The Best Credit Cards for People with No Credit or Bad Credit

Jordann Brown
by Jordann Brown October 2, 2015 / No Comments

Using a credit card for everyday purchases and paying off the balance at the end of each month is a great way to build your credit.

But sometimes qualifying for a credit card is easier said than done, especially if you have no credit or bad credit. If this is your situation, you may not be able to access many of the commonly used credit cards, but you still have options. Here are our best credit cards for people with no credit or bad credit.

Scotiabank Value Visa


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  • Annual fee of $29
  • 20% off AVIS car rentals
  • 0.99% interest rate on cash advances and balance transfers for the first six months (offer valid until Oct. 31, 2016)
  • 11.99% interest rate

The Scotiabank Value Visa is a good option for students and newcomers to Canada looking to build their credit because there is no minimum income required to apply for this credit card. The annual fee is just $29 per year, and you’ll enjoy 20% off all AVIS car rentals when you book with this credit card. The interest rate is a low 11.99% on all purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. In fact, if you open a Scotiabank Value Visa account before October 31st, 2016, you’ll enjoy 0.99% interest on cash advances and balance transfers for the first six months.

Home Trust Secured Annual Fee Visa


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  • $59 annual fee
  • 14.9% interest rate
  • Your credit limit is set at the amount of the security deposit you put down
  • Applicants who have been discharged from bankruptcy are eligible to apply at any time
  • Applicants who are in a consumer proposal can apply at any time

If you have bad credit and don’t qualify for an unsecured credit card, a secured credit card could be a better option for you. To qualify for a secured credit card, you’ll need to pay the card issuer a cash deposit. Your cash deposit protects the card issuer and gives you the chance to rebuild or establish your credit.

One of our best secured credit cards is the Home Trust Secured Annual Fee Visa Card. This credit card requires a $500 deposit, and there is no income restriction. There is a $59 annual fee for this credit card, and the interest rate on purchases is 14.9%. The interest rate for cash advances is a slightly higher 19.8%, and you can’t use this credit card for balance transfers.

When making purchases, you can use this card just like any other credit card. You can make purchases over the phone or online, and make cash withdrawals at any ATM with the Visa or Plus symbol. Over 24 million retail locations around the world accept this credit card.

You can still apply for this credit card if you’ve recently been discharged from bankruptcy, but you’ll need to provide a Discharge Certificate. You can also apply for this credit card if you are in Consumer Proposal. These features make the Home Trust Secured Annual Fee Visa card the best credit card to rebuild bad credit.

If you use a secured credit card, you can usually qualify for an unsecured credit card within 12 to 18 months. How quickly you qualify for an unsecured credit card depends on how damaged your credit is and how responsible you are with your secured credit card. The best way to rebuild or establish your credit is pay off the balance on your credit card in full at the end of every month.

Establishing good credit is an important step towards a solid financial future, and these credit cards can help you on that path. Once you’ve established a good credit, you can use our credit card rewards calculator to compare credit cards in Canada and find the credit card that maximizes rewards based on your individual spending habits.

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