Looking for credit cards that are easy to get approved for? First find out where you fit in…
Nowadays getting a credit card isn’t as easy as it used to be. After the banking industry learned their lesson during the financial crash, they really tightened up their lending. In 2013, credit approval is somewhat relaxed but still strict. So here’s the game plan for you to try to get approved.
Which credit category are you in?
Do you have bad credit? Limited credit history? Are you a college student? Whatever group you fit into, there are credit card offers for you.
My first advice would be to try out this card finder tool and see which offers you are pre-selected for based on your credit. Try this first:
As some general advice, depending on your credit here’s what you can typically expect.
Do you have bad credit?
If you have a history of bad debt (charge-offs) or bankruptcy then the best way to rebuild your credit will probably be with a secured credit card. Not only are they easy to get credit cards for bad credit, but many of them have guaranteed approval as long as you are a U.S. citizen and 18+ years or age. Bad credit won’t matter because your credit history usually is not part of the approval process.
But be warned! Not all credit cards in this category are created equal. Here’s what you will want to look for…
- Credit bureau reporting – Definitely make sure the card you choose reports to the major credit bureaus. Otherwise you won’t be able to use it to rebuild your credit.
- Ability to choose your limit – Your credit limit will be the same as your security deposit (and that is refundable when you close your account). Ideally, you want a card that will allow you to increase your security deposit (and therefore credit limit) when its convenient for you to do so.
- Won’t cost too much – Fees can be expected with secured cards but make sure they are not out of the ordinary. It’s best to pay not more than $10 to $15 per month, or $120 to $175 per year, on average. The lower the fees, the better.
Are you a student in school?
Getting a credit card as a college student is fairly easy as long as you don’t already have any negatives on your credit record (which you shouldn’t if you never used credit before). The easiest credit cards to get will be those which are specifically for students such as yourself. They are created for students 18-25 that have little to no credit history.
College student credit cards will typically start you off with a lower credit limit – around $500 to $1,000 – but that’s actually not a bad thing, because the last thing you want is a big credit limit that will tempt you to get into massive debt.
Is your credit fair/average?
Do you have okay credit? Maybe it’s not bad, but it’s not perfect either. If so don’t worry – there are a number of offers on the market created geared towards those with fair credit.
Here’s what you will want to stay away from…
- Premium reward cards – All those travel and high cash back credit cards you see advertised on TV typically require stellar credit scores. So these will not be easy to get credit cards with fair credit, unfortunately.
- Secured cards – The only reason to get a credit card that is secured is if you can’t qualify for a regular unsecured card (i.e. you have bad credit). If your credit is fair there should be at least some unsecured credit cards you have a good shot at qualifying for.
Have no credit at all?
You may be surprised to learn that getting a credit card with no credit history isn’t necessarily that hard to do. Why? Because creditors generally look upon no credit history as a blank slate and they are willing to take a chance on you. It’s often easier to get a credit card with no credit history than it is to get one with a bad credit history.
If you are a student with no history, then try and apply for a student card. If you are NOT a student, then easy credit cards for no credit history will typically be the entry level ones, such as those for fair credit.
There are plenty of easy credit cards to get approved for (even in this economy!) but the right one all depends on your circumstances. Whatever route you decide to take, just make sure you use you manage your credit responsibly and before you know it, you will be able to qualify for even better credit cards with more benefits and rewards.
Written or last updated November 9, 2013