Here’s the catch: to rebuild your credit, you require a credit card, but how can you obtain a credit card with your bad credit? Many Americans have found themselves in this fix after the recession and so you’re certainly not alone.

Fortunately, there’re lenders ready to do business with you. Although issuers may not be aggressively targeting poor credit customers like they did some years ago, some of them have programs for these individuals. Some studies show that over a million borrowers with damaged credit ratings do open credit card accounts on a monthly basis!

You have options

With low credit score, your options will be fewer compared to someone with great credit scores. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around. Certain cards come with high interest rates or fees and you’ll need to find what suits your situation. You should start by checking your credit score and credit reports. The Internet has free tools to help you check for this. You’ll see the factors that affect your credit scores and come up with ways to get back on track.

For a credit score of 500 and lower

With a credit score of lower than 500, it may be tricky to qualify for a conventional card. This is because most lenders view this score as a high credit risk. A good option would be a secured credit card. In this case, you’ll be required to give a security deposit as collateral.

Typically, this may be equal to the card’s credit limit. The security deposit is a guarantee to your lender just in case you default. Secured cards come in various sizes and shapes and you should research well and shop around before choosing one.

For a credit score of 550

With a credit score of 550, you may experience difficulty in getting a traditional card. Whereas it’s higher than 500s, lenders still consider it as high risk. Similar to those in lower 500s, you may need to go for a secured credit card initially.

For a credit score of 600

Once you hit 600s, you may apply for a conventional unsecured card with certain lenders. Generally, you’ve more options than people in 500s. However, you could still experience some obstacles as most lenders consider it a high credit risk. Consequently, the cards you apply for may come with high fees and interest rates.

For a credit score of 650

With a score of 650s, you can easily qualify for a card. However, this score still falls in the category of poor credit referred to as subprime and lenders consider it as ‘high risk’. This means you can anticipate high interest rates as well as fees. You’ll need to show a positive payment history for your credit to improve. If this happens and you hit 700s, you’ll enjoy all the perks that come with having a great credit.