Best credit cards if you have a bad credit history
If your credit rating is bad or non existent, which credit cards can you get your hands on?
Where do you get started with credit cards if you have a poor credit record, or even no record at all? How do you go about building, or repairing, your credit record? There are a number of credit cards which help you to do just that. Let’s take a look at some, and how they work.
Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa
The Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa credit card is designed for borrowers who want to improve their credit rating, whether that's because they have no credit history or they have a poor history that they want to rebuild.
If you get the card you’ll start with a credit limit between £150 and £1,000. Your limit will then be reviewed every four months and could go as high as £3,000.
The interest rate is 29.8% and will be even higher for some users.
What's more, successful applicants get a £10 Amazon gift certificate.
Aqua makes a big play of saying it will at least consider an application from just about everyone, even if you have a poor credit history. So even if you have a recent County Court Judgment against you, it’s still worth applying for this Aqua Classic card.
Credit limits vary from a starting point of £100 up to a maximum of £1,600, with the possibility of a further increase after four months, and the interest rate is 29.7%.
Another card from Aqua is the Advance. With this card, so long as you show that you can responsibly manage your credit, the interest rate you'll be charged will drop significantly.
You start with a rate of 34.9% APR but this will be cut by 5% each year until it hits just 19.9%. All you have to do is make your payments on time and keep within your credit limit.
Capital One Classic Platinum
The Capital One Classic Platinum is a low-limit credit card, giving you a taste of how credit works. The credit limit will be from £200 to £1,500, to restrict the chances of you getting carried away on a credit binge. That limit is reviewed regularly, and you have the option of increasing it twice a year.
One thing we really like with the Classic is that you can register to receive email alerts on the state of your balance, so that you are as informed as possible about your financial position, and don’t get carried away.
In order to qualify for the card you need to be over 18 years of age and on the electoral roll. You also must not have been declared bankrupt in the last 12 months, and must not already have a Capital One card.
Barclaycard Initial Visa
The Initial Visa from Barclaycard is designed for people looking at taking out their first credit card.
You get a single rate for both purchases and cash advances, though again it’s pretty steep at 34.9% APR.
You’ll need to earn more than £10,000, be over 18, on the electoral roll and have not been declared bankrupt to get the Initial card. You also must not have had a County Court Judgment or IVA registered against you in the last 12 months.
Finally, we have the Luma Visa credit card. With this card, you’ll get a credit limit of up to £1,500. You can also currently get an interest-free period up to June, although again be wary of overspending and not being able to pay off your balance in full. This card has a very high interest rate of 35.9%.
These are just some of the credit building cards available. If you prefer a different card, why not tell us about it, and why, in the Comment section below?
Monitoring your credit rating
If you have no idea what your credit rating looks like, or you want to monitor whether it is improving after making use of a card like those we’ve looked at, then why not try a free 30-day trial of your Experian credit report? Remember though, you will be charged once the trial period comes to an end, so if you don’t want to keep up the membership, be sure to cancel.
Other steps to improve a bad credit rating
There are plenty of other things you can do to improve your credit rating beyond using a special credit card. Some are extremely simple, like ensuring you’re on the electoral roll and closing unwanted accounts. For a comprehensive guide to getting your credit rating spotless, check out Ten simple steps to improve your credit record.
But be careful, there are plenty of mistake beliefs when it comes to credit records. Be sure to avoid falling for these astonishing myths about your credit rating.
This article is regularly updated