If you’re trying to rebuild your credit, Capital One offers a number of good credit cards for bad credit, both secured and unsecured. Their mysterious Steps Program, however, is not advertised on their website although it DOES indeed exist.
Update: We now recommend the Barclaycard Rewards Card for people who are looking to rebuild and improve their credit. The Barclaycard Rewards card offers a solid rewards program and is fairly easy to get approved for – and typically offers a higher starting credit limit than some of the Capital One cards.
Upon enrollment, you’ll receive credit limit increases at scheduled increments, provided you make on-time payments and don’t go over your limit.
After speaking to a number of representatives — none of whom had even heard of the Steps Program (I wasn’t joking when I said this program is mysterious and elusive) — I was eventually forwarded to a voicemail and my message was never returned. Still, plenty of Capital One cardholders report being enrolled in the Steps Program after receiving a credit card from the issuer designed to rebuild credit.
- Upon credit approval, your credit limit will be low, typically $200 to $500.
- If your credit limit starts at $200 or $300, it will go up to $500 after 3-6 months of on-time payments.
- If your credit limit starts at $500, it will increase to $750 after 3-6 months of on-time payments.
- These credit rebuilder cards typically have a maximum limit of $1,500 to $3,000, so don’t expect increases after this point.
- To qualify for a step increase, you must make on-time payments, have an account in good standing and not go over your credit limit.
- If you miss a payment, you will be dropped from the program.
- Your account is automatically reviewed so you don’t need to call and request limit increases.
What most people won’t tell you is that the best way to apply for this program is to simply apply for a Capital One card for bad credit. Any rebuilding credit card or card for average credit scores from Capital One should be eligible. These include the Secured Mastercard, Platinum, Classic Platinum and No Hassles Cash Rewards cards (recommended).
After receiving one of these cards in the mail, the accompanying letter will let you know if you’ve been automatically enrolled in the Steps Program to receive automatic credit limit increases.