You may still be able to get a credit card if you have bad credit.

Credit card providers will always check your credit record when you apply, but the cards in our table above may still be available even if:

  • You have never borrowed money before

  • You have previously missed payments on your borrowing

  • You are unemployed

  • You have had county court judgments (CCJs) against you

  • You have been bankrupt

If you are yet to be discharged from your bankruptcy ruling, you will be unable to get a credit card.

Check you will be accepted

Avoid applying for cards that may reject you because too many searches on your credit report can make it even harder to get accepted in future.

You can see if there are any cards you can get before you apply by using an eligibility checker. Here is how to check which cards are likely to accept you.

Credit cards usually specify a minimum age (usually 18) and a minimum income, so check this too.

How to find the right card

Our table lets you filter the results to only show the cards that may accept you even if you have missed credit repayments, CCJs or are unemployed.

You can then work out which of these cards offers the best deal. Here is how to choose a credit card if you have bad credit and how they work.

Are cards for bad credit the same as other credit cards?

Yes, but they usually have higher interest rates and smaller credit limits than you could get with a better credit rating.

It is also less likely that they will come with special offers like cashback, balance transfers or 0% interest periods on purchases.

Why should you get one of these cards?

Because they are more likely to accept you than other credit cards.

You can also rebuild your credit record by paying off your balance in full every month and staying in your credit limit.

After six months or more, your credit record could improve enough for you to get accepted for a card with better benefits, a higher credit limit or a lower interest rate.

Bad credit FAQs

Q

What if I have no credit record?

A

You can use a credit card to build your credit history even if you have never borrowed before. Here is how to get your first credit card.

Q

What counts as bad credit?

A

If your credit record puts off financial companies from lending to you, this is called bad credit.

Q

Could using a credit card make my credit record worse?

A

Yes, your credit record could get worse if you go over your credit limit, miss repayments, build up too much debt or apply for cards that turn you down.

Q

What APR will I get?

A

The provider sets your interest rate (APR) based on you're your application form and credit report. Here is how interest works.

Q

What credit limit will I get?

A

The provider will decide by looking at your finances, but cards for bad credit usually offer lower limits. Here is how credit limits work and are decided.

Q

How do I get my first credit card?

A

Here is how to find a card more likely to accept you even if you have never used one before and what you need to know about using credit cards.