Bad credit credit cards
Your credit rating is more than just a number on the screen - and if you've ever been unfortunate enough to incur a default for late payment you'll know that getting your finances back on track afterwards can be a hugely difficult undertaking. Luckily, there are some credit companies who might be prepared to throw you a bone in your hour of need.
The upshot of bad credit credit cards is twofold.
Firstly, if your credit rating is blemished, you might not be able to open an account with one of the major companies. The smaller ones, on the other hand, eager for your custom, will be happy to give you a lifeline.
As well as that, bad credit credit cards give you the opportunity to rebuild your credit rating - as long as you ensure you make payments on time each and every month. Of course, this is bound to be a lengthy process, but you can't put a price on healthy finances.
Despite being aimed at vulnerable customers, anyone signing up will enjoy the same protections afforded by standard credit cards.
It should be fairly obvious by now that bad credit credit card companies will have all the leverage in their deal with you. That means there won't be any generous introductory offers, and interest rates will likely be very high throughout.
It goes without saying, but you need to be super careful with how much you spend on a bad credit credit card. You're always walking a tight rope when your credit rating is already damaged, and one misstep could land you in even deeper trouble.
acqua's sign up stipulations are strict: you can't have had a CCJ in the last year or declared bankruptcty in the preceding eighteen months. You also need to use their services for at least four months before you have the chance to increase your borrowing power. On top of that, interest rates are pretty high at up to 34% APR.
A little more lax at the outset, Chrome only ask that you haven't been registered bankrupt for at least a year. Interest rates are also more generous at only 24%, APR and they will give you the opportunity to borrow up to £4,000, although you won't be allowed to right off the bat. Be warned though: larger borrowing inevitably means a more rigid repayment schedule.
Vanquis also have high interest rates of around 30% APR, and they'll only let you borrow up to £1,000 initially, with the potential to increase this amount depending on much your credit rating improves after the first few months. It's also worth noting that they only offer bad credit credit cards to customers who already bank with them.
Capital One have a good record when it comes to helping down on their luck customers to improve their credit ratings in the short-term. They are also relatively generous with their lending, offering an initial £1,500 as well as the option for two increases to your limit during the first year.