Credit Cards for Bad Credit: Best of 2019

Having bad credit can feel incredibly limiting, but there
are many credit cards for bad credit that can help you rebuild your credit
moving forward. Many of these cards offer low variable APRs, no or low annual
fees and other credit-building tools. These cards, combined with smart spending
habits, can open up new possibilities and grant you the financial freedom to
meet your goals.

Note: There’s no one
“best” card for everyone. All cards have their perks and quirks. So, you simply
need to choose the card that’s “best” for your needs and spending habits. To
help you figure out which one is the right card for you, here are a few of our
favorite credit cards for bad credit.

/*Chat Animation*/ #animation-wrapper max-width: 450px; margin: 0 auto; margin-bottom: 50px; width: auto; #animation-wrapper .box background-color: rgb(44, 74, 94);color: #fff;text-align: center;font-family: “ProximaNova-Regular”, Arial, sans-serif;height: 153px;padding-top: 10px; .content .box p margin: 0px 0px; .box .btn-primary color: #fff;background-color: #ff7f00;margin: 10px 0px; .chat ul margin: 0px;padding: 0px;list-style: none; .message-left .message-time display: block;font-size: 12px;text-align: left;padding-left: 30px;padding-top: 4px;color: #ccc;font-family: Courier; .message-right .message-time display: block;font-size: 12px;text-align: right;padding-right: 20px;padding-top: 4px;color: #ccc;font-family: Courier; .message-left text-align: left;margin-bottom: 16px; .message-left .message-text max-width: 80%;display: inline-block;background: #e5e6ea;padding: 13px;font-size: 14px;color: #000;border-radius: 30px;font-weight: 100;line-height: 1.5em; .message-right text-align: right;margin-bottom: 16px; .message-right .message-text line-height: 1.5em;display: inline-block;background: #5ca6fa;padding: 13px;font-size: 14px;color: #fff;border-radius: 30px;line-height: 1.5em;font-weight: 100;text-align: left; .chat background: #fff; margin: 0; border-radius: 0; .chat-container height: 450px;padding: 5px 15px;overflow: hidden; .spinme-right display: inline-block;padding: 15px 20px;font-size: 14px;border-radius: 30px;line-height: 1.25em;font-weight: 100;opacity: 0.2; .spinme-left display: inline-block;padding: 15px 20px;font-size: 14px;color: #ccc;border-radius: 30px;line-height: 1.25em;font-weight: 100;opacity: 0.2; .spinner margin: 0;width: 30px;text-align: center; .spinner > div width: 10px;height: 10px;border-radius: 100%;display: inline-block;-webkit-animation: sk-bouncedelay 1.4s infinite ease-in-out both;animation: sk-bouncedelay 1.4s infinite ease-in-out both;background: rgba(0,0,0,1); .spinner .bounce1 -webkit-animation-delay: -0.32s;animation-delay: -0.32s; .spinner .bounce2 -webkit-animation-delay: -0.16s;animation-delay: -0.16s;@-webkit-keyframes sk-bouncedelay 0%,80%,100%-webkit-transform: scale(0)40%-webkit-transform: scale(1.0)@keyframes sk-bouncedelay0%,80%,100%-webkit-transform: scale(0);transform: scale(0);40%-webkit-transform: scale(1.0);transform: scale(1.0); /*Text Ad*/ .ad-container padding: 15px 30px;background-color: #FFFFFF;max-width: 690px;box-shadow: 1px 1px 4px #888888;margin: 20px auto; .ad padding: 10px 6px;max-width: 630px; .ad-title font-size: 20px;color: #0077BB;line-height: 22px;margin-bottom: 6px;letter-spacing: -0.32px; .ad-link line-height: 18px;padding-left: 26px;position: relative; .ad-link::before content: ‘Ad’;color: #006621;font-size: 10px;width: 21px;line-height: 12px;padding: 2px 0;text-align: center;border: 1px solid #006621;border-radius: 4px;box-sizing: border-box;display: inline-block;position: absolute;left: 0; .ad-link a color: #006621;text-decoration: none;font-size: 14px;line-height: 14px; .ad-copy color: #000000;font-size: 14px;line-height: 18px;letter-spacing: -0.34px;margin-top: 6px;display: inline-block; .ad .breaker font-size: 0px; #ad-4 font-family: Arial, sans-serif;background-color: #FFFFFF; #ad-4 .ad-titlecolor: #2130AB; #animation-wrapper .cta-lexcolor: #FFFFFF; width: 80%; #animation-wrapper .lex-logodisplay: inline-block; @media (max-width: 500px) .ad padding: 20px 18px;max-width: 630px;

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit 2020

Here are our picks for the best credit cards for bad credit:

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card: A low APR balances out this card’s $49 annual fee.

OpenSky Secured Visa: There’s no credit check necessary to access the low rates of this card built to help you rebuild your credit.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

Card Details
Intro Apr:

Ongoing Apr:
9.99% Variable APR for Purchases

Balance Transfer:

Annual Fee:

Credit Needed:
Poor-No Credit

Snapshot of Card Features
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 — $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI * See Card Terms.

Card Details +

Benefits: The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard also offers a super-low 9.99% Variable APR for Purchases. The card is secured by a fully refundable deposit of $200 to $2,000.

Disadvantages: The main disadvantage to this card is its $49 annual fee. Unfortunately, the card is not yet available nationwide, either. If you live in New York, Iowa, Arkansas or Wisconsin, you’ll need to find another credit card for now.  

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Card Details
Intro Apr:

Ongoing Apr:
17.39% (variable)

Balance Transfer:

Annual Fee:

Credit Needed:
Fair-Poor-Bad-No Credit

Snapshot of Card Features
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card

Card Details +

Benefits: If you’re trying to rebuild your credit, the OpenSky Secured Visa is a great choice. You determine your credit line—submit a fully refundable security deposit between $200 and $3,000—and increase your credit line up to $5,000. There’s no credit check necessary, so you don’t have to worry about another dip to your credit score.

Disadvantages: There is a $35 annual fee, and the ongoing APR is a little high—it’s currently 17.39% (variable).

to Choose the Best Credit Card for Bad Credit

Choosing a credit
card for bad credit depends on your financial circumstances. One of
the most important reasons to get a card for poor credit is to rebuild your
credit, so you’ll want to choose a card that can help you do that.

Pay attention to the fees and APR associated with any card you’re
considering. While a security deposit for a secured card may seem like a steep
up-front expense, it might be worth it if you can avoid higher fees later and improve
your credit health overall.

Choose a card that rewards your spending habits and provides incentives for the types of purchases you tend to make. Before you apply, you should know your credit score so you can have a better idea of what cards are right for you. You can check your credit report for free with

Editorial disclosure: Reviews are as determined solely by staff. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewers and aren’t reviewed or approved by any advertiser. Information presented is accurate as of the date of the review, including information on card rates, rewards and fees. Check the issuer’s website for the most current information on each card listed.

Note: It’s important to remember that
interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial
products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit
cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have
changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates,
fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial
institutions directly.


The Best Apps on the Market to Learn About Your Credit – Lexington Law is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. John C Heath, Attorney at Law, PC, d/b/a Lexington Law Firm is an independent law firm that uses Progrexion as a provider of business and administrative services.

It’s difficult to stay on top of your credit score even during the best of times, and it only gets harder during times of financial crisis. While you may be able to regain ground on your credit card debt or mortgage loan after a missed payment, your credit score will take a hit. Even after you’ve gotten control of your finances again, the damage to your credit score will take quite a while to recover from. 

It’s important that you not only track your budget, but also closely monitor your credit score and take advantage of any opportunity to build credit. To assist you, we’ve researched different credit score management apps that can support your credit in a variety of ways. Some provide credit monitoring, opportunities for improving your credit score, credit protection and support for credit repair. 

Here’s our list of the most secure, easy-to-use and beneficial apps for managing your credit score.

Extra Credit is a brand new offering from just launched to the public, but we are excited about its features. Those features include “Reward It,” which awards you funds when you are approved by a qualified lender through Extra Credit. 

Additionally, when you sign up for Extra Credit, you get access to the 28 most commonly used FICO® scores as well as your credit reports from all three bureaus and recommendations for credit cards based on your credit profile. Finally, Extra Credit provides you $1,000,000 in ID theft insurance, dark web monitoring and access to a third party service that reports your monthly rent and utility payments to the bureaus.

Unlike many of the apps on this list, however, Extra Credit is not a free service.

Experian allows you to monitor your Experian credit report and your FICO credit score, manage disputes with Experian and be aware of any new credit activity. Experian’s mobile app also comes with the Experian Boost feature, which allows you to report payments to the credit bureaus that would not usually be reported—such as cell phone bills and utilities—and potentially improve your score. 

Experian’s app provides services that you can use to improve, monitor and repair your credit. Keep in mind that these services are specific to your credit history as managed by Experian, one of the three credit bureaus that track your credit history. Although Experian allows you to look at your FICO score—the credit score that most lenders use—it doesn’t allow you to manage the credit reports compiled by TransUnion or Equifax.

The FICO credit scoring method is the most popular method among lenders for calculating credit scores. MyFICO allows you to see and manage the score that your lender will most likely consider when you apply for a mortgage or an auto loan. 

MyFICO also allows you to view your updated credit reports from all three bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Additional features included are a credit score simulator, which allows you to see how possible actions could affect your score, credit monitoring, and credit education resources. 

MyFICO is a good choice for users looking for a credit monitoring service, but it does not provide as many resources as other apps to assist with credit score improvement or repair.

Mint predominantly focuses on budget management, but it also offers tools for monitoring your credit score and weighing it as a factor in your financial decisions. You can view your VantageScore credit score and TransUnion credit report in the app. Additionally, you can personalize alerts to stay up to date with any changes to your credit score or potential fraud or identity risks.

Mint offers more resources for setting financial goals, managing your budget, and keeping track of bills than it does for directly managing your credit score. It can be used as a credit monitoring tool, but bear in mind that you will only be able to see your TransUnion credit history.

The TransUnion app works in tandem with your TransUnion Credit Monitoring Account. It allows you to monitor your credit score and TransUnion credit report, both of which are updated daily. The TransUnion app also offers Credit Lock Plus, which allows you to “lock” and “unlock” your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. In addition, TransUnion provides identity theft insurance.

The app will only allow you to see your TransUnion credit report and manage the credit score based on your TransUnion credit history. It will not give you a complete picture of your credit history.

Lock & Alert is good for protecting your credit activity through Equifax. It allows you to easily “lock” and “unlock” your credit report—a much easier process than requesting a freeze be placed on your account, or lifting a freeze. 

The Lexington Law app works in tandem with your online account, allowing you to stay up to date with recent developments on your case while on the go. Lexington Law has one of the few credit management apps that allows you to view your credit history from all three credit bureaus, giving you the most complete snapshot of your credit. You can track any credit disputes currently in progress, see your most up-to-date FICO credit score and set up personalized alerts. Lexington Law also provides identity theft insurance and identity theft alerts. 

Although the Lexington Law app is free to download, you will need to pay to set up an account in order to use it.

Apps to Improve Your Credit Health

As you can see up above, different apps have different strengths. Your financial situation is unique, and the app that you choose will depend on your circumstances. However, each of the apps we have listed above will allow you to be more engaged in managing your credit score. Your credit is not beyond your control—there are resources available to you that can help you protect, build and repair your credit. 

If you’re trying to be more engaged in managing your credit or need help knowing where to start, contact our experienced credit consultants.

This article was reviewed by Daniel Woolston, an Assistant Managing Attorney at Lexington Law Firm. This article was written by Lexington Law.

Daniel Woolston is the Assistant Managing Attorney in the Arizona office. Mr. Woolston was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Sugar Land, Texas. He received his B.S. in Political Science at Brigham Young University and his Juris Doctorate at Arizona State University. After graduation, Mr. Woolston worked as a misdemeanor and felony prosecutor in Arizona. He has conducted numerous jury trials and hundreds of other court hearings. While at Lexington Law Firm, Mr. Woolston dedicates his time to training paralegals and attorneys in credit repair, problem solving, and ethical and legal compliance. Daniel is licensed to practice law in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Nevada. He is located in the Phoenix office.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.


The Importance of Establishing a Good Credit History

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.

Looking around at the number of people struggling with debt, it’s easy to see why someone might think the best route to staying out of trouble is to avoid credit altogether. On the surface, this may seem like a good plan; without taking on any debt, it is certainly impossible to be buried by it. Unfortunately, for the majority of people, the credit-free lifestyle simply isn’t an option.

From car loans to home mortgages, most consumers will need to use some sort of credit in their lives, and, thus, take on some type of debt. Furthermore, when it comes time to get that big loan or mortgage, not having a well-established credit history can make the process much more difficult — and, often, more expensive.

Consumers Without a Credit History are an Unknown Risk

Whether taking out a loan or opening a credit card, when a borrower receives a line of credit from a creditor, that creditor is faced with the inherent risk that the borrower will default on (fail to repay) their debt. To help mitigate as much of that risk as possible, creditors rely on a consumer’s credit history to determine the actual likelihood of the consumer repaying the debt.

Borrowers with well-established credit histories showing consistent, on-time payments to a variety of credit types are considered to be good credit risks. These consumers will be offered the best interest rates and lowest fees when they seek new credit.

When a potential borrower does not have an established credit history, however, the creditor is left without any information on which to base a lending decision. While some creditors are happy to give an unknown borrower the benefit of the doubt and assume they are more likely to pose a good risk than a bad one, other creditors are less optimistic.

Of course, even when creditors are willing to take on the unknown risk of an unestablished applicant, they rarely extend that optimism too far. Borrowers without proof they can pay back their debts in full — and on time — will pay higher rates than their established counterparts.

Most consumers looking to begin establishing credit will have the best luck starting with a credit card, and there are a good number of options for consumers who need credit cards for no credit. All of the major credit card issuers report to the three main credit bureaus, and many also offer cards with no annual fees.

Having No Credit is Bad (But Bad Credit is Worse)

From the time of the first credit card bill or loan payment, consumers start establishing their credit history. Each payment made to a creditor according to the credit agreement (that is, at least the minimum amount, by the due date), counts in the consumer’s favor when reported to one of the three major credit bureaus, and is the best path toward developing a good credit history.

At the same time, when a consumer makes a late payment, misses a payment, or defaults on a debt entirely, those actions are also reported to the major credit bureaus. Where those without an established credit history are considered to be an unknown risk, those who demonstrate a pattern of missed or late payments are considered to be high risk, and more likely to default. This, of course, is reflected in your credit score.

In the case of high-risk applicants, creditors know there is a greater chance of not being repaid; they attempt to mitigate some of the increased risk by charging those consumers much higher interest rates. For consumers with extremely risky credit profiles, the only option for new credit may be to turn to a creditor that specializes in subprime credit cards and loans. The easiest credit card to get with bad credit will be a secured card, which requires a cash deposit; that said, some unsecured options are still available.

Depending on the types of negative accounts impacting a consumer’s credit report and score, some may benefit from going through credit repair. An experienced credit repair specialist, such as those at Lexington Law, will have the tools necessary to find any disputable accounts on a credit report and may be able to have some or all qualifying items removed.

Don’t Hide From Credit, Build It

Anyone who has watched a loved one struggle with debt, or been through it themselves, may be tempted to swear off any type of credit. Unfortunately, credit has become a necessity for many people, especially those interested in one day owning their own home. The best way for a consumer to ensure they will qualify for an important loan in the future is to establish a good credit history early on.

Whether they have no credit or bad credit, every consumer’s path to a healthy credit profile is the same: use credit, in moderation, and make all payments as required by their credit agreement. The best credit histories are built over years, not days or months. With a little patience and a lot of diligence, even a blank or bad credit history can be made creditworthy.