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How To Get More Credit

If You Don't Have Credit Or Have Bad Credit

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If you do not have any credit, or if you have bad credit, you can still get a credit card. Getting, and using a credit card, can start you on the path to having good credit provided you pay at least the minimum monthly amount on time. Consider which of the following alternatives best fits your situation:

Credit Cards With A Low Limit

With no credit history, or a bad credit history, you may be able to obtain a credit card or cards with low credit limits, such as $200 - $400. It's not great, but if you start making charges, and timely monthly payments, you will quickly build a history that permits greater credit.

Consider asking the company when you can apply to raise the limit if you pay on a timely basis.

Check on the internet for cards that may work for you. A good place to start is: offsite link. Click on "credit cards for bad credit"

Secured Credit Cards

A secured credit card is an answer for obtaining credit for people who do not have credit because of a poor credit history or who don't have credit at all.

With a secured credit card, you are required to open and maintain a savings account as security for your line of credit. The amount of credit is a percentage of your deposit, typically 50% to 100%, but sometimes even more. For example, if you deposit $1,000 in a bank account, you can charge $1,000 on the secured credit card.

Each time you make a timely payment on the card, you create a credit record that helps you to obtain regular credit. You may even be able to obtain credit insurance on this account.

Look for a card that:

  • Pays interest on the amount of money you deposit.
  • That does not have an annual fee.
  • Has a low rate of interest on the amount you are allowed to borrow, if any.
  • Has a credit limit at least as high as your deposit, and preferably higher.

Use the secured card frequently and pay off the balance on time every month for 12 to 14 months. This will build a healthy credit profile which you can rely on to help obtain an unsecured card in the future.

Only use a bank for this type of card. There are plenty of disreputable operations that prey on those desperate for credit who would like to issue you a card with a secured line of credit - and then disappear with your money.

Once you obtain an unsecured card, close your secured account or negotiate with the bank to convert the card to an unsecured line of credit. Once you have an unsecured card, there is no reason to have your money locked into a low interest or no interest account.

Check on the internet for cards that may work for you. A good place to start is: offsite link. Click on "credit cards for bad credit"

Local Stores or Lending Institutions, Retail Gas Companies

If you don't have credit, consider applying for a charge card or a small loan at a local store or lending institution, or from a national retail gas company. It is often easier to obtain one of these accounts than a national account.

Ask if the creditor reports transactions to a credit bureau. If there is reporting - and if you pay back your debts regularly - you will build a good credit history.


If you cannot obtain credit alone, you may be able to obtain it if someone who has a good credit history co-signs a loan for you (which also means the co-signer is obligated to pay if you do not).

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