But you’d probably be wrong – because some credit cards, like Capital One’s Classic Platinum Credit card, are designed especially for people with a bad credit score.
Once the card’s yours, use it sensibly and you can improve your score, which will make it easier to apply for a mortgage, loan or other borrowing in future.
What’s the deal?
The Capital One Classic Platinum card is for anyone who might have had problems with debt repayments in the past.
You’re more likely to be accepted if you have at least some history of managing credit though, even if you’ve had county court judgements (CCJs) or have defaulted on payments.
|“This card is likely to suit you if you want to take control of your finances”|
You’re also unlikely to be accepted for this card if you’ve never had credit in the UK before.
As is typical of credit cards for bad credit applicants, you’ll only be offered a small credit limit of between £200 and £1,500. The exact limit you’ll be offered will depend on your individual circumstances.
You may be offered up to two optional credit limit increases a year, but only if you show that you are using the card responsibly.
So that you don’t go over your credit limit, Capital One will send you an e-mail alert when you’re nearing it. It’ll also let you know when you need to make a payment.
The card does not have an annual fee, but it has a steep 29.8% representative annual percentage rate (APR).
You must be aged 18 or over to apply for this card. Make sure you’re on the electoral roll before you apply, as your application may be refused if you aren’t.
Who’s it good for?
This card is likely to suit you if you want to take control of your finances, perhaps because you’ve had problems managing money in the past.
It can also help you if you haven’t borrowed very often in the past, and want to build up your credit score.
The biggest drawback of this card – also typical in the bad credit sector – is the high 29.8% representative APR.
If you don’t clear your balance in full each month, interest charges could soon mount up, so you must be certain that you can pay off what you owe.
If you’re worried about forgetting to make payments, set up a direct debit for the full amount each month.
You should avoid using this card for cash withdrawals, as you’ll have to pay a fee equivalent to 3% of the amount you take out. There’s a minimum charge of £3.
The other downside is the low credit limit – you could be offered as little as £200 which might not go far if you need the card to help with a big purchase.
What’s the verdict?
This card is well worth a look if you want to build up your credit score so you can qualify for better deals in future.
It’s worth comparing other credit cards that help you build up your credit rating before applying.
Aqua’s Classic card, for example, offers a credit limit £100 up to £1,200 which could increase after four months. You also get unlimited free access to your credit report, worth up to £80.
However, this card has a hefty 29.7% representative APR, so again you’ll need to pay off what you owe in full each month.
Aqua also offers the Advance card. This has a 34.9% representative APR, but you can reduce this to 19.9% if you keep to your credit limit and make repayments when due. If you do that, then the rate drops 5% a year for three years until you reach 19.9%.
You’ll get an initial credit limit of £100 up to £1,200, but this can increase after four months. If you apply for the card via MoneySuperMarket, you’ll get a £20 Amazon Gift Certificate.
Although credit builder credit cards can help you boost your credit score, you need to use them sensibly or you could end up harming your rating even more.
You must make sure you always make minimum monthly payments on time and set out to pay off your balance in full.
Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.