The 6 best credit cards for damaged credit 2021


When you get a credit card or a loan, you agree to pay your bills every month. If you make your payments, you will increase your credit and your credit score will increase. If you miss payments or make late payments, it can damage your credit and lower your score.

Sometimes people miss a bill here or there or face a financial or personal emergency that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to pay their credit card bills. If you accumulate a balance and miss a lot of payments, you could end up with damaged credit, making it difficult to qualify for most credit cards.

Because you need credit to be able to build your credit score, it leaves you with a bit of a catch-22. To help people rebuild their credit, some card issuers offer cards specifically for people with damaged credit.

What characteristics should a credit card have for damaged credit?

If you are applying for a credit card for damaged credit, these are the features you should look for.

Easy qualification

The biggest hurdle for people with damaged credit is the process of qualifying for a card. If your credit is damaged, you’ll want to apply for a card that offers easy qualifying. This can mean a card that has few requirements for the people it will approve.

It can also mean a secure credit card that requires cardholders to provide a cash deposit when they open the card. By requiring a cash deposit, card issuers are taking virtually no risk, which means almost anyone can qualify for a secured credit card.

Credit monitoring

Your goal when getting a credit card for damaged credit should be to improve your credit score to the point that you can qualify for a standard credit card. Many damaged credit credit cards offer credit tracking tools that let you see the impact of your actions on your credit score, helping you make sure you’re staying on track.

Path to an unsecured card

If you go for a secure card, you don’t want to keep that card secure forever. Most secure cards do not offer all of the rewards and benefits of unsecured cards. In addition, you may want to get your security deposit back.

Some secure card issuers will automatically refund your deposit once you’ve built up credit, so look for cards that offer a clear path or automatic upgrade to an unsecured card.

6 best credit cards for damaged credit

1. OpenSky secure Visa card

Secure credit card with no credit check required.

The Open Sky® Secured Visa® credit card is open to anyone who can make the security deposit. The card issuer doesn’t even check the applicant’s credit when making a loan decision. All you need to do is provide a deposit of at least $ 200 and show that you are able to make monthly payments.

  • Secure or insecure? : Secure (minimum deposit of $ 200)
  • Interest rate: 17.39%
  • Costs: $ 35 annual fee
  • Advantages: No credit check. Bank account not required.

For our full review of the OpenSky Secured Visa card, click here.

2. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

The security deposit requirement varies depending on your credit.

Capital One’s Platinum Secured Credit Card is a solid choice for people with only mild credit damage. The card issuer requires a security deposit of $ 49, $ 99, or $ 200 depending on your credit score, so if you want to minimize your deposit and have decent credit, this card can allow you to do that. The card is also ideal for people who want a high credit limit. You will automatically be considered for an increase in your credit limit after six months of one-time payments.

  • Secure or insecure? : Secured
  • Interest rate: 26.99% variable
  • Costs: No annual or start-up fees
  • Advantages: The security deposit varies depending on your credit score. Automatic increase in credit limit. Choose your own payment due date.

3. Green Dot primor Secured Visa Gold Card

High fees and low rates for those who might have a balance.

In a perfect world, people never have to pay interest on their credit card because they pay off their balance in full at the end of each statement period. Sometimes life gets in your way and you need to have a month-to-month balance. Most damaged credit cards charge huge interest rates, making it difficult to maintain a balance even for a month or two. The Green Dot primor Secured Visa Gold Card has an interest rate of 9.99%, which makes it a bit cheaper to carry a balance if you need to.

  • Secure or insecure? : Secure (minimum deposit of $ 200)
  • Interest rate: 9.99%
  • Costs: $ 49 annual fee
  • Advantages: No minimum credit score requirement. Reports to the three offices.

4. Indigo card

An unsecured card that accepts people with damaged credit.

If your credit is damaged, secured cards are the easiest cards to use, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only option. Some cards, like the Indigo card, are not secure, but open to those with weak or damaged credit.

The Indigo Card is an unsecured credit card designed for people with damaged credit. To compensate for the increased risk due to the lack of a security deposit, the card charges a high fee. Depending on your creditworthiness, you may pay no annual fees, either $ 59 each year or $ 75 the first year and $ 99 the following years.

  • Secure or insecure? : Insecure
  • Interest rate: 24.9%
  • Costs: Annual fees of $ 0, $ 59 or $ 75 for the first year, then $ 99 depending on creditworthiness
  • Advantages: No security deposit required. Pre-qualify without impacting your credit.

Read more about it in our Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® review.

5. Total Visa card

Unsecured card for people with damaged credit, with low credit limits and high fees.

The main disadvantage of unsecured card application designed for damaged credit is that it tends to charge high fees to compensate for the increased risk. The Total Visa Card charges a lot of fees, including a registration fee of $ 89, an annual fee of $ 75 the first year, and an annual fee of $ 123 each year thereafter. You should look to other cards first, but if you can’t qualify for other unsecured cards and just refuse to provide a security deposit, Visa Total is an option.

  • Secure or insecure? : Insecure
  • Interest rate: 34.99%
  • Costs: Registration fee of $ 89. $ 75 annual fee the first year, then $ 123.
  • Advantages: Get an application decision in 60 seconds. Personalize the design of your credit card.

6. Secure Harley-Davidson Visa Card

A sturdy secure card that you can use for more than just motorcycles.

Despite its brand image, the Harley-Davidson Visa Secure Card can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. The card is a good choice for building credit because it does not charge an annual fee and carries a minimum security deposit of $ 300. The card also offers rewards that you can redeem for Harley-Davidson products or gift cards.

  • Secure or insecure? : Secure (minimum deposit of $ 300)
  • Interest rate: 22.99%
  • Costs: No annual or start-up fees
  • Advantages: Earn rewards that you can redeem at Harley-Davidson locations. Free credit score every month.

How we came up with this list

There are many different credit cards out there for people with poor or damaged credit, so we’ve looked at many cards to make this list.

The main factors we looked at were the cost of the card and the ease with which it is approved.

Like most credit products for people with damaged credit, most secure, low-quality credit cards charge high fees, such as annual fees and account opening fees. We looked for options that charge no fees or charge reasonably low fees compared to the competition.

For credit cards designed to help repair damaged credit, easy qualification is also important. If you can’t get the card, you can’t use it to create credit.

We’ve tried to find a mix of secure credit cards, which are generally easier to get but require you to have cash on hand, and unsecured cards. The easier the card to qualify, the better.

Final thoughts

Having good credit is important, but just one or two mistakes can cause significant damage to your credit score. If your credit is weak or damaged, you may still be eligible for one of these credit cards. If you do, using it right and paying your bill each month can help you rebuild your credit score.


About Madeline Dennis

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