Credit building cards

Get personalised credit card offers to help you build your credit score

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Build your credit score and spread the cost of your everyday spending

Check your approval chances before applying

Compare as many offers as you like without harming your credit score

Finding a credit builder card is easy on ClearScore

1. Sign up

Get your credit score and report for free, forever. And log in to see your personalised offers.

2. Compare your offers

The offers you see are tailored to your score.

3. Apply for your credit card

We’ll tell you what your approval chance is so you can apply with confidence.

Start building your credit score today, so you can access better offers in the future.

Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll show you personalised offers for credit builder cards.

What’s a credit builder card?

It can help you build your credit score

A credit builder card is usually for people who want to improve their credit score or build their credit history.

The credit limit is usually lower than other cards

It usually has a lower credit limit and may have a higher interest rate than traditional credit cards. But you can use it like a regular credit card and spread the cost of your everyday spending.

Paying back what you owe can help you build your score

If you can make the regular monthly payments, on time and in full, you could see your credit score start to rise. And a better credit score could mean better offers for things like credit cards, loans or car finance, in the future.

Who are credit builder cards for?

If you want to build your credit history and start improving your credit score, a credit builder card can help.

People starting out with credit

Getting approved for credit cards can be difficult if you have no credit history. That’s because it’s not easy for lenders to assess how you’ve managed credit in the past. But, credit builder cards are designed for people who are just starting out with credit. Because they often come with lower credit limits and higher interest rates than other cards, the risk is lower for the lender. That means they’re more likely to approve your application.

If you’re wondering why you don’t have a credit score, it might be for one, or a few, of these reasons.

People looking to improve their credit score

If you’ve had credit before (a loan, credit card, or car finance, for example), but you’ve not been able to keep up with the repayments, you’ve probably seen a drop in your credit score. By using a credit builder card responsibly, you can demonstrate to lenders that you’re capable of making payments on time. This can help improve your credit score and increase your chances of getting approved for other types of credit in the future. So, if you have a poor credit history, a credit builder card can be a great way to start building your credit and improving your financial future.

How credit builder cards can help improve your credit score

A credit builder card can help you show future lenders that you're able to manage money responsibly. Here’s how:

You can show you’re able to make regular repayments

Making your monthly repayments, on time and in full, is one of the best ways to build your credit score. It’s recorded on your credit report for future lenders to see. If you’ve got a track record of paying back the money you borrow, you’re more likely to see better offers. That could look like lower interest rates or higher credit limits.

You can prove you know how to manage a credit limit

If you keep your credit usage low (we suggest keeping it between 10% and 70%) and spread evenly across all your cards, your credit score should improve over time. For example, if your credit limit is £500, then 'low' usage means spending (and paying back) between £50-£350 a month.

And you’ll steadily build your credit history

By making payments on time, and staying within your credit limit, you’ll build a track record of responsible credit use. This can have a positive impact on your credit score and improve your chances of getting approved for other types of credit in the future.

Improve your credit score with ClearScore

See what’s impacting your score

Missed payments, new accounts, hard searches and more – we’ll give you a heads-up so you can understand what's making your score move.

Get easy tips to improve it

Every week, we’ll give you up to 10 insights to help you get to grips with your report. They’re filled with easy tips that could help improve your score and get it back on track.

Feel more confident about your credit choices

From lower interest rates to higher credit limits or loan amounts, a higher credit score can give you access to better offers in the future.

We’ll show you offers tailored to you – and order them based on what might be right for you.

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The benefits of credit builder cards

Credit builder cards can be great if you’re just starting out in the world of credit, or looking to improve your score.

You can improve your credit score by making repayments on time and in full.

You can spread the cost of your everyday spending.

The lower credit limit could be easier to manage when you’re new to credit.

The risks of credit builder cards

It’s important to remember that you’re borrowing money when you use a credit card – and you’ll need to make repayments in line with the credit agreement.

These types of cards generally come with high interest rates.

Some cards have additional fees – that’s why it’s good to check the details before you apply.

It’s important you’re confident you can pay back what you owe – otherwise you could fall into debt.

The application process

You can apply in the same way you’d apply for any credit card.

Compare your offers

The offers you’ll see are tailored to you.

We’ll ask you for some information to understand what you’re looking for and show you the credit cards you’re likely to be eligible for.

Look for the Triple Lock Guarantee

We’ll ask you for some information to understand what you’re looking for and show you the credit cards you’re likely to be eligible for.

Apply for your credit card

We’ll show your approval chances when you search for a credit card – saving you time and effort.

You might have to give the lender some more information and then they’ll carry out a hard search against your credit history.

Wait for your card to arrive

If you’re approved, it shouldn’t take long to get your card in the post. You’ll be able to use your new credit card as soon as you activate it.

*Pre-approval doesn’t always guarantee acceptance and is subject to lenders’ checks of your credit status.

Alternatives to credit builder credit cards

If you’re not sure a credit builder card is right for you, there are some other options you might be eligible for.

Credit Union loans

Credit Unions are not-for-profit. There’s a cap on the amount of interest a credit union can charge (usually less than 50% APR). You need to meet their criteria – like living and working in the area. So, if there’s one near you, you could see if they’d be able to offer you a loan.

Loans for bad credit

If you need a lump sum of money, you could look into loans designed for people with bad credit. You might have to pay more interest but, at ClearScore, we work with lenders who specialise in helping you find the right loan for your score.

Comparing your offers before you apply is a great way of seeing what’s available to you. You’ll get a better idea of what credit limits and interest rates you could be eligible for and what your approval chances are.

What’s a bad credit score?

Your credit score is made up of all the things in your credit report. That means your payment history, how much of your available credit you use, how long you’ve had credit for and how often you apply for new credit accounts affect the number you see.

There isn’t a specific number that makes your credit score ‘bad’. Generally, the higher your score, the easier it is to get something like a credit card or loan.

That’s because lenders are more likely to lend money to someone with a track record of paying back the money they owe.

Why you might have a bad score

Things like missed or late payments, bankruptcy, and not being on the electoral roll can lower your credit score. If you’ve never borrowed before, you won’t have built up your credit history, so you might not have a credit score just yet.

Why your credit score is important

Your credit score is a good indication of what's going on in your credit history. And your credit history can help you get things like credit cards, loans and car finance. It can even make it easier for you to rent property, get a mobile phone contract, or even get a job.

So, it’s important to keep an eye on your score and see what you can do to improve it.

How can you improve your credit score?

There are some simple steps you can take to improve your score.

Register to vote

Once you’re on the electoral roll, lenders can more easily check for proof of address – which can also speed up your application for a credit card.

Fix mistakes in your report

If you spot any accounts you don’t recognise, or mistakes in your personal information, let the credit reference agency (like Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) know.

Put some bills in your name

This can be helpful when you’re new to credit. Opening a bank account and paying your bills by Direct Debit means you can start building your credit history.

Try not to apply for lots of credit at once

It’s a good idea to wait about 6 months between credit applications (so you can show you’re borrowing responsibly).

Keep your credit utilisation between 10% and 70%

Credit utilisation – which just means how much of your available credit you use every month – impacts your score. Keeping it between 10% and 70% can show you’re borrowing responsibly.

Pay on time and in full

If you think you’re going to miss a payment – for your credit card, loan or other expenses – let your lender know. That way, you can see what your options are in advance.

Learn more about how to improve your credit score.

Getting a credit builder card when you’ve got a bad credit score

If you have a bad or low credit score, you could still get a credit builder card. You might be offered a lower credit limit and the interest rate might not be as good.

But, at ClearScore, we work with lenders who specialise in helping you find the right credit card for your score.

Representative 34.6% APR.

Frequently asked questions

Other types of available credit cards

There are lots of credit cards out there – it’s important to find the right one for you.

Balance transfer cards

Balance transfer cards let you transfer your existing credit card balance onto another card. You could use one of these cards to consolidate your debt and pay it off within the low- or 0% interest period.

Rewards cards

Rewards credit cards let you earn things like cashback, points or air miles when you make certain transactions. The interest rates can be high and some rewards cards also come with a monthly or annual fee.

Purchase cards

Purchase cards are designed for large purchases. You’ll be able to spread the cost over a few months – and the 0% interest period means you could save money on interest.

Credit cards for bad credit

Credit cards for bad credit are designed for people who have a bad credit score or a poor repayment history and usually comes with a low credit limit or high interest rates.

0% interest credit cards

A 0% interest credit card lets you press pause on paying interest. That means you can use it for something like your everyday spending or to do a balance transfer, without paying the interest on the balance you carry over every month.

Travel cards

Travel credit cards mean you either won’t be charged for using your card abroad, or the fees will be low.