Bad credit? Sort out your rating with a credit builder card

Credit cards to build your credit

If you have a poor credit rating, start building a better credit rating with a suitable credit card.

How a credit builder card works

  • Use the card regularly to build a good credit history
  • Interest rates are very high, so be sure to pay off your balance in full each month
  • They are available to people who may not be accepted for more standard deals

Why use a credit builder card?

If you have a poor credit history or poor credit score, a credit builder card can be a handy method of getting your financial health back on track.

Credit builder credit cards require discipline to manage, as they often have much higher than average interest rates to offset the risk the provider is taking by lending to an individual with a poor or limited credit history. If you spend manageable amounts and pay off the balance of the card at regular intervals, however, credit builder credit cards can be an excellent way of improving your credit score.

Why is a good credit score important?

Your credit score is an important factor for providers of mortgages, loans, credit cards, and other financial services. A good credit score indicates your ability to borrow and pay back money, so it can encourage providers to offer lower than average interest rates on credit cards and make it more likely you’ll be accepted for a large loan, like a mortgage.

Your credit score is important when:

  • Buying a house
  • Buying a car (especially on finance)
  • Applying for a credit card

Curious about your credit score? Use our free credit report.

How are credit scores calculated

Credit scores are calculated from your financial history once you provide your personal details to a credit reference agency. There are three main agencies in the UK: Equifax, Experian, and CallCredit.

Equifax will score you out of 600, Experian will score you out of 999, and CallCredit will score you out of 710, so keep these limits in mind when evaluating your report.

The score you’ll receive from each provider will differ, as each agency will offer a score that indicates how financially healthy your credit is. A high score indicates a good credit rating, while a low score indicates a poor credit history.

What can damage your credit score?

Payment history

Your payment history is one of the biggest factors on your credit score. One late payment won’t have too much of a negative impact, but consistent lateness and missing payments altogether will certainly damage your score.

Applying for lots of loans and credit cards

Applying for several credit cards or loans in a short time frame can lower your score, so make sure you thoroughly research the products you’re interested in before applying for them.

Checking your credit score too often

Checking your credit score often can lower it, but don’t worry, only ‘hard’ checks –checks done by lenders when processing applications for loans and credit cards –have a negative impact.

Our free credit report is a ‘soft’ check, and won’t have any effect on your credit score no matter how often you use it.

Does a credit builder card sound like the type of credit card you’re looking for?

Compare credit builder cards

Check the cards you are eligible for with poor credit

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Use our credit card eligibility calculator to find the cards you're most likely to be approved for, without impacting your credit rating.

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Not sure about what type of credit card you need?

Compare a large variety of credit cards and find the best offers for your circumstances.

Our credit card types

Choose the best type of credit card to suit your needs.

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0% balance transfer

Avoid paying interest on your outstanding credit balance.

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0% purchase

Spread the cost of big purchases with 0% interest.

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Balance transfer and purchases

Credit cards for combining existing debt and new spending.

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Credit building

Credit Cards designed to help you improve your credit rating.

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Earn money back by making the most of your spending.

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Earn points, discounts and goodies when you spend.

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Use abroad

Find deals for using a credit card abroad.

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Money transfer

Transfer money directly to your current account.

Why use giffgaff compare?

We're here to help you take control of your money and get you financially fitter. And an important part of this is helping you find the right financial product for you.

Our compare service:

  • Take the hassle out of comparing financial products
  • Suggests products based on the information you provide
  • Offers clear information to help you make the right choice

giffgaff compare is a totally free service. We receive a payment if a member chooses to take out a product, but this never influences the suggestions we give you.

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The giffgaff compare service for credit cards and loans is provided by Runpath Regulated Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – FRN 728244). giffgaff compare is a trading style of Runpath Regulated Services Limited. In relation to credit card and loan services Runpath Regulated Services Limited is acting as a credit broker, not a lender; The table shows a range of products from the market and this service does not consider your personal credit position. Terms and conditions apply. Finance subject to status. 18s and over.

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