Rebuilding your credit is a challenge, but it’s possible to start the process by getting a credit card, paying it off regularly and keeping the balance low. This method requires you to find a card that’s suitable for someone with low credit. Ideally, you want a card with low fees that reports to all three credit bureaus. When applying for a credit card, keep in mind that some may require a security deposit — called secured cards — and those that don’t typically charge higher rates and fees.
First Access Visa
The First Access Visa isn’t a secured card, and it reports to all three major credit bureaus each month. If you use the card responsibly for the first six months, you may be eligible for a credit increase. The application process is quick and easy, and you receive a response within a minute of applying for the card.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
Although the Capital One Secured Mastercard doesn’t have any perks like cash back, it’s still a favorite among experts and people working to rebuild their credit scores. You start low with a $49 to $200 security deposit on a $200 line of credit, but if you pay on time for five months, you are likely to receive a limit increase.
Indigo Platinum Mastercard
If you receive a prequalification for the Indigo Platinum Mastercard, it won’t impact your credit score to apply like some others do. The card offers good fraud protection features as well as access to mobile banking. There’s no monthly fee, and your activity is reported to all three major credit bureaus.
Discover it Secured
The Discover it Secured card tops many lists of best credit cards for people with low credit because it has no annual fees and even allows you to earn cash back. Upon approval, you’re required to submit a security deposit of up to $2,500. After eight months, your account is reviewed for a possible unsecured increase in credit.
The Milestone Mastercard requires an annual fee of up to $99, depending on your credit score, but it doesn’t have a monthly fee. Applying won’t impact your credit score, even if you’re turned down, and the card has plenty of fraud protection for secure use. Your account history on the card is reported to all three major credit bureaus.
Total Visa Unsecured
You need a checking count to take advantage of the Total Visa Unsecured card, but you don’t have to make a security deposit up front. The application process is one of the easiest available, although you may have to pay a small processing fee. This card is reported to each of the three major credit bureaus each month.
Open Sky Secured Visa
OpenSky doesn’t check your credit when you apply, but you must provide a deposit of at least $200 to get started. According to the issuing bank, customers usually see an increase in their credit scores within six months, and activity is reported to all three credit bureaus. The card doesn’t have a monthly fee, but it has a small annual fee. You also receive free educational tools about rebuilding your credit.
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard Secured
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard is another option that doesn’t require any type of credit check to open an account. When you apply, you submit a deposit of between $200 and $2,000. It’s not available in every state yet, but the application process is quick, and your usage is reported to all three major credit bureaus to help with the credit rebuilding process.
USAA Secured Visa Platinum
First, this card is only for active military, veterans and family members of current or former military. If you fall into any of those categories, it can be an excellent tool for rebuilding your credit. Start with a certificate of deposit between $250 and $5,000, and earn interest on that money while improving your credit score. The card also offers perks like trip cancellation insurance.
Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa with Cash Back Rewards
This Credit One Visa isn’t a secured card, and it offers cash back rewards when you use it to pay for groceries, gas and utilities. You can schedule which day of the month you want to pay your monthly balance so it coincides with your paycheck. You also receive an alert when you’re eligible for a credit line increase.