If you are looking for a credit card for bad credit, there are many options to choose from. The two main types of cards available are either a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card for bad credit. Both types of cards can help you repair your credit by giving you an opportunity to establish a good payment history. The costs and fees associated with each type of card are very different, however. In addition, depending on how bad your credit is, whether you have sufficient income and other personal details, you may only qualify for one or the other.
First let's look at the secured credit card for bad credit. A secured credit card requires that you deposit money with the issuing bank, and the bank will issue a credit card in the same amount for your use. Secured cards are guaranteed to be approved, because the bank has your deposit money in case you do not pay your balance. A secured credit card for bad credit operates much like a regular credit card. You receive a monthly statement, and you pay your minimum monthly payment or the balance in full each month. You are charged an interest rate, annual fee and possibly other fees for a secured credit card account.
Be aware that with a secured credit card for bad credit, your charges are not deducted from the deposit you have with the issuing bank. The bank is simply holding your deposit in the case that you default on your credit card balance. You must pay your monthly payments, and owe the bank the balance that you have charged on the credit card. You cannot refuse to pay simply because the bank is holding a deposit without further damaging your credit.
A second option for getting a credit card for bad credit is to get an unsecured credit card. Unsecured credit cards are available for bad credit clients, however, the issuing banks charge high fees to cover the risk of extending credit to a bad credit client. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$350 or more in fees which the bank will keep, you do not get that money back. Those fees are upfront costs for obtaining a unsecured credit card for bad credit. In some cases, the bank will allow you to pay the fees over two or more months.
In addition, unlike secured credit cards, if you have bad credit and apply for an unsecured credit card, it is not guaranteed that you will be approved. You may be turned down for an unsecured card, even if you are willing to pay the high fees.
Some of the fees that you will pay for an unsecured credit card for bad credit are:
Interest rate: you will pay a high interest rate as a bad credit client.
Annual fee: you will pay an annual fee, which is probably higher than other good credit clients will pay.
Monthly maintenance fees: you will also pay an amount every month called a "maintenance" fee, one top of the interest rate that you're already paying.
Application fee: you will also pay a one time application fee, which can be as much as $175.
Among both secured and unsecured credit card products, the fees and charges can vary widely. Be sure to do your research on each card before you apply, and start by applying for the card that gives you the best deal.
As you can see, with bad credit you may believe you want to get a new unsecured credit, but the secured products may be better on your pocketbook until you build up better credit history. Be sure to research different products and shop around for the best credit card for bad credit.