Do you owe money?

Some credit cards come with 0% deals, which you can use to pay off your debts and pay no interest for several months, but many charge a fee. You could use them to:

  • Clear your credit card balance: You could pay off you credit card using a 0% balance transfer, and cut out the interest for a set period.

  • Clear your overdraft or loan: You could pay off an overdraft or loan with a 0% money transfer, which moves money from your new card to your bank account.

You usually have to pay a fee to make a balance or money transfer, so check this before you apply.

Can you pay off your card every month?

If you can't pay off your balance

If you have a card that charges you an APR, interest will be added to your credit card balance each month if you don't clear it.

You could use a card that offers interest free purchases instead. This lets you spend and pay off the balance over several months without getting charged any interest.

If you can pay off your balance

You could be rewarded with benefits like:

Do you have poor credit record?

Credit card providers check your credit record when you apply.

It could put off some providers if you have borrowed before and have:

  • Made late payments

  • Gone over your overdraft or credit limit

  • Been rejected by other providers or lenders

  • Been made bankrupt or been given a County Court Judgment (CCJ)

However, here is how you could still be able to get a credit card with bad credit.

Have you ever borrowed before?

If you have never borrowed before, credit card providers cannot check how well you can keep up with repayments.

This could put off some providers, but there are some that could still accept you. Here is how to get your first credit card.

If you are a student

You could also get a credit card if you are a student. They are usually only available if you have been accepted on a full time course at a university or college in the UK.

Student credit card providers look at your student loan as part of your income, which could help you get accepted.

Want to use your card abroad?

You can spend on most credit cards outside the UK, but it can be expensive. Here are all the charges you pay when you use a credit card abroad.

If you travel frequently and intend to use your credit card, you could find one with a low interest rate and no fees for transactions or cash withdrawals.

Do you run your own business?

You can get a credit card in the name of your business if you are a sole trader or look after the finances of a company of any size.

A business credit card can help you keep your own money separate from your business' spending.

They sometimes offer extra cards so several employees can make purchases, and itemised statements to track their spending.