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Credit cards for bad credit

Find credit cards for bad credit

  • Representative 34.9% APR


MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker not a lender. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident.

Compare credit cards for bad credit from UK providers

We work with a wide range of specialist credit card providers including:

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Representative 34.9% APR

What are credit cards for bad credit?

Credit cards for bad credit work in the same way as standard credit cards, allowing you to spend on credit and repay the balance later.  

If you have a low credit rating you’re more likely to be approved for this type of card. You’llbe able to borrow a small amount to begin with and interest rates tend to be high. But by staying on top of repayments, you can improve your credit score over time. This could open the door tobetter credit card deals – a higher credit limit, lower interest rates, balance transfer deals and cashback, for example.  

Searching for a card with us won’t harm your credit score. 

Representative 34.9% APR

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Why do I have bad credit?

There may be several reasons why you have a poor credit history or your credit score isn’t in the best shape, including:

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    You’ve not borrowed before so you have no credit history

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    You’ve had county court judgements against you

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    You’ve been declared bankrupt

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    You’ve missed repayments on a previous card or loan

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    You’re unemployed

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    You’re not on the electoral roll

What are the easiest cards to get with bad credit?

  • Credit builder cards

    Can help you improve your credit score. You'll be given a low credit limit to begin with but this could rise as you build trust with the lender. Rates tend to be high - so aim to pay off your balance every month.

    Find out more

  • 0% balance transfer cards

    Helps you pay off debt faster by consolidating existing card balances. With the best deals you can avoid paying interest for up to two years - or longer. You may be able to get a balance transfer card even without a top credit rating.

    Find out more

  • 0% purchase credit cards

    Designed for shopping, these cards let you spend and spread the cost, typically with zero per cent interest for a fixed period, such as six or 12 months. The best 0% APR purchase cards could be tricky to get unless you have a strong credit score.

    Find out more

With a pre-approved credit card, the deal you see is the deal you get

When you apply for a balance transfer card, it’s not always clear whether you’ll be accepted. But when you’re pre-approved, you’ll know where you stand with information to help you make the right choice. 

  • Apply with confidence

    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

  • Tailored to you

    You’ll see your personalised chance of approval for all balance transfer credit cards, so you can easily compare your options

  • You’re in safe hands

    Our soft search shows you your chances of approval. This helps protect your credit score as you’re less likely to be rejected when you apply

Can I get a credit card with poor credit?

Poor credit can make it harder to get the best credit cards deals – but it doesn’t mean an instant ‘no’ to credit. Lenders have different criteria and they'll look at information on your credit file. Our free credit monitor service uses TransUnion and credit scores range from 0 to 710:

  • 0-550 – Very poor: Chances of getting a card may be limited. While you may find a card, it may be best to work on your score to get a better deal 

  • 551-565 – Could be better: If you apply for credit, you have a chance it’ll be approved – but you may face higher interest rates

  • 566-603 – Pretty good: If approved, you should be offered reasonable deals for credit, but they may not be market-leading

  • 604-627 – Very good: You’re likely to be approved for credit, but may not be offered the very best deals

  • 628-710 – Excellent: It’s very likely you’ll be offered the best deals on the market for credit (but there are no guarantees)

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How can I improve my credit score?

Whether you have ‘bad credit’ or ‘no credit’ you can take steps to improve your credit rating:

  • Register on the electoral roll

    Registering on the electoral roll with your local council can help as lenders use this as proof of your home address. 

  • Check your credit report for any mistakes

    Errors on your credit file could affect your credit score. Once spotted, you can contact the credit reference agency to get them corrected. 

  • Repay your bills on time and in full

    shows you can borrow responsibly

  • Limit the number of credit applications you make

    Each application for credit leaves a mark on your report. Too many applications in a short period can damage your credit score and affect your ability to borrow. 

  • Don’t use more than 50% of your credit limit

    Using a lower percentage of your available credit limit – known as credit utilisation – shows that your finances aren’t stretched. 

  • Close unused credit accounts

    Shutting down unused credit accounts can give potential lenders the confidence you won’t overstretch yourself when borrowing. 

What are the pros and cons of credit cards for bad credit?

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    • You can improve your credit score

    • Purchases are protected

    • More likely to be accepted

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    • Low credit limits

    • High interest rates

    • Risk of more debt

How to compare credit cards for bad credit with MoneySuperMarket

If you think a credit card for bad credit could be right for you, the next step is to use our eligibility checker to see what cards are available - and which are most likely to approve you:

  • Tell us about yourself

    We'll ask you a handful of simple questions about you and your financial circumstances, and what you need from a credit card

  • We browse the market

    We'll sift through dozens of credit cards offers from across the market, and show you the cards we think will suit you best

  • Pick the card you want

    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.

Representative 34.9% APR

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:

  • Set up a direct debit so you never forget to make a repayment

  • Don’t use too much of your credit limit – be aware of how much you can afford to pay back

  • Avoiding taking out further lines of credit

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:

  • 0% interest credit cards, which offer a set period of usually 12 months – during which you won’t be charged on interest. You can use these cards to make purchases or transfer existing debts from credit accounts that currently charge interest.

  • Reward credit cards, which actively reward you for spending on them – and offer rewards such as cashback or store loyalty points like Clubcard or Nectar points

‘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.

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. 

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.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor

  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service

  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

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.