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Your credit score is a number that gives a snapshot of your credit health. Having a 'bad' score could be a sign you're new to credit or you're repairing your finances after some difficulty.
When you apply for credit, lenders look at your credit file. They're checking for things like a healthy track record of making on-time payments. This is a sign of a good score. It shows you're likely to pay back any money you borrow.
With a 'bad' score, your track record could limit your options when it comes to borrowing money.
The good news is that you can improve a bad credit score with time and effort.
Here are some tips that can help you to improve your credit score:
- Make payments on time
- Keep the percentage of your total available credit used low
- Space out credit applications
- Use eligibility checkers before applying to see if you qualify for the credit product you need or want.
Bad credit doesn't always mean you can't get a credit card. Lenders have their own criteria for applications, and they'll consider more than a credit score when deciding whether to lend to someone. Having a poor score doesn't guarantee your application is turned down, but it can limit the number and quality of offers you get.
If you use a credit card responsibly, it can help you improve your credit score. That means sticking below your credit limit and making your minimum payments on time. Not doing so could harm your credit rating.
To find out if you'll be accepted for a Capital One credit card before you apply, try QuickCheck.