Now that more of us use credit score reporting services to track our ratings on FICO, VantageScore and other services, it's tempting to read the tea leaves to see if a change of a few points will make a huge difference in the types of credit card offers we see. In reality, it's best to compare credit cards aimed at the ranges your scores fall into.
Hovering around 700 on a few different credit scoring algorithms means you're about to cross from "fair" territory into "good" territory. However, it's important to remember that your credit score isn't the only factor that a prospective lender will use to qualify you for a new offer. If your credit score's depressed because of problems keeping up with your bills, you may not qualify for any new credit cards.
On the other hand, if you're recovering from a bankruptcy, a repossession, or a foreclosure, some credit card companies will look past your credit score at the real reasons behind any blemishes on your credit reports. You could also have what credit professionals call a "thin file," especially if you're a recent college graduate with little borrowing history.
Our credit card database contains offers from banks that specialize in helping you build or rebuild your credit, allowing you to compare interest rates, annual fees, and cardholder benefits. Some of the most popular credit cards for average/fair credit include these issuers:
Discover. Discover's Students recent foray into student loan servicing has given the company additional insight into catering to younger consumers. Discover's lineup includes cash back rewards cards with no annual fees.
Capital One uses a proprietary consumer database to supplement the information it gets from credit reporting agencies. With average/fair credit, you may qualify for a cash back rewards card with a low annual fee and a small credit limit that can help you boost your credit score after months of responsible use.
Keep in mind that opening any new credit card will depress your credit score for a few weeks or months until you can establish a solid payment pattern. Leave a balance of just a few dollars on your card each month, enough to register usage on your credit report without making lenders worry that you're racking up new debts.
- I’m tired of dealing with poor customer service! Which credit card company is the best for customer service?
- What are our best options for credit? Husband, who already has a current card, applying for another? Wife without a card applying for one? Or a joint card?
- Please evaluate the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.