There’s no doubt that having bad credit can be intimidating when applying for credit cards, especially if you’ve been turned down before for an unsecured credit card. It hurts me to say this but “re-establishing” credit is just as hard to do as “establishing” credit, because creditors will think it’s risky to give you credit based on your scores.

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This shouldn’t stop you from trying to rebuild your credit though, as there are multiple credit card companies out there that are willing to hand you bad credit credit cards, for a deposit. The best part about this, is that it’s always a guaranteed approval.

Which cards will most likely approve me with bad credit?

We’ve put a list together of the best credit cards with guaranteed approval, please note that there is a small chance these credit card companies might not approve you if you have too many bad credit card collections on your report.

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Capital One Platinum CardCapital One® Secured Mastercard®Minimum deposit: $49, $99, or $200, based on credit.
Annual fee: None
Apply Now
Citi® Secured Mastercard®Minimum deposit: $200
Annual fee: None
Apply Now
Discover it® SecuredMinimum deposit: $200
Annual fee: None
Apply Now
USAA® Secured Card American Express® CardMinimum deposit: $250
Annual fee: $35
Apply Now

Although these credit cards are great for you if you’re trying to rebuild your credit, they usually come with a higher interest rate than usual. Read our section below about what to do after you’ve had this card for a year.

After getting approved for a secured credit card

Getting approved for one of these secured credit cards is very easy, but the tricky part is keeping up with your payments as well as your credit utilization. Just because you have a shiny new credit card, doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend 100% of your available credit.

This is an oversight that people often make, which ultimately hurts their credit. Keeping your credit utilization low helps show the creditors that you don’t need credit, which in turn gets you more offers and an increase in your credit score.

Remember that 30% of your credit score comes from your credit utilization ratio. If you have a credit card with a $300 credit limit and have used up $200-$300 out of your credit limit, it shows that you’ve been using up all of your available credit. This can really make your credit take a plunge, so one rule of thumb is, never spend more than 10-15% of your available credit overall.

What should I do with a new secured credit card?

Since most of the secured credit cards come with high interest rates, we recommend that you use no more than 10% of the available credit limit on the card, and pay it off in full each month before the billing cycle hits. This will show that you’ve used the card, and have been paying it in full.

Your creditor will take this into consideration once they start automatically checking your account each month to see if they should graduate you to an unsecured card. Low usage will keep your credit utilization low, which shows that you aren’t dependent on credit.

When will my credit card graduate to an unsecured credit card?

This can happen as soon as the 7 month mark. Usually creditors will start automatically checking your credit profile each month, after you’ve had the card for 7 months. If the system determines that you are worthy of a graduation to an unsecured credit card, they will usually send you a refund check in the amount of your security deposit. Some credit cards such as the capital one secured credit card will post a credit to your account in the amount of the security deposit.

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Ashley cLisamarlene a harrisGHC46Antoinette M Recent comment authors
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Jeff
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Jeff

I think deserve credit card is a great start to build your poor credit. Easy to get

Cynthia C
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Cynthia C

Good information for those who need it.

brenda k roden
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brenda k roden

good way to start your credit with a secured card!

Tamra Phelps
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Tamra Phelps

I like that you can use the citi secured crd to rebuild credit. That would help so many people.

Antoinette M
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Antoinette M

Great way to start building a credit history.

GHC46
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GHC46

A lot of good information with multiple ways to improve credit.

marlene a harris
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marlene a harris

i would like advice on repairing credit great information

Lisa
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Lisa

I was surprised to see that one of the secured cards listed above only required as little as $49 down. I always assumed you had to put a least a couple of hundred dollars down in order to get a secured card.

I wonder if a secured card would be better to use for times when you’re not spending a lot and are concerned about hacking, since you are limited to only a small amount on your card versus regular cards that have higher limits that you could be liable for.

Ashley c
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Ashley c

This is helpful to know! I needed a guide like this when I had no credit