5 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit, According to Creditnet.com

For consumers with bad credit, one of the best available options when it comes to rebuilding credit is by applying for, using and paying off a new credit card account each month. Unfortunately, bad credit consumers know how hard it is to get approved for a card with a credit score hovering around 620 or lower.

The good news for such consumers is that there are cards targeted at people with poor credit whose main objective is to rebuild and improve their score with responsible card use. According to Creditnet.com - an online authority on personal finance, credit cards and DIY-credit repair - many of the best available options for bad credit consumers are secured cards. Secured credit cards do require a fully refundable deposit, but they also carry low interest rates, modest annual fees and - most importantly - the cards below report to the three major credit bureaus.

For consumers with below-average credit scores most interested in building credit, the five cards below are Creditnet's expert picks for the best credit cards for bad credit. Creditnet's credit experts considered ongoing APR variables, fee structures and card approval rates when putting together the list below: This secured card from First Progress is currently Creditnet's favorite card for people hoping to improve credit because of its low ongoing APR, which starts at an 11.99 percent variable. The security deposit required to open this card is fully refundable, and starts as low as $300 (with a maximum deposit of $2,000). The annual fee to carry this card is $44 - much lower compared to unsecured bad credit offers - and this card reports a consumer's usage to all three major credit bureaus, making it a valuable card to consumers with bad or no credit.

The only downside to this card is that it's currently not available in Arizona, Iowa, New York or Wisconsin. Otherwise, this is a nationwide program, and the card is accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted. Overall, the low rates and low fees are what makes this Creditnet's favorite secured card for building credit. Similar to the above card, this second option from First Progress trades a slightly higher variable APR - 14.99 percent - with a slightly lower annual fee of $39.

Like the (strong) majority of credit experts and analysts, Creditnet recommends that cardholders pay off the balance of their card each month to avoid paying any interest. Along with on-time monthly payments, carrying a low or zero balance on a new credit account shows the credit reporting agencies that a consumer is ready and willing to use credit responsibly.

Because these two categories - payment history and amounts owed - make up 65 percent of a consumer's credit score according to FICO, opening a secured card and using it responsibly is one of the easiest and best ways a consumer can build and improve credit.

Because the above First Progress cards have high approval rates for consumers that live in eligible states and report directly to the major credit bureaus, Creditnet considers them two of the best to consider for people with bad credit. These secured credit cards are reserved for those in the military and their families, and offer some of the best interest and benefits of any secured cards available today. The variable rate on these cards start at 9.9 percent, and according to USAA the deposit required to open this card ranges from $250 to $5,000. There is however a $35 annual fee to carry this card.

One of the coolest things about these cards is that the security deposit a consumer puts down to open this card is then placed into a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit, meaning your deposit will actually earn interest over time and is a consumer's to keep so long as they keep up with monthly payments.

This is an excellent card to carry for bad credit consumers in the military; its limit on availability is the only factor that keeps this from the top of Creditnet's list of credit cards for bad credit. This is the only unsecured bad credit offer that makes Creditnet's list. That means that this card does not require a security deposit upon approval, however it is more expensive to carry than the above secured cards; the annual fee to carry this card in the first year is $75, and in the second year it's $99 billed at a monthly rate of $8.25.

The variable APR on this card starts at 23.9 percent depending on a consumer's credit history, so it's important for any consumer that chooses to carry this card to pay off the balance in full each month to avoid paying interest. Opening credit lines range from $300 to $500.

Secured cards are ultimately the recommended route for bad credit consumers hoping to build credit because the interest rates associated with them are often lower and the fees less exorbitant. But for consumers only interested in unsecured offers, this unsecured bad credit card from Credit One is essentially as good as they get. This secured Visa® card offer rounds out Creditnet's list by offering a low annual fee of $29, albeit at the cost of a slightly higher purchase APR that starts at 17.50 percent. The minimum deposit required to open this account is also lower than some of the above cards and starts at $200 (with a maximum of $3,000).

Like all of these credit card offers, the Open Sky Secured Visa® Credit Card reports to the three major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - and this card is available for people with bad credit nationwide.

Creditnet would like to remind consumers that none of the above credit cards guarantee approval; these are simply the cards that bad credit consumers are most likely to get approved of based on credit history. For additional information regarding the above credit card offers or any other personal finance related-queries, contact Creditnet Vice President Jason Bushey on Google+.

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