Register for the electoral roll
as lenders use this as proof of your address
Representative 29.9% APR
A smart choice for building credit
0% interest for 6 months on balance transfers – see if you’re pre-approved, then apply with confidence
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.95% (variable) p.a. your representative APR is 34.9% APR (variable)
If you've had financial problems in the past and have a poor credit history you're not alone. Millions find themselves in this situation every year. We understand it can make you feel anxious about finding a suitable credit card - particularly if you're worried about being declined. It can also stand in the way of you getting a loan or mortgage. But there are cards available for those keen to get their credit score - and their finances - back on track.
Credit cards for bad credit is a general term used to describe cards that are available to people with a low credit score. The cards work in the same way as standard cards, though you can usually only borrow a small amount to begin with. Provided you make your repayments on time your credit score should improve.
MoneySuperMarket can help you find the right credit card and get on the path to cheaper borrowing. We can also help you through the application process without further damaging your credit score.
Card providers look at your credit history and financial position before deciding whether to lend to you. Unfortunately, guaranteed approval is rare unless you have an excellent credit score.
But help is at hand with our eligibility checker tool. We search the market using a ‘soft search’ which won’t impact your credit score. Then you can see your chances of being accepted for a card before you apply.
There are lots of ways you can boost your credit score before you apply for a card.
as lenders use this as proof of your address
errors could be affecting your score
shows you can borrow responsibly
as each will leave a mark on your report
or it could indicate unstable finances
many open lines of credit implies instability
When you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, interest-free period and fee (if there is one) are all confirmed – the only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit.
You’ll see your unique, personalised chance of being approved for all credit cards, so you can easily compare all your options at a glance.
Knowing all this upfront puts you in the driving seat. You’re less likely to be turned down when you apply, so your credit score is protected.
We'll ask you a handful of simple questions about you and your financial circumstances, and what you need from a credit card
We'll sift through dozens of credit cards offers from across the market, and show you the cards we think will suit you best
You'll be shown a range of credit cards, which you'll be able to sort according to APR, features and your chances of being approved
MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.
There isn’t a single answer to this question, as different lenders have different criteria for their product, and calculate your overall score in different ways. However the more negative marks on your credit history – such as bankruptcies, county court judgements or missed repayments – the less likely you’ll be accepted if you apply for credit.
It will depend on how you use the card – if you make your payments on time you’ll avoid paying any interest, which means you can focus on other existing debts. However if you don’t use the card responsibly then you’ll end up paying a much higher interest rate – which won’t help at all.
Here are some tips for using your card responsibly that will help you avoid paying more than you have to in interest, so you can improve your credit score:
If you have a limited credit history, rather than ‘bad credit’, you’ll benefit from a credit-builder credit card – these work in much the same way as credit cards for bad credit.
When you’ve improved your credit score, you’ll likely qualify for a bigger range of cards, including:
‘Bad credit’ means you’ve a credit history but you’ve made mistakes in the past, while ‘no credit’ implies that you’re young or have a limited history of taking credit out.
While it might seem unfair, if you haven’t previously had a credit card, loan or mortgage, a lender may not have the confidence that you can handle credit. A credit card for bad credit could be useful here too.
Most credit cards are easy to apply for, but most – especially those with the better terms – will take a few days to approve you. This is because card providers want to check you out before offering you a deal.
There are some so-called ‘instant approval’ credit cards which can give you a decision in as little as 60 seconds, however. If you apply for one of these, you can end up approved, declined or referred for further review.
The best way to help make sure you’re approved at short notice is to have a high credit score.
Everyone’s likelihood of acceptance depends mostly on their credit score. So the higher your score, the more chances you have of being offered a deal on a particular card. However some cards, including credit builder cards, are made for people with lower credit scores and may come with a higher chance of acceptance.
Everyone’s likelihood of acceptance depends mostly on their credit score. So the higher your score, the more chances you have of being offered a deal on a particular card.
However some cards, including credit builder cards, are made for people with lower credit scores and may come with a higher chance of acceptance.
All credit cards can help you build up your credit score to some extent – provided you use them responsibly. If you spend a small amount each month and then pay it all off, you will quickly demonstrate to the credit agencies that you are a sensible borrower. Your credit score can be improved a few times a year in this way.
All credit cards can help you build up your credit score to some extent – provided you use them responsibly. If you spend a small amount each month and then pay it all off, you will quickly demonstrate to the credit agencies that you are a sensible borrower.
Your credit score can be improved a few times a year in this way.
Find out how to select, and get approved for your first credit card with our helpful guide.
Your credit score is what lenders use to decide whether you can manage debt. Find out about credit checks and scores.
See the pros and cons of credit cards in our guide.
FInd out about cards that could be easier to get if you have bad credit.
Credit cards come in all shapes & sizes, finding one that suits you can make a world of difference to your pocket.
A credit card can be a useful addition to any wallet, purse or pocket. Find out what type of card will suit you best.
Find out more about how balance transfer credit cards work and what’s available.
How can credit card protection help you to recover money?
Can't find what you're looking for? Try looking at our news, views and in-depth credit cards guides
0% balance transfer credit cards - 0% purchase credit cards - Credit cards for bad credit - Credit Builder credit cards - Balance transfers and purchases - Reward credit cards - Low rate credit cards - Money transfer credit cards - Airline credit cards - Cashback credit cards - Credit card calculator - No-fee balance transfer cards - Interest free credit cards - MasterCard credit cards - Buying Mood Index - Charge cards
American Express - Aqua - Asda - Bank of Scotland - Barclaycard - Capital One - Fluid - Halifax - HSBC - John Lewis - Lloyds Bank - M&S - MasterCard - MBNA - Nationwide - Ocean Finance - Post Office - Sainsbury's - Santander - Tandem - Tesco - TSB - Vanquis - Virgin - Visa - 118 118 Money
If you’re applying for a credit card, you might be able to find a better deal if you look through offers from different providers before taking one out. With MoneySuperMarket you’ll be able to search through multiple credit cards and compare them by a range of factors, including their interest rates and any benefits and rewards they come with.
All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation, and our Eligibility Checker will show your chances of being accepted for different credit cards. This won’t affect your credit score, so you can run a check without any worries.
Once you know which card you want, you can normally apply by phone, online, or in person if the provider has a high street branch. However, when you do apply, the provider will usually run a hard credit check – which will show up on your credit report – to confirm whether they’ll give you the card. If you’re accepted they’ll tell you your credit limit and interest rate, and soon you’ll be ready to start using your credit card.
MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.
So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.
But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?
We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.