If you are looking to get a credit card for Fair Credit, here’s what you should know.
5 Features of Cards for Fair Credit
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.
- 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.
- 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 like monthly credit reporting. 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.
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.