4 Ways to Improve Poor Credit Before Applying for a New Credit Card

If you already have poor credit, you know that it can be difficult to improve that credit. It’s true that poor credit can be a hindrance in many areas of your life, and improving your credit is an important step toward improving multiple areas of life. However, if you’re applying for a new credit card to try and boost your credit, you want to give yourself as good of a chance as possible. Before you apply for the best credit card for poor credit, make sure you take these steps.

1. Check Your Credit Reports

Every year, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, the three credit reporting bureaus in the United States, are required to give you a free copy of your credit reports. It’s important that you keep an eye on your credit score so you know what your approval ratings may be for certain cards, but it’s also important that you take a look at the list of actions the credit bureaus claim you made in the last year.

2. Dispute Any Errors You See in Your Reports

If you see any errors in your reports, you can dispute those errors directly with the credit bureau who added them to your account. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the bureau has 30 days to either remove it from your account or verify it in some way. You are not required to provide documentation that it didn’t happen; they have to verify that it did.

3. Catch Up on All Late Payments

If you currently have any late payments, it’s extremely important that you catch up on those payments before you start applying for credit cards. No matter what the credit score requirements are for a specific credit card, they’re going to be less likely to approve you if you already have late payments with other companies, as it indicates that you don’t even have the money necessary to handle your current credit cards.

4. Pay as Much of Your Credit Card Balances as Possible

You don’t have to have a $0 credit card balance in order to apply for a new credit card, but it is a good idea to try and get as close to $0 as you can. Paying down credit cards can improve your credit score, lower your debt-to-income ratio, and show credit card companies that you aren’t functioning in debt on a regular basis.


When you apply for a new credit card, there are many things you have to think about, including your current credit score, your income, and more. However, you can also take just a few steps to improve the way you look to credit card companies that you’re trying to court. Especially if you currently have a bad credit score and you’re trying to get a new credit card to improve that score, these are important steps to take so you can make your approval chances that much higher.