Your credit score is often one of the biggest factors in getting approved for a new credit card. While a higher score opens the door to favorable rates and exclusive rewards programs, a low credit score could mean a deposit is required.
If you have a 600 credit score, you’ll likely fall somewhere in between. This article goes over what 600 credit score credit cards are available—and how to choose the right one.
Keep reading to find out what a 600 credit score means for getting a credit card.
Before we dive into 600 credit scores, let’s quickly go over what credit scores, credit history and credit reports are.
Credit scores are three-digit numbers that help lenders (like financial institutions) determine your creditworthiness—or how likely you are to repay money you borrow.
There are two main credit scores: FICO score and VantageScore. These are the most common scores used in credit checks.
While similar, the general credit score range is a little different between scores:
Excellent Credit: 800 and up
Very Good: 740-799
Good Credit: 670-739
Fair Credit: 580-669
Poor Credit: 579 and under
Very Poor: 499 and lower
Your credit score is a snapshot of your credit history. Your credit history is your long-term record of using credit. You can consider it your track record for repaying debts.
Finally, a credit report is a document that shows your credit history. Lenders request credit reports to see your credit history.
Three major credit bureaus collect your credit history data and create credit reports. They are TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
“Bad credit” isn’t really a thing. While both FICO and VantageScore have a credit range of “Good credit scores,” having a lower score doesn’t mean your credit is bad. It just means you have a lower score.
Whatever the reason, your credit score is just one piece of your personal financial situation. A 600 score is a fair credit score that gives you plenty of opportunities for better credit accounts.
Yes, there are plenty of credit card options for people with a 600 credit score.
The thing to remember is that a higher credit score may give you access to better rates, a higher line of credit and rewards or more card options. However, you can still get a credit card with a 600 credit score to help you build your credit history.
Some credit cards require a cash deposit as collateral to issue the card. These are known as secured cards. Other than the deposit, they work just like any other credit card.
Finding no-deposit 600 credit score credit cards is easier than you might think. While your eligibility for top rewards cards may be limited, a 600 credit score is often enough to get average credit cards.
This could include student cards, cash back rewards cards, and cards with travel perks.
Everyone’s reasons for getting a credit card vary. That means different cards might be better fits for different people.
The best thing to do when shopping for a new 600 credit score credit card is to carefully research your options and needs.
Maybe you need a credit card to help cover your immediate expenses before payday. You might want to get a card with a low introductory interest rate.
Perhaps you’re looking for a card to exclusively build your credit score. A secured card could be a better option.
Think about why you want or need a credit card to help you decide what features you want in a card.
Many cardholders opt for credit cards that have rewards, like cash back or travel miles. Some rewards programs give you extra rewards for shopping at select merchants or using the mobile app to browse credit card offers.
The best credit card reward programs let you earn rewards that don’t expire. Be sure to read the fine print details of your rewards so you know how to use them. Keep in mind it’s hard to find a rewards card with no annual fee.
There are two basic types of low-interest credit cards: balance transfer cards and intro APR cards:
The catch with these cards is that the promotional interest rates are temporary. For example, your new credit card might offer a 0% APR on purchases for the first year.
Once your introductory period is up, your card will likely go back to a variable APR.
You probably can’t go to the Visa or Mastercard website and find the exact credit score requirements for a card.
But they do usually give recommended credit score ranges. For example, you might see a recommended credit score of Good or Excellent to apply for a card.
This information can help you narrow down which cards you could get with a 600 credit score.
When you have your options narrowed, you can compare cards to find the best fit. Some things to look at include:
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Credit cards are one of the best financial products to help you build credit. The key is to use them responsibly to build your credit history.
Two main factors will help you build credit with a credit card:
Making on-time monthly payments to your lenders is the biggest factor in your credit score. Paying your credit card bill on time each month will help you improve your credit score over time.
Remember to make at least the minimum payment on your bill. If you pay less than the minimum, you may face a late payment fee.
Your credit utilization is how much of your available credit you’re using. The less credit you use, the better it looks to lenders.
That’s because using up all of your available credit or maxing your credit cards could make it seem like you’re relying on credit. If you need more credit and you’re already at your max, a credit card issuer may worry if you have the cash to pay your bill.
Credit cards aren’t the only way to build credit. Other types of credit accounts let you build credit—and might have more lax eligibility requirements.
For example, credit-building loans are short-term personal loans designed to help you improve your credit score through on-time payments. They let you borrow a small amount of money and pay it back in monthly installments.
A 600 credit score is a great starting place to build toward your financial goals.
Remember to shop around for credit cards that are likely to accept your score before applying for a new card.
You could even look for a credit card issuer that doesn’t use a credit check to approve your card, land examines other factors instead of just your credit score.
If you are concerned about your score, don’t be–there are plenty of good credit card options for people with 600 credit scores.