If your credit report is bad, and you are trying to get a credit card, don't give up!
In this world, it can be hard to get by without a card. If you need to rent a car, or stay in a hotel, they usually want a card on file. I tried to get a hotel once without a credit card, and they wanted $250.00 dollars in cash on deposit there until the next day, even though the room cost $85.00. It actually confused them, as they did not really have much of a system in place for dealing with cash payments, and therefore I created a lineup of grumbling customers behind me!
A hotel usually taps into some of your limit of your card, until you have checked out the next day. So even though your room may only cost $80.00, they have usually secured some of your available limit for more than that, usually at least double, like a damage deposit. When you check out, then they put the card through again, and it then puts the actual charge through and releases the original hold.
The same with renting cars, it can be done, but a card is so much easier for these types of services. But what if you have been unable to get one? Have you had some bad luck and your report is not good? Or maybe you are just starting out and don't have any history at all, which scares card companies as well.
The first thing you need to do, is to address why your history is bad. Do you still owe someone money that you were unaware of? Get a copy of your report, and take a really good look at it. Get in touch with any creditor that is on there that should not be, or find out what you owe.
If you move around a lot, sometimes bills don't keep up with your address changes, and companies give up trying to find you and report you as an unpaid bill. It could be something as simple as a book club that you owe, or it could be something much larger. Did you co-sign for a loan for a friend? Is your name on a loan that was unpaid? Get this sorted out, and get your credit in good shape.
Now, you will still have this on your history report, but if you have done your best to repair your score, now you can try and get a card.
The best approach for this, is to approach your present bank. Offer to put $500.00 or $1000.00 or whatever you can afford on deposit, in exchange for a card with the same limit. This way they are not out of pocket if you default. It shows you mean business, and are willing to part with that money for awhile.
If your bank agrees, then you should use the card, and make sure to pay it each month. After one year, you can then approach them again, and see if they will consider letting you have any of your deposit money back. By then you will have a proven record of paying on time, and another year behind you on your report.
Take care of this card and don't abuse it. Pay it on time. The more time that goes by where you make ALL payments on time, the better and better you will look and your score will get better.
Rebuilding trust and credit after any financial crisis takes time and effort, but it can be done.
Now what if you have never had problems with credit, and actually have never used cards, and therefore don't have a rating at all? Card companies like to see a history of your credit. This way they can tell if you pay bills on time, without this, they would be taking a chance. Some companies will, by offering you a low limit one.
If you are still having trouble, then you need to get your name on a bill. My daughter had this problem, after she finished school. She wanted a charge card. She kept being refused due to no history. She then went out and got a cell phone in her own name. Six months later she re-applied for a credit card and got one right away. Sometimes it takes persistence.
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