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What is considered "fair" credit?|

A fair credit score is generally considered to be a FICO® Score ® of 580 to 669.

~What kind of credit card can I get with fair credit?|

With a fair credit score, you most likely cannot get approved for any credit card you want, but there are still options to choose from that offer rewards programs, no annual fees and other benefits. Good options for this range are store cards, student credit cards and cards geared toward fair credit.

~Can I get a high credit limit with a credit card for fair credit?|

Your credit limit will be decided by factors such as:

  • Your current income, debts and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI)
  • Your credit history and score
  • Your history with the creditor
  • The current economic environment and the creditor's business goals

If you have fair credit, it's unlikely that you'll be approved for as high of a credit limit as someone with good credit.

~Can I get a travel credit card with fair credit?|

Most travel credit cards require you to have a credit score ranging from good to excellent credit in order to qualify. However, some credit cards for fair credit offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points or cash back on eligible travel purchases. While these cards aren't true travel cards, you can work toward improving your credit score so you can qualify for a travel credit card in the future.

~What should I look for in a credit card for people with fair credit?|

If you have fair credit, you'll be able to qualify for a variety of credit cards. Consider the perks that different cards offer and how they align with your lifestyle. It can also be helpful to learn about credit card basics before choosing a card.

For example, a card that offers a great rewards rate might not be a good pick if you regularly overspend, carry a balance and pay a high interest rate. However, if you pay your bill in full each month, then a rewards card could be a good option even if it has a high interest rate.

~How to use your credit cards responsibly|

Responsibly using your credit card can also help you improve your credit score while limiting how much you'll pay in fees and interest. In general, try to:

  • Make monthly payments on time. Making at least the minimum monthly payment each month can help you avoid late payment fees. You can often avoid interest on purchases if you pay your bill in full each month.
  • Watch out for fees. Read over your card's terms and conditions to learn about the fees. For example, if you use your card for a cash advance, you may need to pay a fee, and interest could start accruing right away.
  • Don't use a large portion of your balance. Regardless of whether you pay your bill in full, try to limit spending on your card and maintain a low credit utilization rate.

As a rule of thumb, some people use their credit card as if it's a debit card. They check their budget, and only spend what they can afford to pay off in full each month. This approach can help you avoid taking on high-rate credit card debt, which is one of the main dangers of using a credit card.

~What to do if you're denied for a credit card|

You may have several options if you applied and didn't get approved for a credit card. First try calling the credit card company and asking why your application wasn't approved. In some cases, you may be able to resolve the issue. For example, if the company couldn't access your frozen credit report to review your credit, you may be able to temporarily thaw your report and then get approved.

Alternatively, you may want to focus on improving your credit or try for a different credit card right away. Applying and getting denied can hurt your credit scores. However, each card has its own requirements, and you might get approved for a different card.

~How to improve your fair credit score|

You can improve your credit score by following these actions:

  • Pay down credit card debt. Paying down revolving account balances can lower your credit utilization ratio, an important scoring factor.
  • Make on-time payments. Paying your bills on time can help you build a positive credit history, which can improve your credit scores over time.
  • Dispute credit report inaccuracies. Check your credit reports for inaccurate negative information that could be hurting your scores. You can file disputes to get it corrected or removed if it is indeed incorrect information.

Some actions, such as lowering your credit utilization rate, can quickly lead to credit score changes. However, improving credit scores often takes time, and diligence and patience can be important.