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Best Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit [Secured]

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor

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Best Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit: Overview

Credit Card Ideal For Editor’s Rating

Our Top Pick for 2020

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

Rebuilding Credit and Cash Back
Milestone® Unsecured MasterCard®
Rebuilding Credit

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

Editor’s Rating

Credit Score Required:

Poor

Our Review

Mistakes and unfortunate events happen, and they can do some serious damage to your credit. However, that doesn’t have to be the end of things. Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® is specifically designed to help people rebuild their credit. The fact that it gives 1% cash back on gas and groceries is just an added bonus!

What We Like

Easier to get than many other unsecured credit cards

Pick your own due date after initial statement

Cashback rewards are given as statement credit.

Free monthly credit score tracking

Milestone® Unsecured MasterCard®

Editor’s Rating

Credit Score Required:

Poor

Our Review

The Milestone® Unsecured MasterCard® is a great option for people trying to rebuild their credit. The card offers a pre-qualification process that doesn’t hit your credit score. That means you can get a better understanding of your chances of approval without further lowering your score. You also get credit card bonuses like rental car insurance and roadside assistance.

What We Like

Pre-qualification makes it easy to check with bad credit score

Identity Theft Resolution Services

No security deposit – unsecured card

Finding the best credit card for yourself is one of the most important parts of rebuilding your credit. If you’ve had credit problems in the past, you might find that it can be extremely stressful when you begin applying for credit based products. This can be a nightmare for various reasons — your credit score impacts your ability to get leases, loans, phone plans, credit cards, and plenty of other much needed items. There are a few ways you can begin to rebuild your credit. One way many Americans do it is to be added onto a family members credit card as an ‘authorized user’ — which can help give you some of their good credit history.

It is important to note that you should only do this if your family member has great credit — you don’t want to inherit a bad credit history! But this isn’t an option for everyone — don’t worry, you can get credit cards that can help you rebuild your credit score. Some of these come in the form of credit cards with little credit requirements, and others come in the form of secured credit cards which require down payments prior to receiving credit. You should view these as a tool to help you rebuild for your future, it’s a great way to learn to get back on the credit ladder prior to getting a more substantial credit limit.

This article will help outline the various factors you should consider when deciding what credit card to use to rebuild your credit. In addition, it will consider the benefits and disadvantages of obtaining these cards. Make sure that you choose the best ‘rebuild’ credit card on the market when you decide to apply for one – you should always be looking for the best deal possible when it comes to obtaining a credit card.

Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit

What to Look For

When considering which card to opt for when rebuilding credit, you should consider the following factors: type of credit card, reputation of lender, and interest rate.

  • Type of Credit Card – There are actually two types of credit cards available to those who want to start rebuilding their credit. The first is a regular credit card with low credit score requirements, this means that despite your poor credit history, you may still be able to receive this card. The other type of credit card is a secured credit card in which you deposit the amount of money equal to your credit limit into an account so your lender has collateral against your credit use. This is a great way to start using a credit card without having to worry about your ability to pay it back, if you can’t pay it back, then your deposit will be used to cover the money owed.
  • Reputation of Lender – You don’t want to get duped into using a dodgy lender because you lack a credit score. Many predatory lenders are looking for people new to the credit card industry to whom they can charge fees and other charges to – don’t get trapped by a lesser known lender, try and stick with major banks and lenders! It looks better for your credit report, too.
  • Interest Rate – This is primarily applicable to regular credit cards not secured credits cards as secured cards can always be paid off using their deposit. If you’re using a regular credit card, you’ll want to make sure that the interest rate is as low as possible. Because you’re trying to rebuild your credit, you don’t want to get stuck in a debt trap that you can’t get out of.

 

Advantages

The main advantage of these types of cards is the ability to rebuild your own credit. You need to have credit to do various things in life and this is the perfect way to get the ball rolling. In addition, with the best secured credit cards you won’t have to worry about not being able to pay your bill as you have collateral in place should a hardship arise.

 

Disadvantages

The primary disadvantage lies in the fact that you won’t receive a large limit, and you won’t receive many additional benefits for using your card. In fact, if you use a secured card, you will be tying up money in an account to help ensure you can pay your bill – this means that you get no real monetary benefit from having your card.

 

Other Benefits of Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit

As mentioned previously, you won’t receive many additional benefits for getting a ‘rebuild credit’ credit card. But there are some hidden perks in many credit cards that you might not be aware of. If you’re trying to assess which is the best card for you, it’s important to see if you can snag some of these extra benefits.

Many basic credit cards will include zero-liability policies, which mean that you cannot be held responsible for any charges that are not your doing. This is a great benefit that doesn’t come with many debit cards, which means that credit cards are much safer to shop with, especially online. Make sure that you don’t get a card without this feature, it is pretty standard across credit cards.

Other benefits to look out for when trying to find the best credit card to rebuild with include extended warranty cover and purchase insurance. Some basic credit cards will give you extended warranties on certain products that you purchase – some are even up to double the normal warranty that comes with the product you purchase. In the rare case, some cards will include purchase insurance that covers certain items that you purchase with your credit card. Make sure to keep your eye out for these types of cards!

Tips and Tricks for Applying

If you’re trying to rebuild credit, it’s very important that you approach the application process seriously. You don’t want to end up damaging your credit by being irresponsible with your applications. Check out some of the tips we suggest below to make sure that you get the most out of your application.

 

Check Your Credit

You should start your application process by checking your credit report. Never apply for a credit card without being aware of your credit score. Doing so leaves you open to getting rejected and further damaging your score.

Aside from checking your score, you should make sure that all the information on your credit report is accurate. There is a massive problem with misreporting in the United States, millions of Americans have removable items on their credit reports. If you’ve only ever looked at your score, but never done an in-depth look at your report, you might find that your score is low because of an item that shouldn’t be present.

Request a credit report from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. All three of these reporting bodies are required by law to give you a free report at least once a year – take advantage of this legal benefit. If there’s a problem, either write to them to have it removed, or employ a credit repair company to help you get the items taken off.

 

Make Sure Your Eligible

Once you’ve checked your credit score, it’s time to make sure that you’re eligible for the card that you’re applying for. Many issuers will suggest the type of score range that you should have should you want to acquire the card. If you can’t find this, then you’ll want to check various credit card forums to see which kind of scores applicants were successful with. Many individuals will put down the scores that they receive approvals or rejections with.

If you’re drastically ineligible to apply for a card because of your credit score, look for another card. There’s no point in applying and getting rejected for a credit card for no reason, it will only further damage your ability to get a different card in the future.

 

Check Alternate Rules

Your credit score and credit report are the most important factors behind any credit card application. But some lenders will have their own rules as well. Many credit card issuers won’t accept anyone who has applied for more than five credit cards in 24 months – this is true even if you have a very high credit score.

Make sure that you check that lenders don’t have independent rules prior to applying for one of their cards. You don’t want to make a credit card application that results in an inquiry on your report, especially if there is no way that you will be able to acquire the card because of an issuer stipulation.

 

Choose One Card at a Time

As a credit rebuilder, it’s very important that you only apply for one card at a time. Your poor credit history dictates that you can’t afford to make multiple inquiries. In addition, if you apply for multiple cards at the same time, credit companies will view this as suspicious. They don’t want to take on clients that appear to be extremely desperate for cash – it leaves them open to too much risk.

The reality is that many people make the mistake of applying for many cards at once to increase their chances of approval. Doing so only puts you in a worse position. If you get rejected for a card and you don’t have a solid credit history, you might want to wait up to a month to apply for a new card. That’s why it’s important to research the exact card you want to apply for prior to submitting any applications. Choose the one that you are most likely to be approved for – employ a risk minimization strategy when you apply for a card.

 

Do You Have Any Special Circumstances?

If you’re having to rebuild credit, it’s often because you have made a mistake in the past. This might mean that you fall into a category that allows you to obtain a credit card much easier than a traditional applicant. For example, college students can obtain credit cards with less than stellar credit histories. Lenders are aware that students will have limited income, so they offer low-limit cards to help you rebuild your score. Read more: What is the best credit card for students?

 

Co-Signing

Sometimes the best option is to try and find a card that will allow you to co-sign it. In traditional lending, many lenders will allow people to have someone co-sign a loan or mortgage. This is done to allow someone with poor or limited credit history the opportunity to get a loan. The co-signer will be responsible for paying the loan should you end up defaulting on it. For this reason, you should be careful in making sure that you are able to meet the debt requirements – you don’t want to end up damaging your co-signers credit rating.

 

Verdict

If you need to rebuild credit for the future, you should start doing so straight away. Using a credit card that allows for credit rebuilding is probably the best possible way to get yourself back on the right track. You need to make sure to search for the best possible credit rebuilding credit card on the market. You should always be seeking the option that is a good fit for your circumstances.

These types of credit cards are some of the hardest types of credit card to find. Because you want to be fairly certain you can obtain the card before you apply, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for you. We’ve done extensive research to compile a list of the best credit cards for rebuilding – the full list is available right here on our website. You can click through directly to the application portal via our website.

Rebuilding your credit doesn’t have to be impossible, just make sure to take on some of the advice we’ve gone over on this page prior to applying. You can greatly increase your chances of being approved by simply taking a few easy steps. As always, avoid high interest cards and be responsible with your spending to ensure you don’t have future problems.

FAQ

General Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit Questions

This section will help you understand the basics of using a credit card to rebuild your credit score.

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What credit card to get to rebuild credit?

Any credit card you can qualify for and completely pay your balance on every month is a good credit card to rebuild credit. If you can’t qualify for an unsecured credit card, then a secured card is your best option. Even some cash back bonus credit cards, like the ones mentioned above, can be great options.

How to use credit card to rebuild credit?

The best way to use your credit card to rebuild credit is by making sure you pay off the whole balance each month. That will keep your credit utilization down and establish a good payment history – both of which boost your credit score. Remember you can also apply for credit card with no credit history.

How to get a credit card to rebuild credit?

The best option for a credit card to rebuild credit is to get a secured credit card. You’ll just need to save up $200 or more to open a secured line of credit. Make sure to pay your bill in full each month and your credit score will start to climb. You’re not likely to find credit cards with high limits for average credit.

What are good credit cards for rebuilding credit?

Many people have the most success rebuilding their credit with secured credit cards. You can get a secured credit card without a credit check, so it’s easy to qualify. Also look at instant approval store credit cards which can sometimes be easy to get.

How to rebuild bad credit with credit card?

You can rebuild your bad credit with a credit card by ensuring your payments are always on time and that you always pay off your balance in full. That lowers your credit utilization and gives you a good payment history. You can also get bad credit cards that may approve your lower score.

How many credit cards do I need to rebuild credit?

You only need one credit card to start rebuilding your credit. In fact, taking out too many credit cards to rebuild your credit can actually slow down the process. Take a look at the easiest unsecured credit cards to get.

How do credit rebuilding cards work?

Credit rebuilding cards are usually secured credit cards. That means you make a deposit in the amount of your credit limit up front. Then you use and pay the credit card like normal. The up-front deposit means the creditor is protected, and your on-time payments and increased credit availability boost your score. If your score is just low then you may qualify for credit cards for fair credit score.

Should I get a credit card to rebuild my credit?

That depends on your situation. For many people, using a credit card to rebuild their credit is an excellent idea. However, you should talk to a certified credit or financial specialist to make sure it’s the best option in your case. If this is not for personal use and you’re trying to start a new company then look at business credit cards for new business.

Rebuilding Credit with Specific Credit Cards

This section answers your questions about how to rebuild or build your credit with specific credit cards.

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Is First Premier credit card good for rebuilding credit?

It can be, but there are lots of better choices. The First Premier card charges a lot of fees, and the fees are very high. We recommend looking elsewhere for a card to rebuild your credit. We cover these and the best credit card for first time applicants in another article.

Is Capital One a good credit card to rebuild credit?

For many people, yes. The Capital One secured card is a great option to rebuild credit. The fees are low and you’ll be able to convert your secured card to an unsecured card after several months of on-time payments. Also check out the best no interest credit cards once you can qualify.

Will a Discover Secured card rebuild credit?

Yes, as long as you make regular payments and don’t carry a balance on the card. It will lower your credit usage, boosting your score, while establishing a history of on-time payments.

Is Visa Classic secured credit card good for rebuild?

It is a great option for many people. However, you should check the fees the card has and compare them to other secured credit cards to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

How does the Capital One rebuild credit card work?

It’s actually pretty simple. You deposit at least $200 to secure a line of credit. Your line of credit will be equal to your initial deposit. Then, you use and pay off the card like normal to boost your score.

Does Bank of America secured card really help rebuild credit?

Yes, it gives you a way to introduce positive information to your credit history while increasing your available credit limit. Both of these things will help increase your credit score.

Secured Credit Cards and Rebuilding Credit

Secured credit cards are one of the most common tools for rebuilding credit. We’ll answer questions about rebuilding credit with secured credit cards in this section.

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What is the best secured credit card for rebuilding credit?

That depends on what you’re looking for. The Capital One Secured Mastercard is the best option for low initial deposits, while the Discover it Secured card is best for rewards an upgrading. Finally, OpenSky Secured Visa is the best option if you don’t want a credit check. Check out more of the best credit card reviews.

How to rebuild your credit with a secured credit card?

It’s simple to rebuild your credit with a secured card. Simply make sure to pay off your whole balance each month. This will prevent you from being charged interest and will put positive information on your credit report. Check out the best credit cards to build credit.

Does a secured credit card rebuild credit?

As long as you make your payments and don’t carry a balance from month-to-month, then yes, a secured credit card will help you rebuild your credit quickly.

How fast do secured credit cards rebuild credit?

It depends on lots of different factors. Everyone’s credit history is unique, so there’s no single answer to how fast specific products will raise different people’s credit score. You should talk to a credit specialist for more information about your case.

How long to rebuild credit with secured card?

There’s no one answer to how long it takes to rebuild your credit with a secured card because it all depends on what is bringing your credit score down currently. You should talk to a certified credit expert to find out how long it will take to boost your specific credit score.

Is a secured credit card good for rebuilding credit?

Yes, secured credit cards are good choices for rebuilding credit. They allow you to get positive information on your credit history and are easy to qualify for.

Do prepaid credit cards help rebuild credit?

Prepaid, or secured, credit cards are a good way to rebuild credit. They affect the two biggest aspects of credit scores – credit utilization and payment history. As long as you manage the card responsibly, you’ll see your score start to go up.

Can a secured credit card help rebuild credit?

Yes, a secured credit card can help rebuild credit. Because they’re easy to get, a secured card is one of the best ways to start getting positive information added to your credit history and boost your score.

How fast will a secured credit card rebuild credit?

That depends on your specific credit situation. The lower your score, the faster you can increase it with a secured credit card. That’s because credit scores are calculated in a way that tries to push everyone towards the middle.

How to rebuild credit with prepaid credit card?

You can rebuild credit with a prepaid or secured credit card by paying off your bill in full each month. This keeps your credit utilization low and gives you a record of on-time payments to start offsetting some of the negative information on your credit report.

What are the best prepaid credit cards to rebuild credit?

Different prepaid credit cards are best for different people to rebuild their credit. The cards all build credit the same way, so you should make a decision based on what else the card offers. Capital One is a good choice for the lowest deposit, while the Discover it Secured card is the best choice for card rewards and upgrade potential. Finally, the OpenSky Secured Visa card is best for people that want to get a card without having a credit check. You may want to consider a credit card no foreign transaction fee too if you travel much.

Unsecured Cards and Rebuilding Credit

This section covers all of your questions about rebuilding your credit with unsecured credit cards.

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Does getting a few unsecured credit cards help rebuild credit?

It can, but it depends on how you manage them. You’ll need to make regular payments on the card and ensure that you aren’t carrying a balance from month to month for this strategy to boost your credit score. Once your credit starts to increase there’s a good chance you’ll start receiving pre approved credit card offers.

What credit cards help you rebuild credit without deposits?

Any unsecured credit card you can qualify for will help you rebuild your credit without deposits. However, you need to use the cards responsibly for this to work.

Does an unsecured credit card help rebuild credit?

It can, depending on how you use it. If you miss payments or carry a balance from month-to -month, you your credit score can actually be hurt by an unsecured credit card. Take a look at a unsecured credit card for poor credit.

Other Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit Questions

We’ll answer questions about rebuilding credit with credit cards that don’t fit into our other sections here.

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How long to rebuild credit with one credit card?

That depends on lots of other factors related to your specific credit history. Generally, people will start seeing their score improve after their first payment, but it may take time to get your score to the place you want it to be. When you do start to get better credit then you can look at other cards with more benefits. For example check out the best travel credit cards 2020 has to offer.

When rebuilding credit only have one credit card or two?

It depends on how much credit you can handle. Having a second card could help boost your score as long as you make sure to pay it in full every month. Otherwise, you should stick to one card to get the best results. Take a look at the best balance transfer cards 2020 has to offer.

What credit card to apply for to rebuild credit?

The best option to apply for credit cards to rebuild credit are secured credit cards. Things like the OpenSky Secured Visa or Discover it Secured card are good choices and easy to qualify for.

Can you rebuild credit with a travel credit card?

You usually have to already have good credit in order to get approved for a travel credit card. If you score is good enough already then look for credit cards that offer travel insurance too. The same goes for bonus miles credit card offers.

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor - Personalloan.co

Michelle is part of our expert team of financial advisors with a proven track record in the credit card industry. After graduating with an Economics Degree focusing on Personal Finance, she got involved with several credit and debt counseling startups.