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Top Credit Cards for Bad Credit In Canada – Unsecured & Secured Credit Card Options

Credit cards for bad creditFor people with impaired or no credit history, perhaps there’s no quicker or more effective way of re-establishing their credit than with a credit card. Luckily, even if you’re currently in bankruptcy, consumer proposal or emerging from insolvency, there are a growing number of credit cards for bad credit in Canada.

Canadians can now choose from a host of different types of credit cards to help them establish, re-establish or repair their credit histories and credit scores. Whether you’re looking for an unsecured, guaranteed approval, or secured credit card, there’s an option that’s best for you.

With the credit cards below, you can enjoy all the benefits of having a credit card, even if you have no credit history, or have had credit problems in the past. These credit cards for bad credit will help you rebuild or establish a strong credit rating, while giving you the convenience and security of a credit card – make purchases online or over the phone and book travel reservations easily and securely.

Top Credit Cards For Bad Credit

Top No Annual Fee Secured Credit Card For Bad Credit In Canada:
Home Trust Secured Visa No Annual Fee


Click Here To Apply

A no annual fee secured credit card requires a security deposit but does not charge an annual fee. Your credit limit is then set at the amount of the deposit. You can put down as little as $500, or as much as $25,000, depending on the card.  If you decide to cancel your secured card, you can just pay off your outstanding balance, and you’ll get your security deposit back. Because the card is secured, almost everybody is approved. The only downside for some, is that it does require a bank account.

Why It’s a Winner: The Home Trust Secured Visa, is a great option for those not approved for an unsecured credit card, looking to re-build or establish credit through a secured credit card but don’t want to pay an annual fee.

While it does require a minimum deposit of $500, you are guaranteed to get approved. Once approved, you can start to use it like any other credit card, and Home Trust will report your payments to both Equifax and TransUnion, helping you re-establish your credit.

It does come with a 19.99% interest rate, (but you shouldn’t be carrying a balance on a secured credit card anyways). Also, if you have any large purchases you need to make on the card, you can deposit as much as $10,000, which should give you all the flexibility to have a large enough credit line for big ticket purchases.

Top Low Interest Secured Credit Card For Bad Credit In Canada:
Peoples Trust Secured Credit Card

peoples trust

Click Here To Apply

IMPORTANT NOTICE! Peoples Trust has temporarily suspended issuing new credit cards. This is the message showing on their website:


“Peoples Card Services continually analyzes and refines its products to best meet the needs of our clients.  While we work to reposition a number of existingand new products, we have decided to stop accepting new applications for the Peoples Trust Secured Card product effective July 31st, 2017.

The Peoples Trust Secured Card program remains unchanged for existing cardholders who will continue to enjoy the same program benefits and use their card anywhere MasterCard is accepted.”


Even though this is a secured credit card, some people still may carry a balance from time to time, and if you do, a low interest option is critical to keeping down your borrowing costs.

Why It’s a Winner: The People’s Trust secured credit card offers a low interest rate of 12.99% on balances, two percentage lower than the next best secured credit card.

What also makes this card unique among it’s peers, is that you can create a security deposit as low as $500 to as high as $25,000. That’s the highest deposit allowed in Canada, to our knowledge, giving you the baility to create a $25,000 line of credit and all the flexibility to spend on big ticket items to meet your individual needs.

This card is ideal if you have had credit problems and want to rebuild your credit rating, have no credit history and want to establish a good credit rating or are a discharged bankrupt.

Just be careful with the low interest rate. If you intend on carrying a balance, you’re probably better off not getting the card and using the money that you would have used for your deposit to pay for your service – interest free.

You will need a bank account to be able to apply for this secured credit card.

Top Unsecured Credit Card For Bad Credit In Canada:
The Affirm MasterCard® Credit Card

IMPORTANT NOTICE! Affirm Financial Services has temporarily suspended issuing new credit cards. This is the message showing on their website:

“As we continue to find progressive ways to support the credit needs of Canadians, Affirm Financial Services has temporarily suspended issuing new credit cards, loans and all credit limit increases.

We are working hard to ensure that we bring you the credit products you need as soon as we can. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Existing Affirm Mastercard customers may continue to use the card in accordance with the terms of the cardholder agreement.”

An unsecured credit card for bad credit is a card designed for those with impaired credit. However, because it is unsecured, you won’t have to put any deposit or security against the card, and you’re not required to have a bank account. It’s a great alternative if you’ve been turned down for a credit card by the banks.

The advantages of an unsecured credit card are: 1. You get a true line of credit, without having to give a security deposit. 2. Your credit history gets reported to the credit bureaus. 3. It allows you to build or re-build your credit, even if you had difficulties in the past or present – even consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

Why It’s a Winner: The Affirm MasterCard is our top ranked credit card for bad credit, because it stands alone in Canada as the only unsecured credit card for bad credit with absolutely no security deposit required. It’s a great opportunity for those who have declared bankruptcy or have been or are in consumer proposal, offering unsecured credit lines as high as $3,000.

It comes with an interest rate of 29.99% for homeowners and 34.99% for non-homeowners, comparable to a store credit card, and much lower than a pay day loan. But remember, you shouldn’t be carrying a balance anyways. The idea here is for you to use good credit habits and pay down your credit card bill every month, not just the minimum payment, on time – use automatic payments if you can’t trust yourself. Pay down your balance every month and the interest rate is irrelevant.

It does come with an annual fee of $84 per year, charged at $7 per month. Reasonable for the risk the bank is taking, and when you consider many secured credit cards also come with an annual fee. Once you’ve re-established your credit, you can apply for a no fee credit card, and avoid the annual fee altogether.

Affirm reports to both credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, with every payment. Not all lenders do this. As a result, the Affirm MasterCard will help you build a positive track record of payment performance, and improve your credit history and score as quickly as possible.

READ THIS TO GET APPROVED: To help you get approved for this card, if you’ve declared bankruptcy or been in consumer proposal you should have a FICO greater than 500. If not, your FICO should be greater than 600. Your annual income should be at least $10,000. You should not have a payday loan inquiry. Nor should you have a major derogatory like a delinquency, or judgement in the last 6 months.

Summary of Best Bad Credit, Credit Cards In Canada

Credit Card Type Target Audience Fee
Home Trust Secured Visa Secured No credit history, Rebuilding credit $0
Peoples Trust Secured Credit Card Secured No credit history, Rebuilding credit $5.75/mo
Affirm MasterCard Credit Card
Unsecured Rebuilding credit, Bankrupt, Consumer Proposal $7/mo

Strategies To Get Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Get An Unsecured Credit Card If Possible

We really recommend that you first try to get approved for an unsecured card. The application process is simpler, you won’t have the risk of losing your security deposit and you won’t tie up your money in a security deposit either.

Don’t apply for every credit card under the sun – doing so will further lower your credit score. If you’re in bankruptcy, consumer proposal, just emerged or even on a debt repayment plan, an unsecured card specifically for bad credit might be the best alternative you have. If you’ve already been declined by the banks, it may be the only chance you have for an unsecured credit card.

Get A Secured Credit Card But Don’t Pay A Fee, And Don’t Keep It Forever

If you can’t qualify for an unsecured credit card for bad credit, and you want to get on the path of re-building your credit – and have access to the convenience of MasterCard and Visa, then a secured card might make sense. We would recommend getting one without an annual fee – why pay a fee when you don’t have to?

Secondly, once you re-established your credit to the point that you qualify for an unsecured card, get one, and then cancel your secured credit card.

And remember, make all of your payments on time. In fact, you should set-up all your credit cards for pre-authorized payments, so you’re never late – The Golden Rule of responsible credit card usage!



  1. Hi! Good Day!! As of now I am in consilidating counseling debt and I still have more than 2 yrs. To pay.. my credit score as of now is 514, I tried to apply for a CC in capital one ( secured) it was approved and still waiting for it in the mail. And I also tried to apply for a loan so that I can pay all my debts in 1 payment and not to wait for the 2 yrs. To paid it off but I change my mind and cancel it not knowing that it can affect my credit score or record because I just read somewhere here that loan inquiry may affect your CC app. In some banks. If I want to apply a scotiabank CC may i be get denied? I am scared to try it cause of my credit score or I might just stick to my Capital one CC for the mean time? My income per yr. Is $24K. What should I do with my debt? Do I need to wait for 2 yrs. More to paid it off? $3K balance from it.. as they say it took 4 yrs to get rid of the debt file in the credit bureau. Is it already a bankcrupcy? Thank you!!

    • Hi Weng, thanks for the great questions!

      First off, congrats on the progress you’ve made in completing your consolidation counseling. The application for a secured credit card was a smart move, and we imagine that you’ll receive it soon. Then you can begin your savvy spending plan and move the needle upwards from 514.

      If you applied for a loan as well, but cancelled it, it might show up on your credit report temporarily, but it’s not something to worry about unduly.

      As for your potential application for the Scotiabank credit card, we think your chances will be better once you wait a half year or so. This will give you ample time to move your credit score higher. If you’re worried about it turning into a bankruptcy abruptly, have no fears. Can you get your hands on $3,000 in cash to cover your credit limit with Capital One? If not, go ahead and apply to Scotiabank, because a temporary dip in your credit score wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if it means avoiding bankruptcy. Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  2. Hi just wondering, when I check my credit report with TransUnion I see my score is 542 in the poorand when I use my capital one credit score keeper I see 652 and says it’s good in the same day , and my Equifax score shows 461 and another site borrowel and shows my score 556, do you know why other site showing the different score ?

    • Hey Dwight, thanks for asking us about credit bureaus.

      We think there may be discrepancies between the entries on your report from each bureau. Sometimes this happens due to the different ways that these companies collect and update information. Do you know which is likelier to be correct? This is a wide range.

      What we can suggest is that you wait to apply for any credit card until after you get your credit repaired. Even with one of the companies that do this professionally, you’ll still need to order each bureau’s report and uncover the discrepancies individually. This will help them to determine which are erroneous and which are real. Best of luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  3. Hi,

    I was discharged from bankruptcy on August 2015. I am still learning how to improve my credit rating and all the stuff. It’s hard for me to understand as I am Deaf.

    I am trying to rebuild my credit in order to get a car for my job. Before the bankruptcy, I had part time job and was on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), then after the bankruptcy, I had full time job but it’s self-employed job. I had one mistake, I did not pay fedex and it went into collections, which may impact my credit. So how do I go about rebuilding my credit so I can get approved for a car loan?

    Desperately, I need your help to get the right credit card to rebuild my credit so I can get my dream car.


    • Hi Dolphin! Thanks for your comment. We think we can help. You’re discharged from bankruptcy, which is very good if you want a secured credit card. Not being in bankruptcy is just about the only requirement for applicants of banks like Home Trust, which have secured credit cards that make it possible to raise your score quickly and gain access to credit. It’s here on this page:


      Your credit score isn’t important, you just need to put up a deposit in cash and receive a card with a matching credit limit. Your use of the card reflects quickly on your score, thanks to Home Trust’s frequent reporting to credit bureaus like TransUnion. Just be sure to pay everything on time and take care of your past due FedEx bills. With some time and effort, you’ll be able to qualify for better credit, get back on your feet and then work towards your dream car. Best of luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  4. People’s Trust has stopped issuing cards too…I believe they actually are the ones that issue the Affirm Card too.

    From their website:

    Peoples Card Services continually analyzes and refines its products to best meet the needs of our clients. While we work to reposition a number of existing and new products, we have decided to stop accepting new applications for the Peoples Trust Secured Card product effective July 31st, 2017.

    The Peoples Trust Secured Card program remains unchanged for existing cardholders who will continue to enjoy the same program benefits and use their card anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

    We thank you for your business and look forward to offering new tailored products and services to the market place.

    • Hey Msmum, thanks for the comment! We appreciate you informing us and our other readers, and if you look at the article now, you’ll see that we’ve updated it to reflect this information. Current People’s Trust members have nothing to fear, as they state, but new applicants should look towards Home Trust if they need a solid secured credit card. Thanks again.

      GreedyRates Staff

  5. Hello, I have a very bad credit rating (445), I am trying to rebuild my credit but I don’t have any credit cards. I have 3 derogatory reports on my file. 3 collections agency are constantly calling, but I know they really can’t do anything because the activity on all those credit cards have been 5 years and over the statute of limitations. My question is can I still apply for a secured credit card? Can I still rebuild my credit eventhough I have those reports on my file? I make good money now but am just too cheap to pay off those debts. And example if I go through insolvency and settle with the collections agency how long would it take for it to be taken off my file? and going thru insolvency, will they reveal my whereabouts or who I work for coz I really hate being harassed that’s why I did not deal with those collections people. thank you

    • Hi Tikboy, thanks for your comment! First of all, we do not recommend leaving your debts to stew in collections. It is difficult to live life while looking over your shoulder, and if you make good money, it’s always worth it to free yourself of debt rather than keep a little extra cash in your pocket. The good news is that despite your situation, you will likely be approved for a secured credit card. These cards are designed for those with poor or nonexistant credit, and are not strict when accepting any and all applicants. You have money so it will be easy to put down a big security deposit and get a matching credit limit, allowing you to get the purchasing power you likely don’t have with cash (no matter how much).

      We can’t say how long it would be before you’re solvent if you decided to make good on your obligations, but we can say that it would be worthwhile. Best of luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  6. is the affirm card back up and running? we are in a consumer proposal and are interested in that card.. Thanks

    • Hey Mandy, thanks for your comment. We have a lot of interest in the Affirm card from other readers, not just yourself, but unforunately we don’t have an answer. To our knowledge, the card isn’t available, and we’re not sure if it will be again. There are other cards that could help you however, like the Home Trust Secured card. No matter the state of your credit, this card will help you maintain your financial flexibility and build a healthy standing with your credit bureau. If you need more help, just ask! Thank you.

      GreedyRates Staff

    • Don’t go with affirm I had my card compromised and they won’t do anything about it….worst credit card company

  7. Hi,

    I appreciate how you address everyone, if feels like you’re genuinely ready and willing to help. I’m working on rebuilding my credit and was reading some of your responses. You mentioned that first bankruptcies are removed from credit files after 6 years. Is that 6 years from filing or from discharge? I filed April 2011 and it was discharged January 2012 but I can still see it on my Transunion credit report. Am I at the point where I can contact them to have it removed or do I need to wait until January 2018 for it to be 6 years from discharge?

    Why do a lot of credit card applications say no record of bankruptcies within the last 7 years if I can have it removed after 6? Is that because some provinces are 6 years and some 7?

    My current score is 689. Within the last 2 months I’ve applied and was approved for a unsecured Capital One card and an Amex card. I read having some credit cards on file with low utilization can improve my credit score.

    Do student loans that are in repayment count towards the part of my credit score that takes my utilization into account? I have one on file that is at approximately 65%

    Thank you for your time!! =)

    • Hi Dan,

      We really appreciate your kind words and are glad to help! To address your first question, the bankruptcy will be wiped from your record 6 years after the date of filing, not discharge. If you’re still seeing it one of the bureaus’ credit reports, it’s likely that they haven’t heard from your lenders or are still updating their system. It’s worth it to call and inquire.

      Secondly, we’re not sure why the bank policies state that one must be 7 years from bankruptcy. Perhaps they want to see a year’s worth of responsible financial performance before deciding. Unfortunately, we can’t know.

      Lastly, we don’t think that your student loans count toward your credit utilization ratio. Because loans are taken on single payments like tuition, and don’t involve flexible spending, it’s not exactly credit that one can utilize. We aren’t positive, but while you’re on the phone with TransUnion, clearing up the bankruptcy entry, you should ask! Best of luck.

      GreedyRates Staff

  8. Hello
    I applied for a consumer proposal early June and have just been told it’s been approved. However my financial situation has changed and I am able to pay off my debts in full. I had asked the agency if I could cancel/withdrawal my proposal so I could pay in full and avoid have an R7 credit score for 3 years after completing a proposal. I still have about a week and a bit for the courts ruling on the proposal. But the firm I am working with said that even if I cancel and go ahead and paid in full that I would still have an R7 rating. Can you please advise if this is true or are they trying to get their commission out of my buy having me go through with the proposal. My transunion rating is currently 615. I called them and they said they couldn’t see a proposal on my credit score yet but that it could take 30 days and couldn’t give me a definitive answer on whether or not it would stay on my record if I had cancelled and paid in full. Do you have any advice? I would like to avoid the R7 rating and start working on improving my credit score as soon as possible.

    • Hi Lala, thanks for coming to GreedyRates.

      Congratulations on your newfound solution – we’re happy you were able to successfully cancel your consumer proposal. Many times, it is hard to do inside the 60-day window.

      Regarding the effect on your credit, even for a cancelled proposal, we’re unfortunately out of our area of expertise. We understand that you want to avoid having that R7 on your credit report, but if TransUnion doesn’t know the answer, then we’re not sure where to turn. It might be that once the proposal is filed, you have to wear the R7 status for 3 years regardless, but if you caught it in time, it may not have been filed. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help. Good luck, and let us know how the situation progresses.

      GreedyRates Staff

  9. I was a victim of identity fraud in 1996 and it has haunted me ever since. I have a judgment on my record that shows not satisfied however the debt has long since been paid even though i did not incur it (fraud) i was held responsible. I have tried many times to have it removed but the company that placed the judgment has ignored my every contact and the court even though i have proof of payment will not remove the record unless the company forwards them a letter of satisfaction. I have had no luck being able to get any kind of credit card and i do not want a secured card for a minimal limit of $300 that does not help me out with car repairs or incidentals such as that. Any recommendation as to what company may be willing to give me a whirl with an unsecured card?

    • Hey Sjeka, thanks for coming to us with your inquiries.

      We’re shocked to hear that your experience with identity fraud has left you in such a bad way, and can lend some advice that may help a bit.

      Have you considered purchasing a few months’ subscription to a credit repair service? These are some of the best people at solving the problems you’ve described – removing erroneous entries on one’s credit report.

      Unfortunately, without this removed from your report, getting an unsecured credit card is difficult. A secured card will lend you some purchasing power, more if you can add to the security deposit, and will also help you to build credit over time. This will at least demonstrate to issuers that you are working hard to improve your situation, and add to your score slowly. Best of luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

    • Try Capital One Credit Card. They trying to rebuild your credit card. Even bankruptcy is accepted. Good Luck !

  10. I currently have a Capital one (unsecured card 3750 limit, 3400 balance), a mortgage (Home Trust) with 1/3 down payment, and a merchant card (4500 limit-2600 balance). My Trans Union score is only 622. I’ve a recovery from Cable Company over a misunderstanding (paid in full). My debt to income ratio is only at 20%. I’ve been paying all bills exactly on time (always double the minimum payment or more) for the last year.

    I’m retiring in 4 or 5 years. I expect to have 0 balances on everything by fall. What else can I do to boost my score before I retire? Would I qualify for a Home Trust Equity card and would that be the right move?

    • Hi Tom, thanks for asking for our advice on your quest for a successful retirement!

      We are impressed with your financial savvy, and are glad to hear that you are paying your bills on time. This is key in improving a credit score. Here is some advice however: a more important ratio for credit bureaus is not your debt to income, but rather your balance compared to your available credit limit, otherwise known as credit utilization ratio. Getting this metric below 30% is a great indicator to Equifax and the other credit bureaus that you are working on reducing your balances.

      If you have 4 or 5 years until you plan on retiring, we think that adding another card to the mix is not a bad idea. The minute dent it may make on your credit will be quickly overtaken by responsible performance, reported frequently to the three bureaus by Home Trust. It will also help you to quickly reduce your outstanding balances, which is crucial.

      Other than healthy use of multiple cards, we recommend that you continue as you have been, and perhaps also look into a credit repair service to remove any discrepancies on your report that refuse to go away. Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  11. Hi GreedyRates,
    I like your blog. You provide excellent information, and treat the folks who write with dignity and respect. I do have one question, however. Are you affiliated with this Affirm Financial?You keep suggesting people deal with them, regardless of their high interest rates and fees; and of course, that they are no longer providing service.
    Do you have something against Capital One? They offer good service for bad credit customers, including bankruptcy. They issue secured and non secured cards, even if the client has gone bankrupt. I spoke to them and asked about their “no security deposit” program and why it is offered to bankrupt customers. They told me that they look into the person’s credit history prior to the bankruptcy, and see if it was good; as well as his/her current financial situation. They acknowledged the obvious; that people sometimes end up filing bankruptcy for circumstances beyond their control, not that they were bad credit risks. They take this into consideration when deciding to impose a security deposit or not. Anyway, they have given me good service, as well as other friends who I recommended them to.

    • Hey Steve!

      Thanks for leaving your comments, and for your appreciation of our services. We’ll try to give you as transparent an answer as we can.

      Regarding Affirm Financial and their discontinued line of credit products, we have a relationship with them similar to our relationship with the other cards we review. What this means is that we have our team of testers thoroughly research the minute details of every card, establish trust and reliability and then ensure that our customers have comprehensive knowledge of the card’s specific advantages and disadvantages. Our latest reviews reflect that Affirm is no longer offering its cards, but that existing cards still work, and we’ve refrained from continuing to recommend them.

      Concerning Capital One, we certainly have nothing against them, but we do need permission from them to review and recommend their cards to people like yourself. Additionally, our team of testers is experiencing a shortage, but some progress is being made on both these fronts. The wheels of bureaucracy still turn, but until the day comes when we can properly review Capital One products, you will never hear us say a critical word about them. In fact, we hear that their services are great, similar to your experience with them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      GreedyRates Staff

      • I wrecked my excellent credit many years ago with thousands in defaulted payments (prolonged unemployment) on a CBC Gold Visa and an RBC Platinum; I then secured a $2,500 credit limit on a secured Capital One card and started rebuilding my credit after recapturing steady employment.

        Once I had paid off my secured card for awhile, I closed that account and asked Capital One for my $900 security deposit back and they obliged. They then approved me for a Capital One Aspire card (travel points). It took forever to accumulate points on that one, so I parked it in favour of the Scotia Momentum (4% groceries, etc.) with a $14,000 limit. Still paying balances off like a dutiful creditee, so now my credit is near perfect again (793 FICO, 852 Transunion).

        Capital One is confirmably no-hassle. Highly recommended.

  12. Hi there,
    I’m trying to fix my credit. I was wondering how I could do so?
    I had a consumer proposal and has been paid off and completed for 1 year now.
    The onky thing that couldn’t be included was my student loan to wich I have been paying double my min payment per month to pay it down. My utilization of credit statesb30% at the moment. Which is only my student loan
    I also have my Rogers account wich I pay monthly sometimes I overpay. Oops
    My credit rating is at 565

    On my report it does have 2 accounts that show paid/settlements made and $0 balance. 🙂
    There is also 3 inquiry’s on my credit as I asked 3 years ago for a vehicle loan in which I was denied,(those come off the report in nov) and one from my bank last oct which I was denied (understandable)

    Should I wait to apply for something ? Heelllllpppp
    I’m 30 and I can’t even get a mortgage

    • Hey Summer, thanks for coming to Greedyrates with your great questions.

      We think we can help you. You say that you are now cleared from your consumer proposal for one year, which is important. Equifax and TransUnion say that consumer proposals stay on a credit report for up to three years, but how fast credit improves after completion depends on how quickly the proposal was completed and how you are currently performing financially.
      You have a maximum of two years before it falls off your report, but you can use this time wisely to raise your score. It will not remain 565 for long. It’s encouraging to hear that you overpay on your Rogers bill and that student loans get double the minimum payment.

      The items on your report, including the credit inquiries for the vehicle loan and others, should pose no threat to your potential for an improved credit score. We recommend that you apply for a secured card to use in conjunction with your Rogers card. This looks good on your credit statement. The Home Trust Secured Visa is great for relaying frequent updates to the credit bureaus. We feel that if you continue responsibly, as you have, then in a relatively short time your credit will climb. Best of luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  13. Hello GreedyRates,

    Thank you for your great responses and help! Im sure Im not alone when I say your providing a great service for everybody here.

    This is my situation:
    -maintained 1 credit card for at least 10 years.
    -closed all other credit cards (cibc, pc financial, mbna, RBC) at the same time back in November 2012. But I first allowed them to be past due for 3 billing periods, then payed them all off entirely and closed them off. I had a lengthy history with each one of them and prior to allowing them to go past due, all were in good standing w no missed payments, and a lengthy credit history.
    -I have no other negative pieces of information on my credit report, ie. dilinquencies, public reports, etc. NONE.
    -I have only a couple “hard inquiries” dating back to 2014.
    -My updated credit utilization on my current Capital One acct. is less than 20%

    Now, I recently applied and been approved for an MBNA mastercard w a 4500 limit. It shows up on my report as a hard inquiry. However, they have YET TO REPORT MY BALANCE, which I transferred from my Capital one acct. therefore, my utilization remains at less than 20%

    So, my question is:
    What are my chances of being approved for an RBC 0% balance transfer for 10 months, no ann. fee, credit card? and what limit do you think I might be approved for?

    Other info:
    Capital one limit just preapproved a limit increase to $6000 from $5000.

    I greatly appreciate as much info as you can provide!

    Thank you so much!

    • OH, and my credit score now is 681.

    • Hey Edwin, thanks a lot for your detailed queries and for the kind words 🙂

      Let’s see if we can help you figure out your situation. It seems like your credit history, while colorful, has not been very detrimental to your ability to get credit. You have an excellent credit utilization percentage, and even when the MasterCard credit limit reflects on your score, it should not hurt your chances very much. We say go ahead and apply for the RBC balance transfer card, but don’t count on its temporarily non-updated status to help you.

      Also keep in mind that this will be another hard check on your credit. If you are not approved, then work hard to make use of the MBNA credit card to reduce your balance and try again in a few months. When it eventually happens, we cannot say how much you may be approved for, but as always it’s important to pay off as many balances fully as you can.

      Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  14. Just a heads up. I followed your Affirm link but when applying it now says they have suspended their credit products thought existing cards are still valid. Going under?

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for letting us know! This is a temporary condition set by Affirm Financial Services, and we trust that they will be back in the credit business soon enough.

      GreedyRates Staff

  15. Hi,

    I have a credit score of 551 and have no delinquent accounts on record or in collections (paid off all my debt as of March 2017) , and I earn more than $35K a year. I am not sure if i can apply for TD Visa or any other credit to building my score. I don’t want to do a Secured Card. But is that my only option?

    • Hey Marwa, thank you for your excellent inquiries.

      If your credit score is currently 551, regardless of whether or not you have delinquent accounts on record or in collections, you may run into trouble applying for unsecured cards. We cannot say for certain if you would get approved, but we do know that you do not want the negative impact on your FICO score if TD does not deem you creditworthy just yet.

      It may not be your only option, but getting a secured card is a quick way to improve your score and is not necessarily a burden on the cardholder – you have a good salary and can afford to boost your credit limit accordingly.

      We hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  16. FYI Affirm is no longer issuing any credit cards or credit increases.

  17. Any advice on how to have a discharged bankruptcy removed from my bureau. Filed in Aug of 2001, and was discharged in May of 2002 but still shows as an undischarged bankruptcy on my bureau wiping out all my previous good credit scores and the bad. I now have a zero score as my bureaus show no new credit of anykind hindering my ability to obtain credit. I have just gotten an unsecured credit card to try and get a positive R1 line going, and considering other options to get some positive lines in order to get a loan…question what is the best way to imorove/get positive score and how long it take in terms of good payment history, and also how do I go about getting the bankruptcy as a disharged, which technically should not even show anymore as it was 15 yrs ago i was discharged. The trustee I contacted said their files have been destroyed, so no longer have a copy of my discharge

    • Hey Mark, thanks for your inquiries.

      We’re sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty removing your discharged bankruptcy from your credit report. This is troublesome for your credit, as the presence of bankruptcy will deduct hundreds of points from your score. Bankruptcies can be removed from your credit report anywhere from a minimum of 6 years in the event of a single bankruptcy up to 14 years in the case of multiple bankruptcies from the date of discharge. To remove it from your credit report, you’ll have to file separate disputes with each of the credit bureaus under which it appears. Going at it alone is not recommended, as the paperwork and wording required to avoid the disputes being seen as frivolous are difficult.

      Try temporarily hiring the services of a credit repair company, that specializes in removing these types of items from your record.

      After doing so, you’ll see your score rise dramatically. Then, all you have to do is practice responsible credit usage and it will continue on a steady upwards trajectory, which may take many months before your score is where you’d like to see it. The most important part of this effort is paying all your bills on time, and avoiding going deeper into debt. You can use the unsecured card you received for this purpose. Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  18. Hi there,

    My wife and I are hoping to to purchase a home at the end of the year she has the good credit but I have the income. So we’re trying to rebuild my credit and I just got a unsecured CC from capital one but the limit is only 300$. RBC said I should get my limit up to 2500 but capital one says I can’t raise my limit for at least 12 months. Is there a better option aside from capital one to getting a limit that high? My credit score is at 540.

    • Hey Travis!

      Awesome question. The difference between an unsecured and a secured credit card is that most issuers allow new applicants for the latter to obtain a credit limit that matches their initial security deposit. Unsecured cards do not operate like this.
      You may want to look into getting a new secured card, such as the Home Trust Secured Visa, and then put forth your $2,500 in order to get the same credit limit. Issuers approve cardholders with low credit scores and rocky financial histories, so you should have no trouble getting approved.

      Keep on using your Capital One card alongside your new card and it will reflect well on your credit score. Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  19. I left Canada to live abroad for more than 10 years, moved back last month and found out I got all credit card applications declined. [Before I left, I had perfectly credit history.] Only then I realized my credit history would probably have wiped out and these “hard” inquiries will hurt my credit score. But my first question is: how would my credit history look like after I left for 10 years, zero credit score? How can more hard inquiries hurt my already “empty” history further… a negative credit score?

    I am able to get an unsecured credit card with the bank I have my savings in. So, currently have 1 credit card and 1 bank account. Should I apply for a secured credit card so I will have 2 cards and help build credit history faster? Which secured credit card issuer doesn’t check on credit history? I don’t need the additional credit spending amount though.

    Except for adding a secured credit card, what else can be done to help build my credit history? I have setup an account with the Hydro company and paying rent on time, but doubt if they would report my good payment history though.

    Thank you!

    • Hey Misty, thanks for getting in touch with us.

      Let’s see if we can help you build your credit now that you’ve returned to Canada. Regarding your concerns about how multiple hard credit inquiries may affect your new credit, we think that you’ll be fine. Hard credit inquiries may temporarily reduce a FICO score by a few negligible points, and considering that your slate is blank, we think that anyone looking into your history will understand what happened.

      It sounds like you’re already on the way to building credit, if you’re able to get an unsecured card from your bank. Having and using multiple credit cards responsibly reflects well on your credit score, so pick up a secured card as well. We recommend one that will frequently report results to the major bureaus, such as the Peoples Trust Secured card. They accept all kinds of credit histories, even bankruptcy, so getting approved should not be an issue. Make sure you use both cards and pay the balances each month, and your score should rise accordingly.

      Best of luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  20. I have been working to rebuild my credit score and am now up to 643. I have a secured Capital One Mastercard ($1000 credit limit and current balance less than $100, with balance paid in full each month…I have not paid them one penny in interest). Their annual fee is high so I would like to apply for another card, but an unsecured one this time. The interest rate on the Affirm card is egregious so I was considering the Scotiabank Value Visa – any thoughts on it? How easy are they for approvals? Any other suggestions for unsecured cards for people with my credit score (as mentioned, it is 643 today and I have no idea how long it takes to go up when paying balance in full each month).

    • Hey M.W!

      Thanks for your excellent questions, and congratulations on raising your credit score so high! Also, we apologize for the long time it took to respond, we’re doing our best to get to all the comments and that can take time.

      You used the Capital One MasterCard well, and we agree – it’s time for something new. We think that the Affirm card is unsuitable for your situation as well (not to mention that Affirm have ceased all their credit cards operation at the time of writing), and admire your choice in the Scotiabank Value Visa. It truly is a great card and comes with the low annual fee of $29 that you mentioned is important.
      Keep in mind that one of the main features of the Scotiabank card is the low balance transfer rate, and considering that you have an improved credit score and don’t keep a balance, you have other options available as well. Shop around on our site for cards that fit your credit profile and ask us – we’re always here to help.

      Also, we recommend checking out what we’ve written at “5 ways of improving credit score” for more on the subject of keeping your credit score on an upwards trajectory.

      We hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  21. I had to file for bankruptcy after a divorce where I was left with substantial debt and high support payments. I have been discharged for almost two years now. For the past 10 months I have been using an Affirm Master Card and paying in full each month. I was planning to ask for an increase in my limit from the current $2,000 however they substantially increased their fees recently. I would like to try and get a card with less costs and higher limit. My income is $60k/yr. and I have saved about $10K. Every card I look at requires you to not have a bankruptcy within the past 7 years. Am I stuck with the high cost Affirm card for the next 5 years or are there other options? I wondered if I got a secured card from a bank would they, with good behaviour, give me an unsecured card in less than 5 years? Any other options?

    • Hey Bill,

      Thanks for your questions! And sorry for taking so long, we are doing our best to respond to every comment we get, and that can take some time.

      Regarding your concerns with your Affirm card, it may be wise to cancel it and apply for a different (even Secured) card, like Home Trust or Peoples Trust. Many issuers say bankruptcy is not a barrier to credit, but they also determine your creditworthiness on an individual basis.

      The Peoples Trust card is ideal for customers who are discharged bankrupt, and will grant a credit limit matching your security deposit contribution, so you can use some of the money you’ve saved to extend your limit. Also, we’re sure that the 12.99% APR on balances is much more favorable than your Affirm card’s new limit. Call customer service and explain your situation. Your recent credit history should prove that you will remain in good standing. Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  22. Hi,

    i just looked at my credit score and its at 402
    is there any unsecured credit card that i can obtain?
    i do make good income

    • Hi Lucy, thanks for the great question.

      We understand your need for a card that will let you build your credit, and we’ve reviewed many secured cards that will do the job nicely, regardless of your current score. We like secured cards because the inclusion of a security deposit on the part of the applicant helps issuers offer better terms.

      Due to your good income, you should consider covering a security deposit for one of these cards to help raise your score. If this is not your cup of tea, you might get approved for the Affirm card.

      Best of luck to you!

      GreedyRates Staff

    • Try Capital One. I am in the process of going bankrupt (not yet discharged); and Capital One was one of the creditors included. In spite of this, about a year into the bankruptcy they issued me a no security deposit mastercard with a $2,500.00 credit limit.

  23. Hi There,

    I recently pulled my bureau from both Trans Union and Equifax with a score of 545 on trans and 548 on Equifax…I have filed bankruptcy twice after making stupid mistakes and was never advised by my trustee (which I used both times) that my bankruptcies will now stay on my bureau for a 14yrs… My last bankruptcy was discharged in Jan 2006 so apparently won’t fall off ’til Jan 2020. That being said, the bankruptcy only shows on my Equifax not Trans Union…not sure why that is but yet my score is 3 points higher on Equifax…maybe I should just stick with lenders that only pull Transunion…I’m currently working full time and earn about 50k annually and hoping to get a mortgage but still need to get my score way up. I currently have a $500 secured Peoples trust MC that I’ve had for 2 years…I’m thinking increasing my limit to $1000 with Peoples trust. Once I increase my limit and bring the balance to under 30%, I’m hoping that will increase my score. Other things showing on my bureau are my Koodo phone bill and my Rogers account which has now been closed at my request. I currently owe about $3000 to my rogers account with $736 passed due from last month…If I pay off my past due to Rogers will that help or do I need to pay it off completely right away…I’m not sure if a Rogers acct carries the same weight as a revolving credit account. Is it best to get a second secured card at this point or stick with what I have?

    • Hi Tony, thanks for your inquiries.

      Regarding one of your first concerns on whether to exclusively use lenders that pull your information from Transunion, the difference of 3 points on your credit score is not likely to make a big difference in their final appraisal of your creditworthiness. You should assume that Transunion will update their information and continue to apply for a mortgage regardless of where the lender pulls their numbers from.

      Concerning your question on what to pay off first, it’s always best to completely pay off a bill rather than continue with minimum payments on several at once. This way you don’t accrue extra interest and have less on your plate. It is also best to pay whatever has the highest interest rate before the others.

      For a quick boost to your credit score, you could increase the limit on your People’s Trust MasterCard and pay off the $736 past-due Rogers bill. The phone bill you mentioned should also be paid quickly, leaving you the peace of mind to tackle the rest of the Rogers debt with less urgency. To do this, a second secured card might help you, as you mentioned. If approved, the extra headroom gained in the form of a higher credit limit and lower credit utilization ratio may help get you the mortgage you need.

      We hope this helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  24. I always had great credit until I lost my job and after a year with no income source money ran out and I couldn’t make payments any longer. I filed a consumer proposal and received my certificate of completion in January 2014. During the past 3 years I obtained 2 unsecured cards, one Affirm and the other Capital One. I’ve never been late on payments. In January 2017 3 years since discharge passed and tge derogatory information about the CP was removed from my TransUnion credit rating and my score soared to 776. Equifax still has 3 old credit cards incorrectly showing I have $17k in debt above my $2k limit with an 860% utilization rate. I’m trying to clear this up as my credit score with them is 641 “fair”. Hopefully the agent I spoke with isn’t as unaware of CP as the person who receives my dispute and this is resolved. I want to ask my TD Bank for a card to replace the Affirm card. Affirm has increased the annual interest to 39.99% and annual fees to $143. These rates are unacceptable to me. I am concerned about my credit score being harmed by my cancelling the Affirm card. I am also concerned about the hard check on my credit by TD especially if Equifax doesn’t remove those derogatory accounts and my score with them remains low. I’m trying desperately to build my score so I can apply for a mortgage and stop paying rent to someone else and reduce interest rates! Any advice?

    • Hello Frankie. Excellent questions and comments – we are impressed with your hard work and will help find a solution for you.

      Regarding the issue of Equifax and their incorrect data, we hope the issue will be cleared up soon and recommend you continue resolving it with customer support. This is no obstacle however, as other credit agencies like TransUnion have the correct numbers, and card issuers like TD do not go to a single source for their financial information on applicants. They will likely see the discrepancy, and if not you can explain.

      Replacing your Affirm card with a TD one is an excellent idea and we believe that Equifax’s mistake will not unduly affect your credit rating if you cancel. Your score is already impressive, and though cancelling a card may have a slight effect, after Equifax retroactively fixes their mistake it should go back to normal.

      We hope your are successful in rebuilding your credit with!

      GreedyRates Staff

  25. Hi GreedyRates Staff,

    Thank you for all the great info. I also appreciate the comments of the above posters.

    Currently, I am still in bankruptcy – I have some surplus arrears (about $2,000) to payoff then I can be discharged. I am needing a credit card for work though – it’s very hard to reserve a hotel room when travelling for work purposes when one doesn’t have a card. Are there cards out there that will approve an applicant when he or she hasn’t been discharged?

    Many thanks, Sara

    • Hi Sara and thank you for the insightful question!

      While both the Home Trust Secured Visa and the Peoples’ Trust Secured MasterCard ask that you show official proof of your discharge, we are happy to tell you that the Affirm Mastercard Credit Card allows you to apply even if you are still in bankruptcy, and gives you a good chance to be approved.

      Hopefully this answers your question!

      GreedyRates Staff

      • I just tried applying for the affirm credit card and in the pre-questionnaire it asks if you have been bankrupt in the last 7 years. If you click yes, you’re denied. It doesn’t even check your credit. Has Affirm changed its lending to not lend to people with bankruptcies?

        • Hi Paul,

          Affirm Financial Services have suspended their credit card business for now. We suggest you look at other credit cards that help in establishing credit: Peoples Trust Secured Credit Card & Home Trust Secured Visa.

          Hope that helps,

          GreedyRates Staff

          • Tried peooles trust and they never responded to my application.

          • Hey Corey!

            Thanks for getting in touch with us. We’re glad you chose People’s Bank and are sure that if you try their customer service line, you will get an update on the status of your application. The specific number for inquiries about the status of secured card applications is 1-877-694-6200, with operator service available from 8:00am to 4:30pm Pacific.

            There are many people that apply for these cards daily, and yours may have been misplaced or is simply still in the queue. We’ve had a good experience with their representatives, and are confident that their answer will satisfy you.

            Thanks for choosing GreedyRates and good luck with your application!

            GreedyRates Staff

    • Capital One did, for me

  26. Hi there,
    Last July I re-mortgaged to get money to pay off some credit card debt. I had let 3 months go where I made a payment but it wasn’t the minimum ( $70 less, but I didn’t realize at the time) they gave me a bad credit rating and I finally organized a payment plan with the bank to get it paid off but it was taking so long that I decided to remortgage and pay it off. I recently paid off my car, and at the time of my re-mortgage my score was 720. A couple months after all was said and done i applied for a cc to get my credit rating back up and was denied by BMO. I’m wondering the best CC to apply for at this point.

    • Hi Penny,

      You may have been rejected for one of many reasons, none of which we visibility into. First, your score may have degraded significantly from the time of your re-mortgage. Second, it could be because your income is too low relative to your current outstanding debt. Third, your income may be too low relative to your outstanding lines of credit. Fourth, your delinquencies may be too recent.

      First thing we would recommend is to check into your credit score and history to see if you have any surprises you’re not aware of. Second, we’d recommend you call BMO to see if they’re willing to share the reason for the decline with you. Don’t apply for another card until you get a handle on why you were declined first.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  27. Hi, recently paid 5 delinquent/in collections accounts and caring zero debt. Have 3 accounts from 6 years ago in good standing so not all credit history is completely terrible. My credit score (TU) is 554. Been with current employer for 4.5 years making $55,000/yr. Maintained a cheq account with local credit union for past 4 years, no NSF charges. Where should I start? Should I bother applying for unsecured CC? Or just apply for secured CC for now? Thx

    • Hi John,

      Good on you for paying off your delinquent/collections accounts. That’s a great start. At this point with a score of 554, your best bet is to start off with a secured card. Get your score to 640 and let’s take it from their.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

    • Hi John, I went bankrupt and had an affirm master card 3 months out of bankrupcy. Unsecured. Although now its going up to $10 a month, its worth the building with no security deposit.

      • Thanks, I’m curious of the minimum credit score required to be considered for affirm MasterCard. From what I understand this could be different depending on if one claimed bankruptcy or in consumer proposal and one who is neither

  28. Affirm does offer a non secured card but you pay a price with terrible service. I have had the card since June 2016 and have encountered numerous problems even though the account is paid off in full every month.

  29. Hi me again,

    Do you know if it’s after 6 or 12 months the inquiry (hard check) on the credit bureau dont impact anymore for the banks when they pull it

    Thanks !!

  30. Hi there,

    Do you know in Canada Ford Credit Mazda Canada and BMW Financial pulls which credit bureau EQ/TU

    Thanks !

  31. Hi my credit rating on efax is R and and Crédit card also on my report .now I want to start building my credit and will like to know which secure card I should applied for so I can start building my credit. Thanks polo

    • Hi Polo,

      Choose the one with the lowest annual fee. Don’t carry a balance (otherwise you’re just borrowing against your own money), and you won’t pay interest. So I wouldn’t worry about interest rates. You should use this card strictly to create a history of on-time payments.

      The only other consideration you may have, is the size of the deposit / credit line you want. The larger the credit line, the larger the deposit you’ll have to match it with.

      That said, don’t spend money on annual fees where you don’t have to.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  32. Hi, I’m a new immigrant, since March 2015, and I have only one account( chequing and Visa, 1000$ credit) in TD Bank. I’ve got a job since Oct 2016 and have paid my two cars’ insurance for almost one and a half year on time. leased a Ford 2017, paying 213$ biweekly and pay for another car 295$ monthly.
    Recently, I got a letter from RBC for an invitation to apply for the Platinum card, Is it recommended to apply to this invitation?

    • Hi Ali,

      RBC has a strong program for new immigrants with short or no credit histories in Canada. If you received an invitation from RBC, and it was addressed to you (as opposed to your address), it could be a good opportunity for you to start a more robust Canadian credit history.

      Then again, if you already have a credit card with TD, why do you need another credit card? Having multiple credit cards doesn’t necessarily speed up the credit building process. You seem to have multiple credit facilities which will all positively impact your credit score. Be patient. If you keep making your payments on time, you’ll have plenty of opportunities.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  33. Hi! You guys are super helpful! I haven’t filed for bancruptcy yet but plan to do so this week. During my first consultation the girl suggested getting a secured credit card right away.
    Would affirm consider me for a credit card(now) prior to filing bankruptcy or is it best to get a secured card. My soft score with equifax was in 500’s and a car loan company said it was 603.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Hard to say, because we don’t have your complete financial picture i.e. are you currently delinquent, do you have credit cards in collections, have you applied for a payday loan (bad), are you currently employed, what’s your income, etc… However, to be safe, we’d probably recommend getting a secured card. Make your payments on time and start establishing your credit history once again.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

    • If you open an unsecured credit card prior to bankruptcy, it is required to be included in the bankruptcy.

  34. Hello – My husband and I recently entered a consumer proposal. We want to start rebuilding our credit, is there a credit card we can even apply for that will allow us to this?


    • Hi Marie,

      If you want to be guaranteed approval, you can start with a secured credit card. Although secured, it will report to the credit bureau’s and help you rebuild your credit. If you meet the criteria set-out in the article above, you may be eligible for the Affirm MasterCard.

      Hope that helps and good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  35. Hello!
    I filed bankruptcy and was discharged in Jan 2014. This year, all the accounts “included in bankruptcy” will disappear from both agencies. I have an unsecured Capital One card with a $10000 limit. I owe $4000. I have a CIBC loan and a student loan I pay monthly on. I also have a cell phone that reports. My score is 639 with Equifax. My question is:
    Will my score jump significantly after the delinquent accounts purge, but the bankruptcy is still there given the above information.

    • Hi Sean,

      It’s really hard to say. It should improve. That said, it will be hard for you to get approved for unsecured credit for quite some time, while your bankruptcy remains on your credit file. As you’ll notice, many credit card applications require, and state so right up front, that you must no thave declared bankruptcy in the last 7 years.

      That said, there are alternatives like a secured credit card, or some specialty unsecured cards like Affirm, that will accept folks with a bankruptcy on their file.

      GreedyRates Staff

    • I updated both reports. Dramatically increased after all negative accounts purged!
      Equifax: 736 and Trans: 695. Wow! Only positive trade accounts showing, now. On my way to recovery and my report looks a lot better to lenders! Approved for a car loan at CIBC, too! 🙂

  36. Hi there,

    I just filed bankruptcy within the last 6 months.

    My mortgage broker says that once I released from my bankruptcy I can get a high-interest mortgage with a large down payments if my score is higher than 600. I’m hoping to achieve this in 18 months.

    I had pulled my Equifax report and says I’m at 503 score.

    Recently I had been approved for a $3,000 secured credit card with CIBC.

    I have a few questions:

    What’s a good amount of credit cards that I should apply for?

    Does it matter what the credit limit is?

    If I was to apply for the unsecured credit card versus another secured credit card. other than the security deposit, why would I want to pay an annual fee?
    If the end goal is just ablish good credit, I most likely wouldn’t keep these credit cards anyways.

    I also heard rrsp loans help establish credit?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Eddy,

      Stick to your secured credit card for the time being and make your payments. You can have as high a line as you’d like (more or less), so long as you’re willing to put down the security deposit to match. Until you pull your score to the 600’s or more, I wouldn’t bother applying for unsecured credit. Nor would we recommend you take out an interest bearing loan just to improve your credit.

      Use your secured credit card with CIBC, make your monthly payments, and pay down any outstanding collection balances. Your score will rise. Also, avoid high interest loans like payday loans, as some banks will actually deny you credit if they see a payday loan on your history because it’s an indicator of current or looming financial problems.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Thank-you for the response.

        So does that mean even if I have an additional credit card or loan, it won’t speed up the credit building process?

        My goal is to raise the credit score in the shortest period of time to obtain a mortgage obligation I have by 2018 Fall even if it requires to pay a little money on Interest or fees.

        Please advise

        • It will absolutely speed up the credit building process. However, we just wanted to set your expectations. There will still be some issuers who will not grant you unsecured credit if you’ve been bankrupt within the last 7 years, despite your credit core rising to a healthy level.

  37. I am trying to build my credit score more, I have a few collections on my report from 2011, but they’ll be off / paid soon. It used to be in the mid 400’s, but now it’s 527. I currently have a Capital One Secured M/C. I’ve had it for roughly 13 months, they just increased my limit.

    How else can I increase my score? I’m at a loss.

    • Hi Dawn,

      Be patient. The best way to increase your score is to continue using your Capital One Secured M/C and making your monthly payments on time, EVERY time. You’ll also want to pay off any outstanding collection balances, as many banks will flat out deny you credit with an outstanding collection on your file.

      Keep chipping away!

      GreedyRates Staff

  38. Hello there,

    thank you for your great responses to everyone!

    My situation:
    I have maintained a high credit utilization for a long time until 3 to 4 months ago, where I have brought it down to just less than 50%.

    I simply would like to know will my credit score increase if i continue maintaining my balance just below 50%…or must I bring it lower?

    if i must bring it lower, how much shall i reduce it to realize an increase in my score? and how many more months must i maintain it that way?

    Thank you for your help!


    • Hi Eddy,

      The absolute truth is, the Equifax and TransUnion credit scoring algorithm is exceptionally complex and only they know how much each factor influences your score. That said, it is widely argued that your credit utilization rate should not exceed 30%. At that point, if you continue to make your payments on time, and all else stays equal, your credit score should increase.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  39. Hi There,

    I am in the process of rebuilding my credit. I pulled my credit report and score. My credit score is 679 and on my report I have a settled account with capital One MC back in 2012. I applied 2 years ago for a MC from Presidents Choice and was declined. Please advise which creditor I can apply to or should I wait a bit longer. I really would like to build my credit

    Thank You

    • Hi Janine,

      If your credit score is currently 679 and you no longer have any delinquent accounts on record or in collections, and you earn more than $20K a year, you should be in relatively good shape – your credit is no longer bad – good job. We would recommend you start with a no annual fee card that does not have a high minimum credit line to improve your odds of approval. We’d avoid CapOne at this point, since you last settled with them. Perhaps Canadian Tire’s Options MasterCard would be a good start.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  40. Hello GreedyRates,

    Thank you very much for your info, tips and advice in your post. I am on a path to aggressively try to repair my credit. I did the 1st steps of pulling my report and score from both reporting agencies, and am so sad by the results. Lets just say I am in the very poor category. That being said, I do not plan to stay there and my goal this year is to focus on the rebuilding processing fully.
    I am currently in a consumer proposal which will be completed this year. I have had a secured Capital One Mastercard in the past which too did not go well and has now been added to my extensive list of negative information.
    I know it will take time, effort, and discipline on my part to tackle this task but I am ready.
    My question for you is where can I start? I have no open accounts in good standing except for my cellphone, and I have quite a few collections noted against me.
    Would it be in my best interest to get one of these secured cards?

    • Hi Jazzy,

      The first place to start is to get your delinquent accounts in order. If you’re looking to further rebuild your credit, the second place to start at this point would be to get one of the secured credit cards. No unsecured issuer will provide you credit if you have current collections/delinquencies.

      Good luck and make 2017 a rebound year!

      GreedyRates Staff

  41. Hi There

    I have currently just past the one year discharged mark (4 years since filing) from my consumer proposal that I filed in 2012.

    During that time I had a Capital One Gold unsecured Master card that I have paid the minimum regularly and never missed a payment on. I unfortunately carried a high balance the majority the time I have had it but on two occasions paid it off in full. I still currently have this card and I am looking for a secondary card to help decrease my utilization ratio, rebuild my credit much faster and to obtain approval on a mortgage. I was denied on a pre-approval for a mortgage based on the consumer proposal which was not discharged at the time and was told to wait a year before applying. I have since done that. I was also told I would need to have a second credit card to increase my chances.

    I make roughly $75,000 /year, I have a EQ credit score of 681 and a trans union credit score of 663. I would prefer to apply for a line of credit but have been told by a banking specialist that until my consumer proposal has hit the 3 year mark from discharge date I’ll be denied right away. I am currently paying student loans, Capital One credit card and I have 1 year left on my car loan. I am seeking the LOC as a means to buyout the remainder of my car loan and minimize the interest I am currently paying (19.95%) on the remainder of the balance (roughly $8500). Would the Affirm mastercard be a good option for my situation as emergency credit and is the additional credit going to hurt my chances for an LOC or mortgage approval in the near future?

    • Hi Rene,

      Surprising that the second mortgage company said you needed a second credit card to increase your chances of approval. The Affirm MasterCard might be a good option for you in that case. It’s the only credit card we know of in Canada that offers unsecured credit to those who recently emerged from bankruptcy or consumer proposal. It will also provide you with some additional credit, but the credit line provided likely won’t be that much. It’s really designed to help you improve your credit after consumer proposal and give you a credit product you can use when required (online purchases, hotel reservations, car rental reservations, etc…).

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  42. Hi!
    I recently received an affirm MasterCard with 1000 limit. My credit score with Equifax is 606- however I do have two delinquent accounts from years ago – both paid and one will finally be deleted from my account in April – 7 year mark. The other is at the 4 year mark! I have 2 questions:
    1. What are the chances that the delinquent account at the 4 year mark could be deleted if I inquired about it?
    2. How long will it take before I could inquire for a credit limit increase with Affirm?
    As far as I know 606 isn’t “that bad” of a credit score but I cannot get approved for anything really!! Besides a car or from finance companies!
    I’m just more than a little confused and beyond frustrated! Can you give me some advice…Please.
    FYI0 besides those accounts my payment history is good!

    • Hi Confused Gal,

      1. The credit bureaus are under no obligation to remove a record showing you’ve been delinquent, unless there was an error. Otherwise, it will stay on your report for 7 years, at which point the bureaus have to remove it.

      2. You should wait for 12 months after you’ve made all your payments on time. The only time you should do it sooner, is if you receive an offer for a credit limit increase in the mail.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  43. 2 weeks post discharge from bankruptcy. I have low income as a full time Mother. However I have a large savings account. Would Affirm approve me considering my income, or would a secured card be better? Does the secured card (either Home Trust, or Capital One Guranteed) report to both Equifax and TransUnion? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi,

      It’s hard for us to guide you on your likelihood of approval without knowing your income. Affirm has a minimum income requirement of $10,000 but probability is greater that you get approved if your income is greater than $20,000. Affirm would also need proof of discharge from bankruptcy.

      Home Trust, People’s Trust and CapOne report to both credit bureaus and remain good options. But if you can meet the criteria above, and prefer an unsecured card, Affirm might be a good fit.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  44. hello,
    i just got discharged from my consumer proposal, from the day till date, 5 years in canada, i have never missed the payment, fully paid but after the statement is generated. i have read in forums that score reduces if usage is more than 75% even thou the previous stmt is fully paid.

    question: my score after discharge before updated to equifax is around 435, applied to affirm mastercard, i dont have any debts, except mortgage, what should i do, to reach 700 or the magic number 680? and how long approx it takes?

    • Hi Desi,

      To help improve your score, once you receive your Affirm credit card do the following:
      1. NEVER be late, always make your payments on time. Get in the habit of paying a day or two early, or the day after you receive your statement.
      2. Pay down your entire balance every month – not just the minimum payment due.
      3. There is no hard and fast rule on utilization (despite what you read). That said, lower is better and some is better than nothing. As a rule of thumb, try staying below 25%-30%.
      4. Only apply for new debt when needed

      Affirm reports to the credit bureaus regularly, so you should start to see improvements within a few months. That said it will likely take at least a year of a “perfect” record, for you to get your score back in the 600’s.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  45. Hello,

    Im being discharge from my bankruptcy in 2 days. I’m looking to apply for a secured card. Would you suggest i apply for both peopletrust and hometrust? Would it built up my credit faster?

    • Hi Kim,

      We would recommend focusing on one secured credit card at the moment. Your credit score will be influenced most by your payment history (paying accounts on time), new credit (age of your accounts), and debt usage (utilization).

      Get in the habit of paying your credit card bill on time and you should see your score start to increase. Try not to carry a balance so your utilization rates (balance to available credit limit) stay low.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  46. I went through a consumer proposal. It has been discharged. While going through the consumer proposal, I was still paying my car payments (never missed a payment and always on time). What kind of credit card should I apply for?

    • Hi Penny,

      If you’ve been making all your payments on time, and you don’t have a current delinquency, the unsecured Affirm MasterCard might be a good option for you – they specialize in providing unsecured credit to folks who’ve gone through bankruptcy or consumer proposal. If that does not work for you, then you might want to go with a secured credit card, that will allow you to continue building your credit until you’re ready for an unsecured card.

      GreedyRates Staff

  47. Hi

    I am a foreign worker and I have a bad credit.

    Which secured or un-secured credit card provider will issue me a card ?

    Best Regards

    • Hi Daneyal,

      If you’re a foreign worker without a Canadian credit history and bad credit, we’d recommend one of the secured credit card options above.

      GreedyRates Staff

  48. Hi,

    I have had 4mths of late payments and had my cards disabled by the creditors as I was going thru a tough spell losing my job and getting divorced. I owed 60k on a Visa , line of credit & Mastercard which is why I recently sold my house which allowed me to pay off all my outstanding debit and still have 100k. However the nonpayments brought my score down to 590.
    What would be a best avenue for me to get my credit back up since i’m on EI and looking?

    • Hi Casey,

      Take a look at the Affirm MasterCard. You’re going to want to make sure you meet the criteria listed above, for example no delinquencies in the last 6 months. If you don’t meet the criteria, you can either wait till 6 months have passed, or get a secured card and start rebuilding from their.

      Either way, use your credit card, but make sure to pay down your balance each month, so you don’t pay interest or accumulate debt once again. There is no need to revolve a balance to increase your score. Just never be late.

      GreedyRates Staff

  49. Hi GreedyRates,

    I just checked my credit score after years or being in the 400 i am now at 654. I have student loan debt which shows some missed payments from 2 years ago al,ost. I want to apply for an unsecured card as i have no other credit except my phone bill. I am scared i will decline. Is 654 a good score for a visa or mc? Any suggestions in the one i should apply for?


    • Hi Dina,

      654 is kind of at the low for most traditional issuers, depending on your other credit profile attributes. If you have no recent delinquencies in the last 6 months, and no unpaid collectibles, you will very likely be approved by Affirm with a 654 credit score. Then again, you may also be able to get approved for a card from another bank with a 654 as well – like MBNA’s no fee rewards card, or BMO’s no fee cashback card. MBNA’s FICO cutoff is 640 from our understanding. Of course other considerations factor in as well.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  50. Hello,

    I have very small dept but a bad credit rating. Basically I got a credit card very young and ended up missing a bunch of payments. For the past 6 months I’ve been making sure to make more then minimum payments but it’s taking me forever to rebuild my credit. Currently I have a credit card for 500 limit with about 150 Left to pay and the other has a max of 1000 with 800 left to pay. I’ve been trying to use these credit cards then make payments each month to help with my credit score. But again it feels like it taking me a lifetime to get it up high. What would be a good option for me ?

    • Hi Breanna,

      One of the key factors that impacts your credit score is credit utilization. Bureau’s prefer utilization rates below 30%. It looks like you currently have a total balance of $950, with total outstanding lines of $1,500. That would equal a utilization rate of 63%.

      It’s likely your score is being suppressed downwards because of your high utilization rate. Try to pay down as much of your balance as you can. Also, the bureaus take a look at individual credit card utlization rates, not just total utilization rates. See if you can bring down the $800 balance first, since it represents an 80% utilization rate on the higher limit card, compared to a 30% utilization rate on the lower limit card.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  51. Hello..greedy staff
    I am international student in vancouver. I had unsecured card from scotiabank of 500$ for 1 year i paid evry amount in full bit after dat i missed lots of payment and had bad credit for sure.. i am getting my credit score soon..i need help i tried applying for mastercard walmart which was declined.. help me out thanks..

    • Hi Jason,

      You’re in a tough spot. As a student, are you a Canadian resident, do you have income? Without either of those things and a recent delinquency it may be tough for you to get an unsecured credit card. The best option for you might be to get a secured credit card that will allow you to get the benefits of a credit card (online purchases, etc…), while building up your credit history.

      GreedyRates Staff

  52. What is the best option for someone young to get a credit card? I’m 19 and have been working for a year since school ended. Now I’m going to travel around Europe for 6-8 months. I would like to have a credit card to travel with, just in case.

    • Hi Carmen,

      If it’s your first credit card, you want to make sure you apply for a student credit card that doesn’t require any part-time income or credit history to get approved (some student credit cards actually require proof of income). A great card to start with is the BMO SPC MasterCard. It has no fee, 1% cashback on all purchases, and automatically enrolls you in the SPC student discount program for free (usually $10 per year) where you’ll get 10%-15% off at over 120 retailers. It doesn’t require any income or credit history. Here’s a list of our top ranking student credit cards.

      Safe travels and I hope that helps you!

      GreedyRates Staff

  53. I have 1 collection account:12k, 1 judgement:50k and another one :6k …… All 3 of those items are between 4.5 and 5.3 old … Otherwise I have 2k limit on a people’s trust sec.MC, I have had that card for 14 months, the balance is paid in full …. my fico has gone from 480 to 600…. But has kinda been stuck there for 6 months…. Even when I doubled my secured limit from 1k to 2k, that only improved my score from 596 to 600.

    I am not in a position to pay off (long term disability) any of the 3 huge items, my plan is to all them to fall off my credit in next 7-15 months when they reach the 6 year mark in Ontario. I have never been bankrupt and I’ve never done a consumer proposal.

    Do you have any suggestions as to how I can build on my 600, either in the short term or long term, given the parameters I have provided ….. Many thanks and I love your site

    • Hi Martin,

      If you have 3 delinquent accounts on your credit file, it’s going to be hard to dramatically improve your score. That said, you’re doing the right things. Continue paying your balances off every statement period. The only things that might juice your score a little is if you open an unsecured credit card, like the Affirm Financial MasterCard, which also reports into the credit bureaus. Affirm does accept people with derogatory credit histories. An unsecured credit card, paid on time, will improve your credit score more quickly than a secured credit card, because secured credit cards are reported as such to the bureau’s.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • I did apply for an affirm card, they turned me down, and referred me to their ‘partner’ People’s Trust. Which I love People’s Trust, but as I had mentioned I already have their card.

        Should I try an Esso or Petro-Canada card? I don’t drive, but perhaps their criteria is a little looser ?

        My credit has had no negativity in 4.5 years, but I suppose I just need to just wait the next 18 months perhaps.

        • Hi Martin,

          If you got declined by Affirm, you might want to stick with your secured credit card until your derogatories fall of your credit history. Applying for too many credit cards too quickly can lower your score. If you were declined by Affirm, chances are good you’ll be declined by Esso and Petro.

          GreedyRates Staff

          • Ok thanks, you are probably right I would just get turned down by those companies as well…. Affirm was the 1st credit application , I completed in 18 months, and only the 2nd credit application, I completed in last 6 years. So I don’t think I am applying for too much….. I was a little surprised when they said no, and didn’t provide a reason. Like I mentioned earlier it’s been 4.5 years, since my last late payment, I have a FICO score of 600, and I only applied for $500. Credit line. My large judgment falls off in December 2016, as it will be 6 years, maybe I can reapply at that point.

            Anyway Thanks for your help, and answering my questions.

          • Hi Martin,

            Our pleasure putting in our two cents worth. Despite the fact that your delinquent accounts are years old, they remain delinquent. Until they are repaid, or they age off your credit file, it is unlikely lenders will approve you for credit. Most issuer adjudication is programmed to automatically decline anyone with an active delinquency. Good luck!

            GreedyRates Staff

  54. hello,

    I just paid of my consumer proposal in May this year. Had an unsecured credit card that i managed very well during my consumer proposal. The bank closed the account without notice this week They can’t give an answer why they closed it. Am trying to rebuild my credit with a credit card because I was a able to get a new mortage same month after discharge from the proposal so that should also help. Could you give reasons why bank just cancel credit cards? and which other credit card can I apply for that will hlep me rebuild my credit.


    • Hi Sheri,

      Banks reserve the right to close accounts at their discretion. Sometimes their risk appetite changes and they will review who no longer meets their risk objectives and close those accounts. It’s unfortunate, but it happens, especially when banks are preparing for economic uncertainty, like a housing bubble. They try to close those accounts they think may have the highest likelihood of defaulting in the future.

      We would recommend you apply for the Affirm MasterCard, since it is unsecured. Just make sure to continue making all of your payments on time, and try to pay down your entire credit card statement every month to avoid interest.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  55. I have just applied for a unsecured Affirm MasterCard credit card. I am awaiting their decision as they did not give me the decision right away on the web site. In the meanwhile I have a question about Capital One secured Credit Card. I have been a having a secured credit card from Capital One for close to 5 years. I have asked them so far 2 times to give me an unsecured card but they refused me. I never paid them late. 70% of the times in the 5 years, I have paid them in full instead of minimum payment and the remaining times I have paid more than minimum (but not full). I have applied for bankruptcy in April 2011 and I have been bankruptcy discharged in Feb 2013.

    Now my question is, why do Capital One keep rejecting me for an unsecured card? Am I doing something wrong that I do not know of?

    • Hi Ananth,

      From what you’re telling us, it seems you’re doing everything exactly as you should to re-establish your credit – you’re using credit and paying on time without fail. Affirm is probably your best bet, given they approved accounts both in and emerging from bankruptcy.

      We do not know why CapitalOne has not migrated you to an unsecured card yet. Most issuers will not approve you until your bankruptcy has fallen off your credit history, which usually takes 5-7 years from bankruptcy. You can check with Equifax to verify your credit history. The fact that you’ve been rebuilding your credit is a good thing.

      Let us know how things go with Affirm. We’re hopeful.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • GreedyRates Staff!! Thanks for your reply. I have been approved by Affirm. I asked for $3k and they approved me for $2k. I am happy either ways. I will continue aggressively to monitor and better my score in the coming years. I just wanted to share this very interesting situation that I faced two years back (2014). Pre-Bankruptcy i used to have a MasterCard which has zero balance on it. I never used it. Then I totally forgot about it as I was pretty sure I requested them (pre-bankruptcy itself) to close that account. I came to know that they did not close it. Now comes the interesting part. I bought my credit file from Equifax and I was expecting my score to be around 450 to 525. I was shocked to find my score to be 659. That’s when I did the biggest mistake. I went to the bank and made sure that the unused Mastercard account was closed. Lo and behold! Two months down the line I bought the score again and found my score plummeted to 580!!! Sob Sob! There was nothing else that I did. I am almost sure closing that unused account did me a world of bad!

        • Hi Anan,

          Congratulations! We’re so happy you were approved.

          Closing a credit card ccount on its own does NOT decrease your credit score. The reason why your credit score may have declined after you closed an account is because by doing so, you may have inadvertently increased your credit utilization over 30%, which can negatively impact your credit score.

          For example, if you have two credit cards, each having a credit line of $1,000, you have a total credit line of $2,000. If you carry a balance of $400 on one credit card, you would have a total line utilization of 20%, which is fine. However, if you cancel one of the cards, and still had a balance of $400, you would then have increased your credit utilization rate to 40%.

          That said, if you never keep a balance, your credit utilization wouldn’t really be a factor.

          Congratulations once again. Keep up the good work with your credit!

          GreedyRates Staff

  56. Hi there, I had bad credit in the past when I was young and I know I have two issues on my credit now from 5 years ago that I had no idea about, one is for $200 from a 407 bill on a rental car and the other is $20 from a library where I returned the book late. I only found out about these when I get declined for a Rogers MasterCard. I have a good job, make good money, just got approved on my car loan through VW but I need a credit card now and I don’t know which one to try to get. The last time I applied was almost 2 years ago. So my question first is do I need to clear up those two things first before applying? Second, which credit card should I apply for? I was thinking Affirm? I just need it to rebuild my credit and so I can use it when I travel for the hotels that take a hold while you are staying. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Sam,

      If you got declined, and you have a good income, it’s likely because of your credit history and/or score. Very few lenders will lend to you if your score is low due to a derogatory, which has not been resolved. Once it’s been resolved, they will look at you much more favourably. Clear your debts with the 407 and library. Check your credit history with both Equifax and TransUnion, ensure you capture all potential issues. Resolve any other problems.

      If you’re in a real bind and can’t wait it out, you can always get a secured card. Otherwise, we’d recommend cleaning up your credit file and going with Affirm.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Thank you. I appreciate your quick response. It must be because they are still on there. So frustrating as I never received anything in the mail from either of them no phone calls nothing. I don’t even know where to go to pay them so I can clear it up.

        I will work on that immediately and in the meantime I will have to go with a secured card as I do need one right away.

        Do you recommend a specific secured card? I can’t seem to find one at any major bank?

        • Hi Sam,

          There are several listed in the article above. In your case, go with the no fee secured fee card from Home Trust, since you don’t need a low interest rate.

          GreedyRates Staff

  57. looking for a credit card that suits my needs

  58. “…once you re-established your credit to the point that you qualify for an unsecured card, get one, and then cancel your secured credit card.”

    Capital One will typically convert their secured cards into unsecured cards after 2 years, and return your secured funds. If the secured card is your oldest open card, then it’s better to keep it open until they convert it. Closing your oldest open card will have a negative impact on your credit score.

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the note. In actual fact despite the widespread belief that “closing your oldest open card will have a negative impact on your credit score,” it is an absolute myth – in no small part perpetuated by your current credit card issuer.

      Think about it, when a cardholder defaults and the account is closed by the bank, the cardholder’s negative credit history is kept on their credit file for over 7 years – it’s almost impossible to make disappear, despite the account having been closed. Similarly, if a cardholder closes an account, their positive credit history stays on their file for over 7 years as well. Why would the bureaus delete one credit history, and not the other? The fact is they don’t.

      The only potential negative impact to a credit score when closing an account is the effect of reducing one’s total credit line might have on your credit utilization. However, chances are, if you have a secured credit card, you are not carrying a credit card balance month to month. Therefore, if you replace your secured card, with an unsecured card it will have no impact on your credit utilization and thus no impact on your credit score.

      No one should feel the need to keep a credit card open that charges an annual fee, just because they feel doing otherwise would negatively impact their credit score. That is a costly mistake, built on a misunderstanding.


      GreedyRates Staff

  59. I’ve got a capital one Mastercard. Secured. Trying to rebuild credit quickly after bankruptcy. 2 questions. What are the chances of me getting the Affirm. Should I have 2 to rebuild? And when u say make your payments on time. Do u mean pay min payment on time? Or the whole balance on time every month.

    • Hi Christine,

      Affirm not only approves people who have emerged from bankruptcy, but also people who are actually still in bankruptcy.

      When we say make payments on time, we refer to the minimum payment or your entire balance every month. From a credit rebuilding perspective, all the credit bureaus (equifax, transunion) care about is that you make your minimum payments on time. Doing so will begin to improve your score over time. That said, your score will improve just as well if you pay off your entire balance every month as well. Don’t keep a balance with the thought it will improve your score – that’s a myth.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  60. Only People’s Trust is allowed to be applied for if you live in Quebec.

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