If your credit score is in the 600 range, you have what is typically called “fair” credit. According to myFICO.com, individuals with scores in this range — between 580 and 669 — typically have a more difficult time getting approved for new credit and may need to pay higher interest rates if they do qualify.
If you have fair credit, you will likely want to take steps to improve it — and fast. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to get approved for loans and be forced to pay higher interest rates and more fees when you do.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get your credit score to budge if you have a thin credit profile or you’ve made mistakes with your credit in the past. You may not even be able to get approved for a traditional, unsecured credit card without a cosigner to back you up.
That’s why some card issuers offer credit cards for people with fair or poor credit. These cards are easier to qualify for and can help you build your credit score back up over time.
Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit in 2018
While it’s possible to get approval for a traditional credit card if you have fair credit, many credit cards for people with bad credit are secured credit cards. With a secured credit card, you are asked to put down a cash deposit that is typically equal to the line of credit you want. If you get approved for a secured card with a $500 credit limit, for example, you may be asked to put down as much as $500 as a cash deposit to get started.
If your goal is improving your credit and you have a score in the 600-range, there are many cards you can consider that could help you improve your standing. This includes both secured and unsecured cards that don’t require a cash deposit as collateral. Here are the best options for fair credit for 2018:
Discover it® Secured
The Discover it® Secured is a newer secured card offering from Discover Bank. This card comes with no annual fee and it reports all your credit movements to the three credit reporting agencies, making it a great option for anyone who wants to build credit with a secured credit card.
Believe it or not, the Discover it® Secured also offers rewards. Currently, you’ll earn 2% cash-back on your first $1,000 in combined spending at restaurants and gas stations each quarter, along with 1% cash-back on all other purchases. Rewards programs are almost unheard of among secured credit cards, so this card is typically considered the cream of the crop.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
The Capital One Platinum Credit Card offers an exceptional value proposition for consumers with fair credit. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, nor does it charge foreign transaction fees for purchases made abroad. You’ll also get access to fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen, as well as online account management tools that let you keep track of your spending and your bills with ease.
The 26.99% (Variable) interest rate is high on this card, but it’s to be expected for consumers whose credit isn’t that great. Your best bet with this card would be to use it only for purchases you can pay off right away as a means to build or rebuild your credit over time.
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is another card we highly recommend since it comes without an annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. This card option also offers cash-back rewards, which is almost unheard of among cards for people with fair credit. You will receive a flat 1% cash back on every purchase you make, but the card issuer will boost that percentage to 1.25% if you pay your credit card bill on time each month.
While the variable APR on this card (26.99%) is rather high, this isn’t surprising considering this card is offered to individuals with limited credit history and poor or fair credit. Also note that, while your initial credit limit may be low, Capital One may be able to boost your limit after you make on-time payments for at least five months.
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa®
The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® is another card for individuals with fair credit that offers rewards on your spending. Qualified applicants will earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible gas, grocery purchases and mobile phone service, internet, cable and satellite TV services, terms apply. However, this card does come with an $39 annual fee. You can also view your Experian credit score online for free, terms apply.
This card does charge a 3% or $1.00, whichever is greater, foreign transaction fee on purchases made abroad, so it may not be the best value if you travel internationally. However, it does come with $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges.
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
Last but not least, you may also want to consider the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
. This card does charge an annual fee up to $99 based on your creditworthiness, but it may be available to individuals with poor credit or no credit history at all.
See terms for the APR for this card, but the fact that this card reports to all three credit reporting agencies makes it a solid option if your goal is building credit. You don’t have to put down a security deposit to receive this card, and you’ll get free 24/7 online account access so you can monitor your credit, your spending, and your bill due dates.
The Bottom Line
If your credit score is in the 600 range, it’s smart to look for ways to improve it over time. To that end, you’ll want to make sure you’re paying all your bills on time or early, pay off as much debt as you can, and avoid signing up for too many new credit cards at once.
With that being said, a credit card for fair credit can be a valuable tool when it comes to improving your score and credit health. Check out the cards on this list and do some of your own research, and you may be on your way to better credit and a better lifestyle in no time.
Editorial Disclaimer: Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted; however, all credit card information is presented without warranty. Please check the issuer’s website for the most current information.