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Credit cards for bad credit

Got a bad credit rating? Bad-credit credit cards give you access to credit and can help you improve your credit file. Compare bad-credit credit cards from 7 companies below. Looking to improve your credit score? Try our credit-builder page instead.

Check your eligibility for credit cards

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  • 2It won't affect your credit score
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Barclaycard Forward Credit Card

Barclaycard Forward Credit Card
34.9% APR
Representative APR (variable)
Minimum credit limit
Maximum credit limit
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a rate of 34.90% (variable) per annum, your representative APR is 34.90% APR (variable)
Card details
  • The rate shown here is the rate you will receive if you are accepted for the card
  • 3 months 0% on purchases
  • Manage your account with text alerts and build your credit score
To get this card you must at least:
  • be a permanent UK resident
  • be 18 years or over
  • not already hold a Barclaycard credit card
  • be employed and earning at least £3000 annually
  • not have had any Individual Voluntary arrangements, County Court Judgements and must not have been declared bankrupt

Additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply.

uSwitch Limited is a credit broker, not a lender, for consumer credit.

Our services are provided at no cost to you, but we may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to.

Frequently asked questions

About bad credit credit cards

If you’re looking for a credit card to rebuild your credit rating, uSwitch can help. We compare the best credit cards for bad credit on the market - cards that can help repair your credit rating or strengthen it if you have no credit history at all. These are sometimes called credit building credit cards.

What are credit builder or credit cards for bad credit?

These types of credit card are designed for people struggling with either a poor or limited credit rating.

They can help to create a positive loan repayment history, as the fact that you are successfully paying off a manageable credit card debt every month is noted on your credit file.

This is why they’re often called credit building credit cards rather than simply ‘credit cards for poor credit rating’.

Reasons for bad credit

A bad credit rating can often be the result of one or more of the following:

  • Not paying utility bills, credit card bills, loan repayments or rent on time
  • County Court Judgments (CCJs)
  • Not being on the electoral register

Improving your credit rating

A good start is to understand what you can and can’t afford to borrow before you start comparing credit cards for people with bad credit.

You should make sure that your credit limit is something you’re able to manage consistently over a period of time until you repay the amount in full, even if it’s with credit cards for poor credit rating - you’ll then start to establish a better credit history and increase your chances of eligibility with future providers.

Your credit card billing address should also match the address you’re registered to vote at, as any differences could affect your credit file.

Applying for credit cards with bad credit

Applying for credit cards when you have bad credit is something you should do carefully. If rejected for a card it could make it tougher to apply for the next one. So it can be a good idea to start with credit builder cards or ‘bad credit’ credit cards.

The disadvantages of bad credit and credit builder cards

By offering credit cards for bad credit, providers understand that many applicants will have a history of not meeting their repayment – this means that credit building credit cards will charge higher standard interest rates.

These interest rates come in at around 30% and above - higher than most credit card providers.

Credit cards for bad credit - bills and rates

If you’re able to meet your monthly repayments on your credit building credit cards, it’s likely that you’ll be offered a card with a better rate in the future. However, if you default at any time your credit rating is likely to worsen and you’ll find your pool of credit cards for people with bad credit getting shallower.

As with most credit cards, if you pay off your bills at the end of every month you won’t pay any interest - regardless of the rate. Despite this, it’s still worth looking for the lowest rate possible just in case, as credit cards for poor credit can sting you in the event you can’t pay off your bill in full.

Compare bad credit credit cards with uSwitch

Our credit card comparison table allows you to filter the best cards specifically designed to help strengthen your credit rating - compare credit cards for bad credit today.

What are top deals?

One way to sort our table is by 'top deals', whereby we highlight cards that are market leaders for particular features or offer an exclusive deal. For example, of all the credit cards charging no transfer fee, the one with the best overall offering might be a top deal called 'No transfer fee'.

We do this to highlight that it is the best in its class on uSwitch. We check these deals weekly to ensure they really are the best on uSwitch in that area, so you can rest assured that our top deals are just that - the top deals on uSwitch.

What does 'popularity' mean?

Cards on the bad credit table are ranked by the number of clicks they get on the site in the past 48 hours.

The most clicked on cards are at the top, the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to

Does uSwitch compare all the credit cards on the market?

We compare over 100 credit cards from all of the major banks and credit card providers.

However, we do not compare all the credit cards that are available in the UK.

This is because some credit card providers have offers that are only available exclusively through their own website or branch, or through other comparison websites - in the same way some credit cards are exclusively available through uSwitch.

There are also many credit cards that are only available to people in member organisations and clubs.

What does it mean if a card is listed as an “advertisement” or “promotion”?

We sometimes receive payment from card providers to display their cards in prominent locations.

These are adverts and are designed to be distinct and separate from the other cards on our comparison tables. We hope this makes it clear which cards are top-of-table deals and which cards are paid for promotions.

Learn more from our Credit Card Guides