Compare credit cards for bad credit

Find credit cards with the features you need that could accept you even if you have bad credit.

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By answering just a few simple questions, you can see the cards you're likely to be accepted for

Protect your credit score

We use a 'soft search' credit check to find cards you're likely to be accepted for without affecting your credit score.

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You'll only find results from genuine companies. Our data experts check each company before we add them to our comparisons.

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How to get a credit card for bad credit

1

Use our free eligibility checker

This uses a 'soft search' credit check to you find credit cards you're most likely to be accepted for without affecting your credit score.

2

Filter the results according to your needs

For example, you can tick to say if you're unemployed. You can also tick to say you've missed credit repayments, or that you’ve got County Court Judgments (CCJs) against you.

3

Choose the card you want

Decide which credit card for bad credit suits your circumstances and offers the features you need.

4

Fill out an application

Provide your name, contact and other financial details. After that it can take up to a week or more to hear back on whether you've been accepted.

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Bad credit credit card deals

11 results found, sorted by lowest representative apr. How we order our comparisons.
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Available via Aggregator Only
Chrome Credit Card (29.3%) - Excl
Minimum credit limit
£250
Maximum credit limit
£1,200
Representative APR (variable)
29.3% APR
Chrome Credit Card (29.3%) - Excl
Not available if you already hold, or have applied within the last 6 months, a credit card provided by Vanquis Bank.
Representative Example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.3% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.3% (variable).
Eligibility
CCJs Allowed
Credit Ratingpoor
History of Bankruptcyfalse
Minimum Age18 years
UK Resident
Digital Credit Card
Bip Credit
Minimum credit limit
Subject to status
Maximum credit limit
Subject to status
Representative APR (variable)
29.9% APR
Bip Credit
Digital credit card with instant balance updates, no hidden fees and spend caps set by you.
Representative Example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.95% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.9% (variable).
Eligibility
CCJs Allowednot in last 12 months
Credit Ratingpoor
History of Bankruptcynot in last 18 months
Minimum Age18 years
UK Resident
Virgin Money BT Credit Card (16 M) (29.9%) (Credit Builder)
Minimum credit limit
£500
Maximum credit limit
£3,500
Representative APR (variable)
29.9% APR
Virgin Money BT Credit Card (16 M) (29.9%) (Credit Builder)
Virgin Money Back offers cardholders the ability to earn cashback on their credit card spend at participating retailers when they are enrolled in the programme via the mobile app. Use Virgin Money’s Card Checker to see your chances of being accepted.
Representative Example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.9% (variable).
Eligibility
CCJs Allowed
Credit Ratingpoor
History of Bankruptcyfalse
Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Income£15,000
UK Resident
Vanquis Classic Credit Card
Minimum credit limit
£250
Maximum credit limit
£600
Representative APR (variable)
39.9% APR
Vanquis Classic Credit Card
You could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement & further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000. Check your eligibility with absolutely no risk to your credit file.
Representative Example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 39.94% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £600 the Representative APR will be 39.9% (variable).
Eligibility
CCJs Allowed
Credit Ratingpoor
History of Bankruptcy
Minimum Age18 years
UK Resident

We are classed as a credit broker for consumer credit, not a lender.

Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

What is a credit card for bad credit?

Credit cards for poor credit work just like normal credit cards, but are designed for people with a lower credit scores. In practice, this means it's easier to get accepted for one, but you'll likely be charged a higher interest rate and a be offered a lower credit limit than credit cards offered to people with the better credit scores.

What is a bad credit score?

Your credit score is a metric that is used to define your credit worthiness. It's used by loans and credit card providers to asses whether you’re suitable for them to offer credit to.

All your credit contracts are reported to three ratings agencies - and that includes everything from a monthly phone contract or broadband deal to your overdraft, mortgage and store cards.

Your credit score is based on your track record of paying bills on time and keeping inside your borrowing limits. If you’ve been late to a few repayments - or defaulted entirely on some bills - you're likely to have a low score or what's commonly known as bad credit.

You can also have a low score by simply not having much of a credit history - either because you're new to the UK or because you've never borrowed before. While there's nothing wrong with that, it does mean that lenders don't have a way of knowing whether you're a responsible borrower.

If have have a low credit score, bad credit credit cards are designed for people in your position.

How to find out if you've got bad credit

Credit card providers will use one or all three of the main credit reference agencies in the UK: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

You can use the table to find out what these agencies consider to be a low or high credit score.

Credit agencyVery poor/poorFairGood/very goodExcellent
Experian0-720721-880881-960961-999
TransUnion0-565566-603604-627628-710
Equifax0-438439-530531-810811-1000

How to find out your credit score

You can sign up to check what is on your credit record with a credit reference agency such as:

For more information read our guide on how to check your credit score

What if I have no credit history?

A credit builder card could be a good option for you. Credit cards to build credit offer a way to improve your credit score over time. They may not offer huge tangible benefits to you straight away, but what they will do is demonstrate to credit providers that you can responsibly use credit – you can be given it, and you will pay it back on time. This will lead to a credit provider trusting you with more lucrative credit cards in the future.

Who should get a credit card for bad credit?

If your credit score is low and you need a credit card, you should think about looking at a credit card for bad credit specifically.

There are lots of credit cards for bad credit. A bad credit credit card is ideal if you:

  • Haven't borrowed money before

  • Have previously missed payments on your borrowing

  • Have a history of late payments on your borrowing

  • Are unemployed

  • Have had county court judgments (CCJs) against you

  • Have been bankrupt

What are the pros and cons of bad credit credit cards?

  • You’re more likely to be accepted regardless of past financial troubles
  • They’re a good way to improve your credit score
  • You’ll get good protection on purchases you make
  • You can buy larger items that you couldn’t otherwise afford, and spread the payments.
  • You’ll have to pay higher interest rates than with other credit cards
  • You’ll be offered a lower credit limit than someone with a good credit score
  • You run the risk of getting into even more debt.
Salman Haqqiquotation mark
Credit cards for bad credit are relatively easy to get, but they’re not meant to be held onto for too long. Once you get your card, start using it to build your credit history, but be sure to make your payments on time every month.
Salman Haqqi, Personal Finance Editor

How to improve your credit score

There are a few steps you can take to improve your credit score over time, even if you currently have an adverse credit history. For example:

  • Sign up to the electoral role at your current address

  • Use bad credit building credit cards or services

  • Don’t miss any repayments on your debts – pay on time and in full

  • Don’t use more than 30% of your credit limit if possible

  • Check for credit record mistakes

  • Avoid payday loans

  • Don’t make too many credit applications

Read our guide on how to improve your credit score

If you find yourself frequently missing payments, or are struggling to cover bills, it's wise to get speak to your existing lenders or one of the UK's free, independent debt advice charities¹.

What if you get rejected?

You should not reapply straight away, as it could damage your credit record further. If you need to borrow, you could try to get a loan with bad credit.

Before you make another application, check your credit record and see what you can do to improve it.

You should be able to get a credit building prepaid card instead because some providers do not run credit checks.

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¹ StepChangeNational Debtline and Citizen's Advice are some of the UK's leading debt charities where you can get free expert debt advice to help you get out of debt.

Last updated: 4 May, 2022