Scoring a Credit Card Without a Credit Score

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

If you’ve never had a credit card before, or taken out a loan or a mortgage, you may find yourself in a tough situation when you do try to get a credit card, a loan, or a mortgage. It can be a Catch-22 situation, where no one will extend you credit because no one’s ever extended you credit before.

Likewise, if you have a very low credit score, you may find yourself in the same boat, unable to get a credit card or a loan because of your poor credit.

In either case, there are still ways to get a credit card, so don’t despair. Here’s what to do if you need a credit card but don’t have the credit score to score one.

Unsecured cards are the standard

Think about what you need. What are you planning to use your credit card for? Do you want to make a big purchase and pay it off over time, because you can’t afford it up front? You’ll need an unsecured card. You can look for a card meant for students, or for people with no credit and limited credit. Your credit limit may be low, and there may be some fees associated with the card, as well as an annual percentage rate on the higher side, but it will get the job done. Use it responsibly, and you’ll have the added bonus of improving or establishing your credit score while you’re at it.

Prepaid cards have pluses and minuses

If you just need a card to use while you’re out and about, for the sake of convenience, a prepaid card might do the trick. This is a type of card where you put money on it up front, rather than paying it off after you make a purchase. These cards can come with very low fees and handy features like bill payment and direct deposit. The thing about them is, you won’t build a credit score with one. They don’t report to credit bureaus, because technically they are not credit cards at all. So if your goal is to establish or rehabilitate your credit score, these won’t help you. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a very useful tool to have, though.

Secured cards are an option

You can always look into getting a secured credit card, if your credit is damaged or nonexistent. With this type of card, you’ll put down a lump sum as collateral, so the credit issuer is protected in case you default on the amount you owe. Secured cards do report to credit bureaus, so you’ll be able to build up your credit again. Watch for fees and high APRs, though.

Chances are, you’ll be able to get a credit card no matter what your credit score is. It’s just a matter of finding the right one. Know what you want, know what your credit score is now—get a free copy of your credit report—and don’t give up on improving or establishing your credit, and getting the card you need.

Latest No / Limited Credit Cards Guides

Baby Steps To Better Credit: How To Boost Your Score September 8th, 2017

For many people, the idea of cleaning up damaged credit and improving their score is a daunting one. If your credit is poor, fixing it might seem like an insurmountable task. But if this is you, don’t worry. There are actually small things you can do that make boosting your ...
Continue »

Here Are The Best Starter Credit Cards December 1st, 2016

Credit cards are pretty ubiquitous these days; it seems like everyone has at least one, and probably more than one. And there’s a good reason for that: a credit card is a nearly indispensible financial tool if you want to have the ability to make purchases online, reserve rental ...
Continue »

Healthy Habits to Get Your Credit in Shape July 25th, 2015

Summertime is a great time to get in shape. Financial shape, that is. If your credit score is looking a little weak, this is the perfect time to get into training.
Continue »

The Smartest Credit Moves to Make in 2015 January 20th, 2015

With the start of a new year, many people resolve to get in better shape—and not just by going to the gym more often. Financial fitness is just as important as physical fitness, and a big part of that is making sure your credit is as strong as your core.
Continue »

How to Rebuild Your Credit Score After a Divorce August 1st, 2014

The end of a marriage means many things – there may be relief, sadness, grief, and mixed emotions of all kinds. But one thing is certain: there are also a number of practical matters to address.
Continue »

Best Credit Offer
Horizon Gold Credit Card
Check off the cards you want to compare. Then click the Compare link to go to the comparison table.
Consumer Rating: 4 / 5
Horizon Card Services Horizon Gold Credit Card
Copyright © 2001-2017 All Rights Reserved.

* The webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click "Apply" for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer's website. All logos on the website are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for terms & conditions. makes every effort to keep information up to date and accurate. However, the information regularly changes and is presented without warranty. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our readers to visit the credit card application page by clicking "Apply Online!" button to review the detailed credit card's terms and conditions. Note that may be compensated by the credit card issuers when the readers apply for a credit card through this site. is an independent, advertising-supported website which receives compensation from the credit card issuers and companies whose offers appear on the site. Compensation may impact how and where products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear on the site pages. does not review or list all available financial or credit offers.

Disclosure: Not an access card.

User Generated Content Disclaimer: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.