Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Updated: Oct 22, 2020
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Search, compare, & apply online for Canadian Fair credit credit cards.

The credit card world is filled with all kinds of cards. All of them are designed for people with different needs. If you have a FICO credit score somewhere between 600 and 700, you have fair credit or average credit.

Most people have credit scores in this category. When it comes to these, there is both an upside and a downside. They are basic cards without any premium perks. However, they allow you to improve your score and apply for exclusive cards.

You shouldn't expect any fancy welcome bonuses, long no-interest periods, or other exclusive perks. However, these cards can be inexpensive to maintain and help you boost your score without any problems.

See Credit Cards for Fair Credit Suggestions Summary
Editor's suggestion: Credit Cards for Fair Credit - Nov 28, 2020

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If you are looking to get a credit card for Fair Credit, here’s what you should know.

Cards for Fair Credit – Features

Fair credit score cards are advertised as having interest rates ranging from 15% to 25%, but, in most cases, they have a 25% interest. These cards aren’t meant to give you tons of perks. They will provide you with a bit of a boost and can be used as a tool for improving your credit score.

You should look at them as such. If you come across a credit card that promises exclusive benefits and the requirement for getting one is to have average credit, think twice. There is probably a catch, or it’s a scam.

Avoid fair credit card offers that promise big bonuses and rewards. They are likely to have poor features that will cost you much more in the long-term.

Fair Credit Card Annual Fees

On average, fair credit cards have a hefty fee when compared to the credit limits they offer. You will often come across a fair credit card that has a $300 limit, but the fee is up to $100.

This is why a lot of people look to avoid annual fees altogether. Still, there are cards with fees that can work well to help you build credit nevertheless.

RELATED: See offers with no annual fee

Introductory Features

Cards with fair credit, score requirements won’t offer 0% on purchases or balance transfers in the coming 24 months. The best introductory you can expect is to get a 0% balance transfer APR within the first 6 months. These are neat features, but they don’t make or break a card.

Starting Benefits

Credit cards that fit into the average credit score category are where users can start expecting some benefits. Typical perks include free credit score checks, rental car damage waivers, fraud liability protection, card insurance, cash-back bonuses, etc.

They are Mostly Secured

Finding an unsecured credit card in a fair score range is difficult, but there are some options. However, they require some additional conditions to be met. These lenders check further details of their applicants and don’t just look at their credit score.

2% Maximum Cashback

With fair credit cards, you can get the cash-back perk. However, the most you can expect is 2%, which isn’t anything special. At the same time, the limits aren’t that high, meaning that you won’t be able to get much in return.

Cards for Fair Credit – Pros

Even though cards for fair credit aren’t ideal, they do offer some excellent benefits. After all, most people have a fair credit score, and lenders have made many appealing offers.

Good For Building Credit

Most credit cards that require a fair credit score give you all the tools you need to build credit. They don’t have a big limit, have low or no annual fees, and provide free credit checks.

If you clear your balance and use the card correctly, it’s easy to build your score. After all, this is what these cards are made for – improving credit score.

Tracking Credit

Average credit score cards often have a free credit check perk. Simply put, the provider lets you check your credit score several times per year. This makes it easy to track your progress and save a bit more money on your checks.

Easy to Clear Your Balance

Both secured and unsecured fair credit cards have low credit limits. This might seem like a bad thing, but this also has a positive side. Since the primary goal of using these cards is to build credit, these limits work in your favor.

You can’t go deep in debt to the point where lowering your credit utilization is impossible. The card prevents you from going overboard and teaches you financial discipline.

Cards for Fair Credit – Cons

Fair credit isn’t a good place to be. Lenders don’t trust people with these kinds of credit scores. That’s why their offers come with various cons as well. Here are some of them.

Low Credit Limits

A low credit limit means that you won’t be able to make big purchases using your card. The line of credit you have isn’t designed to let you go deep into debt.

These cards are designed to help people discipline themselves and showcase financial responsibility. Of course, lenders often increase the limit once the cardholder has been consistent with their card use.

Interest is High

Fair credit cards are better than poor credit cards in terms of benefits and perks. However, when it comes to interest rates, there aren’t that many differences.

If you slip a payment, you can expect large interests that you will have to pay off ASAP. This is why it’s essential to use these cards responsibly.

High Annual Fees

If you want an excellent fair credit card with reliable benefits and lower interest rates, you will have to get one that has an annual fee.

This fee is how lenders “insure” themselves and protect their assets from unreliable cardholders. Yes, it might sound unfair, but this is something you have to consider when getting a card.

Should You Use Fair Credit Cards

If your goal is to rebuild your credit score, then the answer is yes. These cards are meant to be used responsibly, with balances paid on time. They won’t let you make big purchases that you can repay with smaller interests. Still, they can help you get some good rewards that are useful.

These credit cards are an excellent tool for boosting credit scores. Getting one for this reason alone is a good idea.

Bottom Line

Fair credit cards are the starting package of credit cards. They give you some entry-level benefits and rewards and let you improve your credit score. Don’t expect wonders from them. If you keep this in mind, you will use one properly and quickly get into the “good credit score” territory.

Fair Credit Offers Recap

Fair Credit FAQs. What People Ask About Cards for Fair Credit

What credit score do I need to get approved?2020-08-31T22:38:23-07:00

Your credit score needs to be in the “fair” range, at least. This means that your score can range from 600 to 700. However, some lenders will go even lower.

The definitions of a fair credit score aren’t set in stone. Before applying, make sure to contact the credit card provider to check their criteria. This way, you will avoid wasting time or getting credit checks on your report.

Can I increase my credit limit with these cards?2020-08-31T22:38:31-07:00

In most cases, yes. It all depends on the credit card provider. However, lenders will often give you the option to increase your credit limit after 3 to 6 months. Cardholders have to pay off their balance on time and make regular payments with the card.

Once you’ve shown the lender that you are reliable, you can ask for an extension. In some cases, lenders will give you a better limit automatically.

How can I apply for a fair credit score card?2020-08-31T22:38:39-07:00

The same way as you would for any credit card. It depends on the lender, but you can apply for one online, in a bank, or with a phone call in most cases.

The critical thing to remember is to gather all the necessary information to complete your application. Look for applications that don’t require a hard credit check.

Are there travel cards in this category?2020-08-31T22:38:15-07:00

Yes, there are fair credit cards in this range that provide some nice perks. Apart from helping you save money on your trips, they usually give some essential protection in unexpected situations. Just make sure to find a card that suits your spending habits.

How long will I have to use a card to get out of the fair credit zone?2020-08-31T22:38:07-07:00

It all depends, and there isn’t a universal rule. However, these cards (when used correctly) can speed up the process quickly.

If you pay your bills, clear the balance, and keep credit utilization low, these cards can be beneficial. Make sure that your credit report has no adverse information, and you can get out of this lousy zone.

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