There's no "official" definition or score for this category, but these circumstances typically go hand in hand...
- High Balances: Using too much of your credit limit is bad for your FICO score. So if you currently have any cards that are maxed out or close to it, a credit card for fair credit will probably be easier to get approved for.
- Late Payments: 35% of your credit score is based on payment history. Whether your payment is 1 day late or 30 days late, it's classified as a "30 day late payment" if the issuer reports it to the credit bureaus.
- Bad Debt: Even just one bad debt or account written off will significantly bring down your credit score. It stays on your report for at least 7 years, but will have the greatest impact during the first 2-3. If this has happened to you, your credit might be classified as "fair."
- Limited Credit History: Are you relatively new to credit or have you rarely used it in the past? If so, then you probably fall under this category.
Featured Credit Cards for Fair Credit
Don't know where you stand? Then try this tool!
Are you unsure whether you have good credit, fair credit, or bad credit? If so, then try out this tool which will help you find credit cards that best match your credit profile. In three easy steps, you can check if you pre-qualify for a card without affecting your credit score.
Opening a new card and managing it responsibly is one of the best things you can do for your personal finances. Why? Because the difference between bad and good credit is like night and day. Once you build (or rebuild) a good credit history, new opportunities will await. This is because things like mortgages, car loans, and most reward cards are hard to get approved for with a mediocre or average credit rating. But once you break that barrier and achieve an excellent score, you will find those opportunities come more easily.