How to Apply for a Credit Card With Bad Credit

Whether for personal cash flow or for financing a business, having a credit card is more than just a potential financial liability. For millions of consumers, professionals, and business owners alike, it’s a quick ticket to cash flow and quick expansion, allowing them to build their businesses, expand on their personal spending, and improve their own lives through manageable access to cash.

However, it can also become a liability – an understandable concern in today’s financially troubled world. Over the last four years, debt – and lending as a whole – have gone from normal things, one of the types of funding that every homeowner or consumer uses, to a worrying source of instability, and a type of anti-asset that puts you in the eyes of a bank’s foreclosure team at all the worst times.

This has caused two things for borrowers, and for lenders alike. The first is that home loans, other forms of long-term financing, and large automotive loans, have gone from being widely available, easily access, and quickly taken out, to almost impossible to acquire. The second is that both small businesses and consumers have had their cash flow struck down due to onerous credit card rules.

Today, getting a credit card isn’t the easy task that it once was. While just several years ago, you could walk into almost any retail bank and request your card of chose – complete with your limit too – today, it’s very different. Most banks are unwilling to extend credit to people that they don’t know, making it difficult for outsiders and non-borrowers to access any credit at all.

This has meant that for people with no long-term credit score – or even people with a bad credit score – landing that dream credit card is no longer a simple walk-in procedure, it’s almost a total impossibility. However, there are ways to do it. With the right strategy and understanding, you’ll be able to find your dream credit card, even with bad credit. Here are a few tactics to assist you.

First, it’s important to remember that bad credit isn’t itself a problem – it’s not a curse that you’re stuck with for the rest of your life. It’s a temporary situation, one that’s the result of your actions, primarily as a borrower, in the past. Like any other actions, these ones can be redeemed and even erased through the right combination of behavior, spending, and consumer strategy.

What this means is that it’s often most productive, and most effective, to repair your credit instead of just trying to find a lender that can work with you. This will allow you to use ‘normal’ cards for a bulk of your purchases, potentially avoiding high interest rates and predatory lenders. Below are a few select strategies for improving your credit and accessing low-interest, low-fee credit cards.

The first is to make several small purchases using financing, or using cash loans. Although these purchases are small – typically under $200 each – they’ll allow you to build a record of paying in credit and financing. As the amounts are small, even people with bad credit will be able to borrow for them. This allows for simple, stress-free credit renovation – a useful and easy procedure.

The second is to apply for a low-limit credit card, often one aimed at borrowers with poor credit, and use it responsibly, racking up worthwhile bills and repaying them all in time. Eventually, the bank will notice your activity, and possibly call you with regards to a limit increase, a drop in your personal interest rates, or an upgrade to a more worthwhile and suitable type of credit card.

Finally, there’s the nuclear option – going direct to your bank, and seeing what sources of credit they’re willing to extend you, and how they can work for building your credit score. Speaking to one of the expert advisors at your bank is a great way to do this – they can show you the financial services that you’d never thought of. Using these, you can quickly build your own credit score.

Finally, if you’re uninterested in rebuilding your credit now, or are unable to, you may be able to get a credit card even with your bad credit score. A variety of credit cards are available for those with a bad credit score, and despite their obvious limitations, they can be quite useful. These include lower limit VISA and American Express cards, both of which are useful for borrowers to have access to.

Generally speaking, your ideal bet for applying for these cards is your bank, which will have access to your long-term financial records. This allows them to ‘sell’ your application better, and issue your card easily without the hiccups that a direct relationship with VISA or another card issuer can see. A low-limit credit card is a worthwhile tool, despite its low limit, making it worth looking into.

As frustrating as it can seem searching for credit in a world where many financial firms just aren’t interested in you, there are always options. From low-limit credit cards to credit repair, finding an ideal credit card for your rating isn’t impossible. Just remember, it may take a little more searching and investigation that you had planned, and a lot more long-term planning and credit building.

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