There are two main reasons why you may have bad credit:
No credit history
When you apply for a credit card, a lender will want to know that you can pay them back. Having a healthy credit history shows you've used credit responsibly in the past. So this tells a lender that you're likely to be a reliable customer.
But what if you don't have any history of using credit or your credit history is quite limited? This can make it harder for lenders to know how reliable you are.
So, even if you've never had trouble managing your money before, not borrowing money or having a credit card can count against you. This can lead to you having a low credit score, which can have the same effect on your ability to get credit as having bad credit.
A limited credit history can be especially tricky for people who are new to the UK. Any credit history they may have built up in another country doesn't apply in the UK. Not only does it make it hard to apply for a credit card, but other things such as buying a car, signing up for a mobile phone contract or getting broadband.
Problems with credit
If you've struggled with credit in the past, you could find it hard to get accepted for credit in the future. Common problems include:
These are the kind of things that make it less likely for you to get credit. But you're not stuck with bad credit.
There are steps you can take to move your credit score in the right direction and show a lender that you can use credit responsibly. And getting a credit card for bad credit can be one of those steps, as long as it's used responsibly.