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Credit cards to build credit

A credit builder card from Capital One can help you improve your credit score, which can help you get access to credit in future. We offer credit limits starting from £200. Try QuickCheck to see if you could be eligible for a credit card today.

34.9% APR representative variable

It’s your behaviour that decides if your credit card is a credit building credit card. This is because the way you manage your credit card account is recorded on your credit file. As long as you pay at least the minimum amount on time each month and stay within your agreed credit limit, you’ll have a positive effect on your credit score. Not doing so could harm your rating.

Applying for a credit card, but never using it will not help you build credit. And how you manage all your other finances also affects your credit score. So you need to approach all your finances sensibly to start having a positive effect.

Capital One Classic

Build your credit score with a credit card

Don’t want to risk affecting your credit score? See if you’ll be accepted before you apply

Check to see if you’re eligible for credit builder card and get an answer in just 60 seconds

Keep on top of your spending and make payments anytime with our free mobile app

Capital One Classic credit card

Over 4 million people have already been accepted for a Classic card

Classic credit card

See if you'll be accepted without affecting your credit score

Use it to help build your credit rating

Get a credit limit starting from £200

See if you'll be accepted
Classic credit card

Representative example: Assuming a credit limit of £1,200 and an interest rate on purchases of 34.94% p.a. variable, you will receive a 34.9% APR representative variable.

Why do I need to build my credit?

Your credit score is an indicator of your personal credit history. Your credit score is one way that lenders will decide if you’ll be accepted for a credit card.

For millions of people across the UK, a bad credit score can be a frustrating issue. It can stop you from getting a loan, credit card or even a mobile phone contract.

Can I check my credit score?

It’s easy to find out more about your credit score and get a better picture of your finances.

Sign up to CreditWise from Capital One. You can track your credit score month-to-month, see tips to improve your score and take care of your financial health.

You don’t need to be a Capital One customer to sign up.

What are credit builder cards?

A credit builder card, like the Classic card from Capital One, can help you to build your credit score.

A credit card to build credit should be used responsibly. This means repaying (at least) the minimum amount each month and staying within your limit. This can help create a positive record of you managing your money.

The Capital One Classic card comes with a representative APR of 34.9% variable and a manageable limit to help you stay in control of your finances.

Who are credit builder cards for?

Not being able to get credit can be frustrating and the thought of being turned down can put a lot of people off even trying. If this sounds familiar, or you’ve been refused credit, a credit building credit card could be right for you.

Having a low or bad credit score isn’t the end of the world. There can be many reasons why it may be low or bad.

The two main reasons are:

Past problems with credit

If you’ve ever had difficulties with credit in the past, this could affect your credit score. This is a common reason people have trouble getting access to credit. Some of these problems can seem relatively minor at the time, but have a much bigger impact than you think.

Past problems with credit can include:

  • Not paying a bill on time – or even at all
  • Building up a lot of debt
  • Going over the limit of another credit card you have
  • Getting an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)
  • Being made bankrupt or having a CCJ against you

No credit history

Not having a perfect history of using credit isn’t the only thing that can stop you from getting a credit card or loan. If you don’t have any history of using credit can also stop you from getting credit.

A healthy credit history is one of the ways lenders can decide whether to provide you with credit. It shows that you’ve used credit responsibly before, which is why your chances of being accepted are better.

When you don’t have a history of managing credit to show lenders, they don’t have much information to help them make their lending decisions. This can be especially hard if you’re new to the UK. You might have a fantastic credit history in another country, but it can’t be transferred.

As a result, it can make it hard to get a credit card or create accounts for things like mobile phones or broadband.

If any of this sounds familiar, it can be frustrating. But the impact on your credit rating doesn’t have to stick with you forever. If used responsibly, getting a Capital One credit building card is just one of the steps you could take to help improve your score – and your chances of being accepted.

How can I get a credit builder card?

If you live in the UK and are over 18 years old, you could be eligible for a credit building credit card from Capital One. We’ve designed our Classic card to help people with low or poor scores, with a manageable credit limit and a representative APR of 34.9% (variable).

The first step is to see if you are eligible – and this is easy. Our QuickCheck eligibility checker can give you a definite yes or no before you apply. You can be 100% sure you’ll be accepted or not if you use QuickCheck before applying. We’ve said yes to more than 4 million people.

Why should I check before I apply for a credit builder card?

When you apply for credit, this leaves a record on your credit file. Other lenders can see this and too many of these marks can affect their decision to provide you with credit.

QuickCheck can tell you if you’ll be accepted without affecting your credit score.

Use our free eligibility checker to see if you’ll be accepted

How do I build my credit score using a credit card?

You can use a credit builder card to pay for things just like you can with any other debit or credit card. But knowing how to build your credit score using your card will make sure you’re getting the most from it. The key thing to remember is to make your repayments on time each month and stay within your limit.

What else can I do to build my credit score?

Using credit cards to build credit is one way you can help improve your credit score. It’s very important that the rest of your finances are kept in good order too.

Check out this list of things you can do to improve your credit score.

Check your credit report

Whether you check your report regularly or just before you apply for credit, it can give you a better idea if you’ll be accepted. Equifax , Experian and TransUnion are the UK’s three leading credit reference agencies and each one lets you see your report for free.

Not only does it provide you with the current state of your credit history, it also gives you the chance to see if there are any errors on your file. If there is, you can ask for it to be fixed. It’s a good idea to check all three, as different lenders use different agencies for their checks.

If you want a simple way to see your credit score, track it’s progress, check your credit report and get tips on how to improve your score you can use CreditWise.

Get CreditWise

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Register to vote

Did you know that lenders use the electoral register to check your identity? If you’re not signed up to vote or your details don’t match, lenders can find it harder to be sure you’re the person you say you are. It’s free to register to vote and only takes a few moments.

If you’re not eligible to vote in the UK and can’t register, you can send proof of residency to all three credit agencies and ask them to add a note to your report saying this.

Don’t apply for too many credit cards

Each application for credit leaves a mark on your credit report. Applying for too many credit cards in a short space of time can be a warning sign to lenders. It can make it seem like you’re desperate for credit and this could hurt your chances of being accepted.

Don’t miss any bill payments

It’s not just making regular payments on your credit builder card that can improve your score. Paying all bills on time is an important way to help your score move in the right direction.

From mobile phone bills to car loans and other credit agreements – making payments on time, every time always looks good.

Late payments are also reported to credit reference agencies and can stay with you for up to six years.

Close unused accounts

If you have lots of unused credit accounts in your name, this could lower your credit score and make it harder to get accepted. That’s why it can be a good idea to close some of the accounts you’re not using.

Always use an eligibility checker

It’s worth repeating that it’s always a good idea to use an eligibility checker like Capital One’s QuickCheck tool before you apply. It’ll give you a definite yes or no so you can be 100% certain you’ll be accepted. And it won’t leave a mark on your credit report.

Need more help?

For more information about our credit builder card or help with something not covered on this page, why not take a look at our FAQs? You’ll find answers on a wide range of topics – so you should be able to find what you’re looking for.

If you need any help, get in touch.