Credit Cards How To Use Credit Cards Wisely

7 Credit Cards for People With Credit Problems

Written by Kristie McCauley

If your credit is, well, questionable, then applying for and actually receiving a credit card might feel like a dream. Before you slip into your PJs because you think you’re dreaming, check out some of these credit cards that are for people with credit problems to help start building better credit.

One of the easiest ways for someone with credit problems to obtain a credit card is by applying for secured credit. Essentially, this means you have to put something on the line (namely your cash) that acts as collateral for the credit line.

Several of the options available are secured credit cards, but a few are unsecured credit card options.

1 Discover it® Secured Credit Card

With the Discover it credit card, you have to pony up a minimum of a $200 deposit to establish a credit line. On an even better note, Discover reviews your account history seven months later to determine if you have to continue with a secured line (with a deposit) or if you can transition to an unsecured credit card.

The fabulous news is that this credit card doesn’t have an annual fee and you can earn cash back rewards for your purchases. It’s a great way for you to establish credit and learn how to use a credit card responsibly while you’re building credit.

2 Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®

The Credit One Bank credit card touts itself as an unsecured credit card option to help you grow or rebuild your credit. They do this by reporting your credit card activity to all three of the credit bureaus every single month.

This is a quick and easy way to build or rebuild your credit in a timely manner, which can lead to requesting a line increase or establishing other new credit accounts.

It is also a cash back reward card, so you can earn up to 1% back on groceries, gas, mobile phone usage, satellite and cable TV, and Internet services.

This is almost unheard of in the world of credit cards for people with credit problems, so this credit card doesn’t require you to put down a deposit and you can earn rewards? It’s a win-win.

The annual fee can be up to $99.

3 Capital One® Secured Credit Card®

Another secured credit card option is the Capital One card. What’s different about this secured credit card is the amount you have to deposit. While some cards make you do a dollar for dollar secured line, you can establish a $200 line of credit with the Capital One Secured Credit Card with as little as a $49 deposit.

As an added bonus, you can even make your deposit in installment payments. There’s no annual fee for the card, either. This card is geared toward those that have credit problems but haven’t thoroughly destroyed their credit.

4 Milestone® Gold MasterCard®

Previous bankruptcy, no problem. Enter the Milestone Gold from MasterCard. The annual fee on this card ranges from $35 to $99. The fee depends on your credit score.

This is an unsecured credit card so no deposit is required. The part that stands out about qualifying for this card is that if you have a previous bankruptcy on your credit, it usually is not a problem as long as you have been using your credit responsibly since filing for bankruptcy.

The major drawback for this card (and all of the cards on this list) is the interest rate. Interest rates tend to be in the double digits, starting out at 14% and ranging up to 23 and 24%, depending on the card.

5 OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Even with credit problems or completely damaged credit, you can apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa because the bank does not run a credit check for approval of the card. You do have to meet minimum income requirements to qualify, however.

While you do have to make a cash deposit, you do not have to have a bank account to secure the card. You can establish your deposit (and even pay your bills) with check, a wire transfer, a debit card or money order.

While some of the other cards give you an option to upgrade to an unsecured credit card, this one does not, making it a bit of a disadvantage. The annual fee is only $35 and the interest rate hovers around 17.64%.

6 Indigo® Platinum MasterCard

Indigo Platinum MasterCard is another unsecured credit card option for those with credit problems. It’s another card that overlooks bankruptcies in your past credit history. Another great feature of this card is that you can apply and receive approval without it negatively impacting your credit score.

Once you have this card in your hot little hands, you receive full access to all of the bells and whistles, including being able to use it at over 35 million locations where MasterCard is accepted.

Online access to your account and zero liability on fraudulent purchases is just icing on the cake with this card.

7 First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card

First PREMIER is a credit card option that requires you to have a bank account in order to qualify. It is a bank-issued credit card that reports your credit to all three credit bureaus on a monthly basis.

Since it is a MasterCard, you can use it worldwide where MasterCard is accepted. The major drawback on this card is the interest rate. It comes in at a whopping 36%, which far exceeds the interest rates on the rest of the cards on this list.

The annual fee for the card varies according to the credit line you have. For example, a $300 line of credit has a $75 fee for the first year and then $49 after that. A $500 credit line has a $125 annual fee for the first year and $49 after that.

Another drawback for this particular card is it has a one-time processing fee of $25 to $95, depending on the credit line.

Obtaining a credit card when you have credit problems does not have to be difficult. Credit cards (like these) exist to help you build or rebuild and grow your credit, so you can overcome your credit issues.

About the author

Kristie McCauley

Kristie Lorette McCauley is an award-winning expert on personal finance, mortgages, and credit. She has published articles on major finance and credit blogs, such as Yahoo! Finance, Quizzle, Money Crashers, and BankRate. She is also the author of books, such as How to Use the Equity in Your Home or Business Today to Invest for Tomorrow and How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Financial Planning Business.


  • I received my credit card two months ago, with my poor credit I received a visa with a 20,000.00 credit limit with no fees or deposits required. I obtained a cash advance of 10,000.00 and went to the casino in Tampa and with the cash advance, I won $5000,000.00. I paid the credit card off. All has changed for the good.

  • Hi,

    It surprises me to see the Indigo and Credit One cards listed here – I’ve only see negative reviews about these two cards!

  • First Premier is the worst card on this list. They charge fees for everything and it’s really hard to close the account when you are able to get an unsecured card.

  • Lost everything eventually do to the stock mkt collapse in 2008… 3 homes dumped, a 2006 Dually Ford, a John Deere tractor, a 2001 Lexus LS, 4 horses etc… now I am older and have started a new company –
    Income is now the problem, mostly SS.

  • It sounds like with this current credit you mention here that you should be able to get a credit card without putting up a deposit ?

  • Thank You So Much For This enlightening EM…I just have to decide which C.C. will be a good fit… Will be checking my Credit Score w/Credit Karma,or if you have another Agency I should use,I would Appreciate which one…No Bankruptcies no judgements.. I do not have any CC .Should be a Clean report,but low…Again,Thank You…

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