How to apply for a credit card with a low credit score

Being refused a credit card is both frustrating and inconvenient – but there are ways and means to make sure it doesn’t happen. Clare Walsh explains how to get your hands on the right plastic when your credit score is not up to scratch.

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If you’re looking for a credit card the type of card you’ll be accepted for will depend on your credit score.

If you have a good score, you will have more chance of being accepted for the best credit cards on the market.

But if your score is low, there is little point applying for these cards. You are likely to be rejected and this can further damage your credit score.

You can pay just a few pounds for your statutory credit file, but you can pay extra for more detailed services from companies like Experian and Equifax.

Once you have got your hands on a copy of your credit report you will be able to see your score. This is normally measured out of 1,000 and the higher the number, the better.

So what can you do?

The good news is there are some cards specifically designed for people with less than ideal credit scores.

But a word of warning! You will notice that even the best of these cards come with very high rates of interest. This is because the card provider will see you as a higher risk and price accordingly.

This means it is vital that you clear your balance every month.

Remember, if you miss a monthly repayment, your credit score will deteriorate further. This can have a big impact on your ability to borrow in the future.

If you use these cards responsibly, you’ll be able to rebuild your credit score and – in a few years – apply  for more attractive deals.

Before actually applying for any credit card, it’s a good idea to carry out a dummy run using our SmartSearch tool at MoneySupermarket. This will give you an indication – based on the information you provide – as to whether or not you will be accepted for a particular credit card. But it’s not a formal ‘search’ so it won’t show up on your credit score.

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