The first rule of getting a credit card once you’ve had bad credit is that you have to realize that the name of the game has completely changed.  This is a warning to make the applicant with damaged credit realize the credit card terms will be harsher.  A credit card used to be there for influxes of money when you ran yourself short, or to buy the things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.  Once you’ve had bad credit, this changes completely.  Now, the use of a credit card is all about responsible money and credit handling, and taking advantage of this chance to build your credit back up. 

Having established the fact that the terms and conditions offered to those with less than perfect credit are more onerous it is important to understand that there are a still quite a variety of credit cards available for those with less than perfect credit.  In addition, each time there is discussion on customers with poor credit, impaired credit or bad credit there is quite a range of credit profiles that fit these terms.  Perfect credit is fairly straightforward.  But my neighbor’s interpretation of bad credit and mine are probably very different.  This is also somewhat true in the credit industry.  One credit card issuer’s definition and parameters for good credit is not universal and adopted by their competitors.  Bad credit card offers are available in great numbers; make sure to pay attention to how bad credit is referred to within the credit card offers.

When you first get a new credit card and you fall into the category of bad credit, you are going to have a much lower credit limit that you would have gotten previous to your credit issues.  You may only receive a limit of $300, or potentially even a little less.  Because you have proven yourself to have money management issues in the past the lender will also levy higher than normal fees and charges in the administration of your new credit card.

There is an upswing to the gloomy outlook above however, and that is that you’ve been given a chance to start rebuilding credit.  You have a chance to prove to a lender that you can in fact manage credit and your finances.  The longer you maintain a viable and responsible partnership with your credit card company the more they will relax the initial restraints and restrictions placed on someone borrowing with bad credit.  As long as you don’t miss your billing dates, make the credit card payment on time and don’t go over your limit, you will start to see the credit card company offer you options beyond your original limits.  Also, this is going to help build your credit history in case in the future you need to apply for any other kind of loan.  The contradiction of the customer who needs the credit the least gets the better terms, applies in cases of reestablishing a good credit history.  Once you get the credit card with the restrictive provisions, make credit card payments according to the terms and pay the balance you will find you can now get a reduced rate and a greater credit balance.

The best thing about having an unsecured credit card for those with blemished credit is that it’s a second chance opportunity.  Your card company’s reports will be showing up on your credit report and if you treat them right it will reflect in the reports from the credit bureaus.  The longer you maintain a good relationship the more your credit profile will improve.

There are options out there in terms of these kinds of bad credit cards, so don’t just sign up right away because you think someone will finally approve you.  There is a big difference between a bad credit card and the best credit card.  A credit card for bad credit can still come with the best credit card rate.  Take the time to look around and find out which card fits your financial and credit needs the best.   Always study the terms of use, the APR, fees for being late, and any conditions imposed for balance transfers or cash advances.

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