Best Credit Cards For 600 Credit Score In 2016?

650 credit scoreQ: Dear CreditCardGuru, I’ve been reading a lot of your posts and love your advice but the problem is that I think my credit score is too low to qualify for your recommendations. For a 600 credit score what credit cards are best? (I have a 650 credit score from Experian and 640 from Equifax)

A: Your FICO score is very important but it isn’t the only thing that a lender will look at when deciding whether to approve an application along with how much credit to grant. It certainly carries a lot of weight, don’t get me wrong, but how it is derived in your case can carry even more influence. Having a 650 score because of little credit history is viewed much more favorably than someone who has a 650 score due to prior charged off debt, an old bankruptcy, etc. So, having a clean slate, so to speak, is far better than having a track record of late payments, defaults or declaring bankruptcy.

Whether you have a 600, 650, or even a 680 credit score doesn’t really matter… because unfortunately those all are considered sub-prime numbers, believe it or not. To get approved for the best credit card deals you typically need a score in the mid-700’s. In the past banks were more lenient, but not anymore.

Secured or unsecured?

Being in the mid-600’s you are right on the cusp of what qualifies for unsecured versus secured credit cards. For secured, you will have to put up a deposit ranging from $200 to thousands (you choose the amount) and that becomes your credit limit. Many are alarmed when they hear this but don’t worry, that deposit is refundable you close the account in the future (assuming you don’t owe money when it’s closed).

For which type will you qualify? There’s no way to know until you try applying. But don’t misinterpret that the wrong way – you should not apply for credit cards until you get approved. Every application you submit results in a credit inquiry and having too many of those isn’t good for your score. So the last thing you want to do is make you score worse by having a ton of new inquiries made!

The best credit cards for a 600 credit score range are probably those which are specifically designed for those just starting out in the credit world and those who only have “fair” credit scores (and not those for good or excellent credit. Want examples? Here are our top recommendations for 2016.

Once you get a credit card, make sure you use it responsibly – as in always pay at least the minimum amount due (and preferably the entire outstanding balance) on time and never use more than about one third of your credit limit (later on it’s important to follow this advice on any individual card or in total across all your cards). After 9 – 12 months, it’s a good idea to your credit score again to determine where you stand. Hopefully by then you will be in a position to qualify for an even better unsecured credit card.

Sidenote: The reason you had a 650 credit score on one report and a 640 on another is due to the fact that each credit bureau utilizes different data and algorithms to calculate their credit score. Usually the information across all three credit reporting agencies is the same but sometimes, a given bureau’s info may differ slightly (perhaps it hasn’t picked up recent information from one or both of the others). However, anything in the mid-600s will be viewed as more or less the same, so don’t fret over the minute difference.

This post was written or last updated February 1, 2016

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I would avoid Barclay if possible. I had the rewards card, and was unable to use the points. When I paid on it, the funds were not going to be available for twelve days! I never had any issues in the past with payments not going through, and all other cards that I have are processed within five days. So, user beware of this company.

Christine, with a score of 625, you dont need a secure credit card. Just get the capital one for average credit (the website will list, average, bad credit beside the cc)and use it but keep the balance under 10% and pay in full every month. That boosted my score by 50 pts alone.

Not two but 538 to 650

When I got a secured card my credit jumped 50 points. Just an fyi. Got mine thru USAA and my deposit was 1300 over time. And all that went to a CD so when it matures I’ll have more than I put in. Downside is if u exceed the 30 percent it can and Will knock 16 points or more off your credit. Another option is to hire an attorney. More than 60 percent of Americans have dead credit on there credit reports meaning errors charged offs repos and write offs. Did u know u can dispute them and if they don’t get an answer in 30 days it goes away. Or even if they don’t have validity on there part it comes off. I used Lexington law and 1st month I had 13 negative items removed cause I was ignorant bout ny credit reports since then 4 months ago my credit went from two to 650. Just saying.

Mike, just as FYI, you dont need to hire lexington law to dispute errors on your credit, they charge way too much and you can do it yourself. I did it myself, started the process on 07/01/14, my scores were 589, 583, 591 and now my lowest score as of today is 673. All you have to do is get the equifax membership and pull all 3 of your credit report and dispute online and most of the stuff on my credit were deleted. I ended having to pay off 3 charge offs that were valid and the after I paid, the creditor didnt remove them. So I scanned the letters they sent me stating that my debt was paid and disputed those items again and they were deleted from my credit reports.

Correction, I just checked my scores after the comment and my lowest is 705.

I’m trying to purchase a home and my middle score is 625, the lender is saying I need to get a secured credit card for 500.00. To boost my credit to a 640. Is this true it will boost up to 625. And do you recommend I apply for a unsecured credit card?