Let’s face it: in order to buy or sell so many things in today’s society you simply must have a credit card available in order to complete many transactions. Sure, you could pay cash for many things, but how convenient [or safe] is it to carry around a wad of bills? If you lose the money, it is gone forever. Not so with a credit card as that little plastic device can be easily replaced. What do you do if you have bad credit? Are you locked out from getting a credit card? Happily, the answer is a resounding no. You have some options that can help put a new credit card in your wallet, bad credit or not.
Bad Credit: What It Is
Before we take a look at applying for a bad credit credit card, let’s examine some things that could cause you to have a bad credit rating:
-- Late payments on car loans, rent, mortgage, bills, etc.
-- Medical bills you cannot afford to pay.
-- Legal judgment against you including: child support, lawsuit, etc.
-- Loss of job, big reduction of income.
Any one of these things can harm your credit rating, making it more difficult, but not impossible, for you to get a credit card.
Bad Credit Credit Cards: What The Offers Are
If you apply for a bad credit credit card, please know that the consumer requirements are different than for those cards for people with good credit. Still, a bad credit credit card can be a good idea to help you build your credit rating back up; it won’t improve overnight, but it can improve with your disciplined repayment plan. Here are some things you must know about a bad credit credit card:
Your APR will be higher. Some offer low APRs for the introductory rate, while other cards will offer a variable rate. Overall, the APR will be higher.
Default rate. If you are late with payments, you may find yourself paying a much higher default rate.
Annual fee. Expect to pay an annual fee as high as $100 per card, less if it is for a secured card.
Other fees. Depending on the card you select, you can be charged an account set up fee, program fee, annual fee, and a participation fee.
When shopping for a bad credit credit card, only commit to getting one that fits your budget. Between the fees and the higher APR, you could find yourself with a card that doesn’t work with you. Still, by using a bad credit credit card, you can reestablish your credit if you use the card and pay it down quickly and on time.