best ways to rebuild bad credit is to get a credit card with low fees up front and that report on your credit to all three bureaus. Ideally, you want a card that offers pre-qualification checks, too. Today we’re going over how you can rebuild your credit, and what some of the best cards for doing so are.
Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Rebuilding Credit with a Credit Card
When it comes to rebuilding your credit, your best bet is going to be operating on a very small scale. Set yourself a small budget, something you know you can easily pay off every month and put that on your card. Maybe just get gas, or just buy groceries with the card, and nothing else. Never float a balance past a month and make regular payments.
While you’re doing this, keep an eye on your credit. Make sure the positive changes are being reported regularly and that your credit is moving in the right direction. This ensures that you’re doing the right thing and that your credit is being repaired.
Applying for Cards
Don’t look desperate by sending out a huge burst of credit card applications. This is a surefire way to put a big dent in your credit. Each time you apply for a credit card, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit, which can negatively impact it for as much as twelve months. Make sure you only apply for a few cards and consider going after pre-qualification cards.
Pre-qualified cards do a soft inquiry of your credit, which allows you to avoid the issue of having your credit tanked by repeated inquiries. Once you get your card, you can begin rebuilding your credit with it, so the soft inquiry is well-worth the effort.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a great pick for anyone looking to rebuild their credit. The card has no annual fee, and you can set down a small amount of money up-front for a credit line of $200. That’s enough for you to buy groceries on or buy gas, and then pay off before the end of the month.
When you make enough payments on time, you’ll even get an increased credit line that allows you to put more expenses on the card. Not to mention, you get to pick your own due date for the money. That means you can set up your bills to hit when you get your paycheck, so you’re never late on your card payment!
Milestone Gold Mastercard
You can set this card up to pay off bi-monthly, allowing you to keep a tighter leash on your spending and help you get into good spending habits. The card doesn’t require a security deposit and it offers $0 cash advance fees the first year. In short, if you’ve got a prior bankruptcy on your credit history, this is a card worth looking in to. Just watch out for some of the minor fees, like for adding another authorized user or late payment fees.