Poor Credit Credit Cards

by Mack Bartlett

At a certain point a person who has damaged his or her credit has to decide when to say enough is enough. Now, I’m not saying that the person should avoid all credit completely, but I do think they should seriously evaluate the ways they’ve used credit in the past and make some observations about what circumstances ruined their credit to begin with. Only after they’ve made the effort to figure out where they’ve gone wrong in the past, as well as a commitment to improving in the future, should they start thinking about rebuilding their credit and using it again. And when they’re ready for that, poor credit credit cards are probably not a bad way to go.

In the spirit of full disclosure the first thing we should say is that credit cards for poor credit are not free…they’re not even cheap. The price of a ticket to this game usually starts off with annual fees (charged by the card provider just to keep the account open), ‘program fees’ (usually between $50 and $80, charged by the card provider. These fees basically mean “you might flake out, and we’re going to get some money to hedge our risk”), and additional card fees (only charged if you and your spouse/significant other are both trying to rebuild your credit and each want to have your own card).

If you’re okay paying all those fees, getting a credit card with poor credit is probably not a bad idea. Not only will it get your foot back in the world of consumer finance, it will also keep you from getting into trouble again.

What do I mean by that? Well, these kinds of cards are almost always secured or prepaid, and as such the issuing bank is keeping you from running up a balance you can’t pay. They’ll require you to make a deposit, which you can’t touch while your card is open, and basically let you borrow up to the amount that you deposited. Seems silly right?

It’s not. You’re going through the motions here to show the credit agencies that you’re ready to behave yourself with credit. Play the game for a couple of years and you’ll clear yourself of the bad name of “credit-challenged.”

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment