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The best credit cards for people with bad credit

Poor credit makes it difficult to get approved for a credit card, but there’s something out there for everyone.

We asked personal finance and credit card comparison site NerdWallet to highlight options for those with a low credit score (300 to 629).

The roundup consists of secured credit cards — cards designed to help you build up your credit.

They require a cash collateral deposit equal to the credit line, generally have higher interest rates than unsecured cards, and don’t offer as many rewards as regular cards. With responsible use and timely payments, you will eventually qualify for a unsecured (regular) card.

If you’re looking to start or improve your credit history, consider one of these:

Capital One Secured MasterCard

Capital One

Annual fee: $US0

Purchase APR: 24.99% (APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate).

Why it's good: If you're low on cash and looking to rebuild credit, this no-annual-fee card is a great option because it offers flexibility with the collateral deposit: You don't have to make the full deposit right away (just within 80 days of opening the account).

You'll also have access to Capital One's Credit Tracker tool with this card, which lets you track credit score improvement.

Apply here.

Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card

Wells Fargo

Annual fee: $US25

Purchase APR: 18.99% (APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate).

Why it's good: You can get a high credit line -- up to $US10,000 if you can make a collateral deposit equal to that amount. This is rare for secured cards, and a high credit line will help to keep your credit utilization ratio low, which can help improve your score.

Apply here.

US Bank Secured Card

Visa

Annual fee: $US29

Purchase APR: 18.99% (APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate).

Why it's good: If you're hoping to upgrade to an unsecured card quickly, this card will give you that option with responsible use. After 12 months, US Bank will evaluate your account and determine whether you're eligible to upgrade, which is a faster transition than most cards offer (typically it takes 18 months or more).

Apply here.

Navy Federal nRewards Secured

Navy Federal Credit Union

Annual fee: $US0

Purchase APR: Variable rate from 8.99% to 18%.

Why it's good: You have to be a military member or department of defence employee (or one of their family members) to qualify for this card. This card earns rewards, which is rare for secured cards -- especially ones with no annual fee. You'll get one point per dollar spent, and can redeem your points for merchandise and gift cards.

Apply here.

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Visa

Annual fee: $US0

Purchase APR: 11.50% (APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate).

Why it's good: You'll have to join Digital Federal Credit Union by making a one-time donation to an eligible charity, but it could be worth it for such a cost-effective card. The zero annual fee and relatively low interest rate are hard to come by with unsecured cards.

Apply here.

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