One factor matters most in determining the type of credit card you can be approved for: your credit score. For example, to be approved for the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score, ranging from 670 to 850.
But what if you have a credit score in the “very poor” range, 300 to 579 on the FICO scale? Or if you do not have a credit history, for example if you have just moved to the United States?
You still have options, but they’re not as plentiful as you’d get with a higher score.
If your credit score falls into this category or you don’t have a credit history, it might be worth looking into some credit cards whose issuers don’t do credit checks. Instead, they will only let you borrow up to a limit equivalent to the money you deposited with the issuer, or connect to your bank account to withdraw funds directly.
To help you choose, we’ve rounded up some of the best cards on the market that don’t require a credit check when you apply.
What does a credit check reveal?
When an issuer or lender checks your credit report, it reveals certain things about you, including your name; current and previous address; your employer, if you have provided it to creditors or lenders; revolving accounts such as credit cards and lines of credit; installment loans such as student loans or a mortgage payment; open and closed accounts; account payment history; recent credit and loan applications; all unpaid debts; and any bankruptcy, repossession or seizure.
To build or improve your credit score, it’s important not only to pay your bills on time and regularly, but to consider all of the factors that come into play, such as the amount of available credit you’re using.
Your credit score is different from your credit report, but it’s influenced by factors that go into your credit report, like your payment history. Overall, your score depends on a mix of factors, such as how much of your available credit you’re using and how long you’ve had credit.
What if you have bad credit or no credit?
Building credit and having a strong credit score is a key financial strategy as it will unlock many financial milestones such as owning a credit card, applying for a car loan, or getting a mortgage. .
If you don’t have good credit, or no credit at all, you’ll probably have a harder time applying for mid-tier and premium credit cards, which will give you rewards such as cash back or points that you can redeem for trips.
To improve or establish your credit score, you must first pay all loan bills on time and if possible in full each month, since payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO credit score. Late payments appear on your credit report after 30 days and remain there for seven years.
We also recommend that you do not use all the credit you have. The amount you use is known as your credit utilization ratio, or the ratio of your outstanding balances to the available limit.
Also, since the length of your credit history affects your overall credit score, it’s a good idea to keep older accounts open and active. If you’re a good customer, you can always call your card issuer and ask for better terms, such as lower interest rates or higher credit card limits. If you have a card with an annual fee that you want to cancel because it no longer serves your financial goals or offers enough value to offset the fee, consider switching to a no-fee card instead to preserve your account and the history that goes with it.
Best credit cards without credit check
If your credit score is below average — or you have none at all — and you’re looking to get a credit card approved without a credit check, these cards will be your best bet.
OpenSky® Secure Visa® Credit Card
With OpenSky Secure Visa Credit Card, you can set your credit limit, ranging from $200 to $3000. The issuer will report your payments to the three major credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® – which will help you establish credit, and you will be required to make a $200 security deposit.
If you wish to recover the deposit after establishing better credit and a higher credit score, you will need to close your account. The card charges a variable APR rate of 17.39% and has an annual fee of $35.
GO2bank secure credit card
The GO2bank credit card has no annual fee and you can set your credit limit by making an initial, refundable security deposit of at least $100, which will also be set as your credit limit.
You can also get a free monthly credit score from VantageScore® powered by Equifax® so you can regularly check your progress towards improving your credit score. GO2bank will also report your creditworthiness to the three main bureaus each month. The card charges an APR rate of 22.99% on balances not paid in full.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Once approved for the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Card, you can deposit any amount of money between $200 and $1,000 which will serve as a line of credit. Plus, you’ll have access to the Applied Advantage® program, where you can get discounts from retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Kohl’s.
The card has an annual fee of $48 and a relatively low fixed APR rate of just 9.99%. It also reports monthly to the three credit bureaus.
Map of Tomo
Unlike many other cards on this list, the Tomo card is unique in that it does not require a security deposit, has no annual fee, or has no APR rate. He also earns 1% cash back on all purchases. You can redeem your points through the account dashboard 28 days after full payment of the previous month’s statement.
Tomo will review your bank account to determine your credit limit, which will range from $100 to $10,000. It reports to the three major credit bureaus and your account is set up to automatically pay weekly so you cannot carry over a balance, on which you would then have to pay interest.