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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

hometrust-secured-credit-card-bad-credit-logo

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

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

Affirm Financial

Click Here To Apply

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
Affirm MasterCard Credit Card Unsecured Rebuilding credit, Bankrupt, Consumer Proposal $7/mo
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

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!

 

86 comments

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 !!

  5. Hi there,

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

    Thanks !

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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?

    Thanks!

    • 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

  10. 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.
    Thanks!

    • 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

  11. 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,

    Eddy

    • 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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!

    Eddy

    • 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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
    Dan

    • 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

  23. 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

  24. 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?

    Thanks

    • 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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.

    Thanks

    • 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. looking for a credit card that suits my needs

  33. “…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.

      Best,

      GreedyRates Staff

  34. 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

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

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