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Credit cards for bad credit

Find the bad credit credit cards most likely to accept you

Help repair your credit score and compare our best credit cards for bad credit.

Find a bad credit credit card

See which bad credit credit cards you're most likely to be accepted for with our eligibility checker
Uswitch.com is rated Excellent | by 24,457 people
Last updated
February 1st, 2024
16 results found, sorted by lowest apr.

Virgin Money Credit Card (23.9%) (Credit Builder)

Representative APR (variable)
23.9%APR
Minimum credit limit
Subject to status
Maximum credit limit
£3,500
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 23.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 23.9% (variable).
More Information
Additional information
  • Virgin Money Cashback offers cardholders the ability to earn cashback on their credit card spend at participating retailers when they are enrolled in the programme via the mobile app'
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • be a UK resident
  • have a UK bank or building society account
  • have a good credit history
  • have an annual income of £7,000, or household income of at least £15,000
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply

Virgin Money Credit Card (25.9%) (Credit Builder)

Representative APR (variable)
25.9%APR
Minimum credit limit
Subject to status
Maximum credit limit
£3,500
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 25.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 25.9% (variable).
More Information
Additional information
  • Virgin Money Cashback offers cardholders the ability to earn cashback on their credit card spend at participating retailers when they are enrolled in the programme via the mobile app'
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • be a UK resident
  • have a UK bank or building society account
  • have a good credit history
  • have an annual income of £7,000, or household income of at least £15,000
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply

Capital One Platinum Card

Representative APR (variable)
29.8%APR
Minimum credit limit
£200
Maximum credit limit
£1,500
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.84% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.8% (variable).
More Information
Additional information
  • For people with bad credit or building credit
  • Credit limit of £200 to £1,500
  • Up to two optional credit limit increases per year, if eligible
  • Helps you stay on top of your spending when you set up email alerts
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • have had credit in the UK before
  • not been declared bankrupt in the last 12 months
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply
Which? Recommended Credit Cards Provider in 2022

Virgin Money BT Credit Card (16 M) (29.9%) (Credit Builder)

Representative APR (variable)
29.9%APR
Minimum credit limit
£500
Maximum credit limit
£3,500
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.9% (variable).
More Information
Additional information
  • Virgin Money Cashback offers cardholders the ability to earn cashback on their credit card spend at participating retailers when they are enrolled in the programme via the mobile app'.
  • 16 months 0% on balance transfers (3% transfer fee)
  • 12 months 0% on money transfers (4% transfer fee)
  • 3 months 0% on purchases
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • be a UK resident
  • have an annual income of £15,000
  • no balance transfers from Clydesdale Bank PLC
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply

Virgin Money All Round Card (12 M) (29.9%) (Credit Builder)

Representative APR (variable)
29.9%APR
Minimum credit limit
Subject to status
Maximum credit limit
£3,500
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.9% (variable).
More Information
Additional information
  • Virgin Money Cashback offers cardholders the ability to earn cashback on their credit card spend at participating retailers when they are enrolled in the programme via the mobile app'.
  • 12 months 0% on balance transfers ( 3% transfer fee)
  • 12 months 0% on money transfers (4% transfer fee)
  • 12 months 0% on purchases
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • be a UK resident
  • have a UK bank or building society account
  • have a good credit history
  • have an annual income of £7,000, or household income of at least £15,000
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply
Which? Recommended Credit Cards Provider in 2022

Virgin Money BT Credit Card (12 M) (29.9%) (Credit Builder)

Representative APR (variable)
29.9%APR
Minimum credit limit
£500
Maximum credit limit
£3,500
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.9% (variable).
More Information
Additional information
  • Virgin Money Cashback offers cardholders the ability to earn cashback on their credit card spend at participating retailers when they are enrolled in the programme via the mobile app'.
  • 12 months 0% on balance transfers (3% transfer fee)
  • 6 months 0% on money transfers (5% transfer fee)
  • 3 months 0% on purchases
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • be a UK resident
  • have an annual income of £15,000
  • no balance transfers from Clydesdale Bank PLC
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply

Virgin Money All Round Card (9 M) (29.9%) (Credit Builder)

Representative APR (variable)
29.9%APR
Minimum credit limit
Subject to status
Maximum credit limit
£3,500
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 29.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 29.9% (variable).
More Information
Additional information
  • Virgin Money Cashback offers cardholders the ability to earn cashback on their credit card spend at participating retailers when they are enrolled in the programme via the mobile app'.
  • 9 months 0% on balance transfers (3% transfer fee)
  • 9 months 0% on money transfers (4% transfer fee)
  • 9 months 0% on purchases
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • be a UK resident
  • have a UK bank or building society account
  • have a good credit history
  • have an annual income of £7,000, or household income of at least £15,000
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply

Barclaycard Forward Credit Card (6 Mths) - Semi Excl

Representative APR (variable)
33.9%APR
Minimum credit limit
Subject to status
Maximum credit limit
£1,200
Representative example:
The standard interest rate on purchases is 33.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 33.9% (variable).
Uswitch Limited is a credit broker, not a lender, for consumer credit.
Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

Which are the best credit cards for poor credit

A credit card is being used at a contactless payment machine in a cafe

There's no such thing as a best credit card because what makes the best credit card for you will depend on your own financial situation.

However, if you've missed payments in the past, just moved to the UK or haven't used much credit before, you might find yourself struggling to find a traditional card that will accept you.

The good news is there are credit cards that are specifically designed for people who have a poor credit rating. Or who have little or no credit history.

On top of that, using the right type of credit card in the right way can help improve your credit rating - meaning you'll be more likely to be accepted for credit in the future.

Just make sure you can make your monthly repayments before taking out a credit card. If not, you could end up damaging your credit rating even more.

A bad credit credit card can help you boost you credit rating as long as you keep up with repayments on time.

How are they different from standard credit cards?

They main difference is that bad credit cards typically charge high interest rates and offer low credit limits.

You may also limited in the number of providers to offer credit cards for bad credit.

But if used responsibly, bad credit cards can help you build your credit to a level that allows you to be eligible for standard credit cards that are cheaper and may offer more features and benefits.

You can read more about building your credit rating and paying off your credit card debt.

How can I check my eligibility before I apply for a credit card?

It's important to apply for the right credit card for your credit rating.

If you apply for a credit card that's not suited to your financial situation, the lender might reject your application.

If your application is rejected, this will negatively impact your credit score. And you'll reduce your chances of getting credit in the future.

You can check how likely you are to get a card before you apply using our eligibility checker below.

The eligibility checker works by running a soft credit check. This means you can check your eligibility without impacting your credit rating.

Checking before you apply protects your credit score."

Find the credit card that's right for you It's quick, free and easy

It's quick, free and easy to see which cards you qualify for
eligibility-animation
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Answer a few basic questions about your circumstances
2
We'll show you the cards you’re likely to get, so you can apply with confidence
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Your credit score will always be protected
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Pros and cons

Pros

Improve your credit rating
Higher chance of getting the card
Extra protection on purchases

Cons

Higher APR
Lower credit limits
Fewer perks

Steps to improve your credit rating

Improving your credit rating could help boost your chances of being approved for credit in the future. Building up a strong credit rating can take time. But there are some things you can do now to start improving your rating.

Put bills in your name

Setting up direct debits to pay for things like household bills or mobile phone contracts shows lenders that you're capable of making regular repayments. Make sure you never miss a payment or this will negatively affect your credit rating

Register to vote at your current address

Credit card providers will use information on the electoral roll to confirm that you are who you say you are, so getting registered at your current address boosts your credit score instantly

Check your report for mistakes

You've got a statutory right to read your credit report - use it. If you spot a mistake and let them know it could help boost your score almost immediately

Why was my credit card application declined?

You've missed repayments

The more missed repayments you have, the worse your credit rating. And the less likely you are to be offered credit.

If you've missed a repayment in the past, your credit provider will record this and report it to the credit reference agencies.

Next time you want to borrow money from another provider they'll run a credit check. The provider will see that you’ve missed a repayment. And it will use that information to decide how likely you are to make your future repayments.

You're not registered on the electoral roll

When you're registered on the electoral roll, it tells your credit provider that you live where you say you do. It helps prove to them that you're not a fraudster.

If you're not on the electoral roll, in the eyes of the lender it increases the chance that your application is fraudulent.

You're financially tied to someone else who has bad credit

If you've ever taken out a joint credit product with someone else, like a joint bank account this could influence your own credit rating.

Why was my credit card application declined?

You've missed repayments

The more missed repayments you have, the worse your credit rating. And the less likely you are to be offered credit.

If you've missed a repayment in the past, your credit provider will record this and report it to the credit reference agencies.

Next time you want to borrow money from another provider they'll run a credit check. The provider will see that you’ve missed a repayment. And it will use that information to decide how likely you are to make your future repayments.

You're not registered on the electoral roll

When you're registered on the electoral roll, it tells your credit provider that you live where you say you do. It helps prove to them that you're not a fraudster.

If you're not on the electoral roll, in the eyes of the lender it increases the chance that your application is fraudulent.

You're financially tied to someone else who has bad credit

If you've ever taken out a joint credit product with someone else, like a joint bank account this could influence your own credit rating.

What can I do if my credit card application has been declined?

If you've been told "no" by a lender, the first thing to do is to stop applying for cards.

Every time you apply for a credit card, the provider will run a credit check. Frequent checks over a short period of time will look bad to providers - and potentially make you look desperate for money.

But there are some things you can do now to help improve your chances of getting a credit card in the future.

Your next step is to check your credit report for errors.

Look for any information you think is wrong or out of date, including basic errors relating to your address or bank details. Or for anything that looks suspicious. If you find an error on your credit report, make any corrections as soon as possible.

Knowing what's on your credit report will also help you see what credit card providers look at when you apply for a credit card.

It will show you:

  • Address details

  • Credit history

  • Repayments, missed and late payments

  • Bankruptcy and CCJs

  • People who have a financial connection with you

Find out more in our credit report guide.

"Knowing your credit score is the first step to improving it."

Credit score bands for different agencies
Credit agencyVery poor/poorFairGood/very goodExcellent
Experian0-720721-880881-960961-999
TransUnion0-565566-603604-627628-710
Equifax0-438439-530531-810811-1000

Credit card providers check with one or more of the main credit reference agencies in the UK - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - before deciding to offer you a deal. The table shows what each agency considers a low or high credit score.

Prepaid cards can be useful alternative to credit cards

No credit check is needed with a prepaid card. They work by loading money onto the card, similar to topping up a pay-as-you-go mobile phone.

A prepaid card can help with budgeting and limiting your chances of getting into debt as you’re unable to spend more than you have loaded on the card.

Find out more about prepaid cards

FAQs

What is APR?

APR stands for "annual percentage rate" - it's the interest rate charged on money borrowed on your credit card. 

It reflects the costs you'll pay over the course of a year and includes any standard fees associated with the card. 

In most cases, you can avoid paying interest by paying off your credit card balance in full by the due date of every billing cycle.

What credit limit will I get?

Providers typically decide credit limits on a per application basis. For bad credit credit cards, limit tend to be lower. Typically they can range from £500 and go up to £1200, but this can vary.

How long will it take to improve my credit?

This may vary, but if you've been using your credit builder card and regularly paying it off in full every month, you could see an improvement in your credit in three to six months.

How Uswitch compares credit cards

What does ‘most popular’ and ‘popularity’ mean?

When we use the term ‘most popular or ‘popularity’ on Uswitch in reference to credit cards, these cards are ranked by the number of clicks they have received on the site in the past 30 days.

The most clicked on cards are at the top, with the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to Uswitch.com. Consequently, this is a good table to look at if you’re interested in seeing which cards most people think are worth getting.

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.

Explore related guides

Find out more about credit cards and credit scores
What is a credit card?
What is a credit card?
How to pay off credit card debt
How to pay off credit card debt
How to improve your credit rating and credit score
How to improve your credit rating and credit score

About the author

Salman Haqqi
Salman Haqqi has over a decade of experience as a journalist in several countries around the world. In recent years, he has turned his focus to helping people make confident financial decisions and regularly comments in the media about personal finance.

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