Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit or Fair Credit

Consumers with a poor credit history need an opportunity to prove they can manage credit. An unsecured credit card to rebuild credit is a good option. With unsecured credit cards no deposit is required. If you’ve had credit problems in the past a new credit card can help you get back on track. Start off slow and use credit cards wisely for items like gas or groceries and pay it off monthly — watch your credit score rise.

Credit One Bank® Platinum Card


Find out instantly if you’re pre-approved with Fingerhut Credit

Gettington Credit Account

USAA Classic Platinum Visa®


USAA Classic Platinum MasterCard®


USAA Classic American Express®


OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

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  1. Wanting to purchase a home. My credit score is around a 570 and the only negative items are medical bills totaling about $8000. I have a car loan which is 100% Positive and just got a secured credit card. Wondering what would be the quickest way to be able to get qualified for a home loan. I’m a member of a credit union also.

  2. I have been rebuilding my credit for the past 7 months and I only have 2 negative things reporting one is a voluntary repo $2400 balance and the other is Kay jewelers $480 balance. I was told if I pay them off they will still remain on my credit report so should I let them stay and keep my money or should I pay them off?

    • While it is true paid negative items remain on credit reports and the FICO scoring system does not differentiate between paid negative accounts and unpaid negative accounts, it really depends on how you feel about unpaid debt. If you feel a moral obligation to pay then pay.

      But keep in mind from a financial standpoint it is better to try for a deletion if you are willing to pay. In my opinion a pay for delete would suit you much better since you are in the process of rebuilding credit. Creditors and collection agencies are not obligated to agree to payment in exchange for a deletion from your credit reports but it’s worth a try. Find out more here. On a side note, remember the older negative items get on your credit report, the less they impact your FICO score.

  3. Thank you for the USAA Visa ifo, I did not know I could qualify with my credit. I got a $1000 limit and plan to use to rebuild my credit.

  4. The only thing on my report is a past mortgage with 8 years of good payment history but I am not generating a credit score. Will that be a problem getting approved for any of these?

    • Well the only cards that may approve you with no credit score is USAA. That’s because USAA typically counter-offers their secured versions of credit cards if they are unable to approve you for the unsecured versions. As long as you are eligible to join USAA you should get approved for an unsecured or secured card with them. The best way to get a credit card with no credit score is secured credit cards. You can find several secured card here. It will take 6 months of recent payment history to get generate a credit score.

  5. G. Morrison says:

    I do not qualify for the unsecured cards. Are there any secured cards you recommend?

    • If your credit is really damaged I suggest the primor® Secured Visa Classic Card because it’s really easy to qualify for and only requires $200 to deposit although you can deposit up to $5,000.

      Another secured card is the UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card offered by One United Bank. This secured card has a 6-month low introductory APR of 9.95% and can be opened with a security deposit from $250 up to $10,000.

      • Hello Lisa,

        My wife and I have a Arizona Credit Card that is maxed out at $10,000.00 for the last two years, I’ve always made a min payment on the card but it seems like I’m running in circles. I recently pulled out 10k from my 401k and is planning to pay this card off completely. Should we leave a small balance on this card or completely pay it off?


        • If you have other credit cards that are reporting a balance then I would definitely say completely pay it off. But if this is your only credit card I would leave a small balance like $100 reporting. Some credit card companies review your credit report each month and it never hurts to have a small balance reporting to show how well you manage credit. Plus, the best FICO scores you will get is to let the credit card report a 1% balance.

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