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Today we want to share our top credit card picks for people looking to build or rebuild their credit in 2018.
If you want to establish or rebuild your credit, finding the right credit card can be tricky. This is because many cards require good credit for approval. And we all know that building up credit requires a credit card!
The good news is that there are now cards made specifically for people who are looking to build or rebuild their credit. And we searched far and wide to find cards without hidden fees, processing fees for your applications, or other limitations.
In fact, we were able to find cards with rewards programs, even for those with only fair credit. And we found a secured credit card without an annual fee that can grow as your credit score grows.
Who Are These Recommendations For?
You will want to check out our recommendations if:
- You defaulted on a loan, credit card, or other obligation in the past 5 - 7 years.
- Your credit report is considered limited (i.e., you are someone with a short credit history).
How Will These Cards Help Me?
What you want to accomplish with these cards is to establish a history of making on-time payments and showing responsible use of your credit.
So it’s important to find a credit card that reports to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. This way, when you use use your card responsibly and pay your bill on time each month, you will demonstrate responsible credit use to other lenders and help to increase your credit scores.
This will help improve your credit score, will will make it easier for you to access credit for important purchases like auto loans and mortgages - and even other credit cards. And you will probably be able to secure better rates when taking out these loans.
Recommended Credit Cards
Without any further interruptions, lets get to our recommendations.
We'll start with regular credit cards, and move on from there to student credits cards and secured credit cards. We even have a card recommendation for those with a bankruptcy or other credit event on their record.
Earn Rewards with Limited or Fair Credit
Re-Establish Credit After a Bankruptcy
Best Cards for Students
The Capital One Journey Student Rewards Card is designed to help students build their credit.
Unlike other student-centered cards, this one also offers a cash-back reward program.
You can earn up to 1.25% cash back on all your purchases. All without concern for rotating rewards categories where you spend little money anyway.
Other key benefits of the Journey card include:
- No foreign transaction fee for students who love to travel!.
- Low variable APR of 20.49% for both new purchases and cash advances.
- Making your fists five payments on time will unlock higher credit lines.
Additionally, our research shows that Capital One is more likely to extend credit than other student oriented cash back cards. And this includes students attending 2-year, as well as 4-year, colleges.
The combination of cash-back rewards, low fees, and tools to help students build credit make the Journey Rewards Card a great first credit card for college students when you compare it against the competition.
Top Secured Credit Card
Applying for a new credit card can be confusing, especially if you are looking to build or rebuild your credit.
I highly recommend reading this guide on CreditForums which explains the difference between terms like “Pre-Qualified” and “Pre-Approved” and shares some proven tricks that other CreditForums visitors have used to get the banks to say yes.
Another thing that’s important to understand is that there are really two types of cards available if you are looking to build credit: secured cards and unsecured cards.
Secured cards are usually easier to get, but require a deposit. Many times, the required deposit is in excess of $500. With this list, I primarily focused on unsecured cards - meaning that no deposit is required for approval. To see more secured credit cards, follow this link.
Important Note: When using a credit card to build credit, or for any purpose, it is important to remember to pay on time and never charge more than you can pay for in cash. Also keep in mind that cards for people who are building credit may be easy to get approved for, but the tradeoff is that they usually have a higher interest rate than cards for people with good to excellent credit.
Also – If you need more clarification or have a question you can create a new thread in our credit cards forum. There are a lot of great people there ready to help.