If you have had difficulty keeping up with your bills, you can rest assured you are not alone. Many people have run into trouble or a shortage of cash flow from time to time that has resulted in the inability to make all of their payments in full and on time. However, just because you don’t have a perfect credit history does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to obtain a credit card. It’s no surprise that a person with a low credit score will have more difficulty and fewer options when trying to get credit cards in their name, but it is not completely impossible because creditors do take more than just your credit score into consideration when deciding whether or not to give you a credit card.
The important thing to remember is you do not want to apply for every credit card out there- every time you apply for a credit card, you are further hurting your credit rating. When you have a low credit score and a poor credit history, you need to do your research before you start applying, and only apply to the handful of credit cards that are designed for individuals with a less than perfect credit history to make sure you limit the number of credit inquiries that are placed on your credit report.
When a credit card provider is deciding whether or not to extend credit to an individual, the lenders take several things into consideration. The credit score is always a factor, as is your overall credit history of how many times you’ve made late payments, and how much credit you currently have available to you, and how much debt you currently owe. In addition to these issues, a credit card company will also consider the length of time that the individual has been employed at their current job, and will look favorably on people who have held a steady job with a decent income for a long period. If your debt to income ratio is manageable, meaning you make enough money to pay for the amount of debt you currently owe comfortably, sometimes a lender can still extend you credit even though you have made late payments in the past.
Chances are if you’re working to improve your credit score for your future, you’re sending as much money as possible to each of your creditors each month as you are trying to pay down your overall debt. Because of this additional money being sent out, there will be less money available to you on a regular basis, and having a credit card can give you some security in the event of an emergency. What happens when your car breaks down, or a health issue comes up, and you just don’t have the money to pay for it because you’ve been sending all your extra cash to each of your creditors? Having a credit card can be the security you need for these emergency issues. Credit cards for individuals with poor credit histories will almost always carry a higher interest rate than a traditional credit card, but the benefits of having a credit card for emergencies, or to use as a second form of identification, or even for renting an apartment make having the credit card advantageous over not having the card at all. Some landlords may require credit cards be on file in the event you are late with your rent payment so that they have the additional security of knowing they can get their money by billing your credit cards.
The most popular option for people with poor credit histories is to obtain secured credit cards. A secured credit cards allows the cardholder to make a cash deposit on the card, and then whenever the card is used, it deducts the amount from the amount of the deposit you made. Its much like a bank debit card, but a secured credit cards deposit will earn interest, and help earn money when you aren’t spending with the card. In addition, as you continue to make deposits to the card to cover your purchases, you are helping to improve your overall credit score.