The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Loans and Credit Cards For a 450 to 500 Credit Score 

450 500 Credit Score

credit card advice

Eric Bank

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. In addition to his work on CardRates.com, Eric has appeared regularly on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reviewed by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Advertiser Disclosure

You may have a 450 to 500 credit score, but you’re probably not very happy about it. This article should cheer you up just a little. The companies that offer the reviewed loans and credit cards cater to consumers with a bad credit score. 

These issuers and lenders understand that a borrower may have experienced score-shredding financial challenges, so they deliver products that address immediate concerns while providing the opportunity to rebuild credit. 

We’ll show you how to get the right personal loan, auto loan, or credit card, despite your lower credit score. Just as importantly, we discuss ways for you to mend your credit. That should help brighten your mood!

Personal Loans For a 450 to 500 Credit Score

These three companies work with networks of lenders that provide some of the best personal loans to consumers with subprime credit. They prequalify your loan request without any charge, obligation, or damage to your credit score. It’s a quick way to solicit a bad credit loan from dozens of lenders via a single application.

  • Short-term loans up to $5,000
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2 million customers
  • Not available in NY or CT
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.8
  • Loans from $500 to $10,000
  • All credit types accepted
  • Receive a loan decision in minutes
  • Get funds directly to your bank account
  • Use the loan for any purpose
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.7
  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $10,000
  • Compare quotes from a network of lenders
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Easy online application & 5-minute approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.6

You request an online personal installment loan by submitting information about your identity, income, work status, and housing costs. To prequalify, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or permanent resident. You must also have a reliable monthly income, an active bank or credit union account, an email address, and a phone number. 

You’ll receive one or more offers from direct lenders that will evaluate you for a bad credit loan that can put money into your checking account as soon as the next business day.

Auto Loans For a 450 to 500 Credit Score

Not everyone can or wants to take a bad credit car loan from the financing arm of a car manufacturer. For one thing, carmakers may set credit standards that disqualify you, and their interest rates may not be all that attractive, especially for long-term loans. 

The following auto loan networks are often a better choice for the credit-impaired.

  • Dealer partner network has closed over $1 billion in auto loans
  • Can help those with bad credit, no credit, bankruptcy, and repossession
  • Established in 1999
  • Easy, 30-second pre-qualification form
  • Bad-credit applicants must have $1500/month income to qualify
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.9
  • Free, no-obligation application
  • Specializes in auto loans for bankruptcy, bad credit, first-time buyer, and subprime applicants
  • Affordable payments and no application fees
  • Same-day approval available
  • Connects thousands of car buyers with auto financing a day
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.5
  • Loans for new, used, and refinancing
  • Queries a national network of lenders
  • Bad credit OK
  • Get up to 4 offers in minutes
  • Receive an online loan certificate or check within 24 hours
Overall Rating
★★★★
4.0

These companies distribute your bad credit car loan request to networks of car dealerships and other lenders. You can use them to line up a loan before shopping for a car or after choosing one. 

They can also find you cash-out refinancing of existing vehicle loans when you have sufficient equity (i.e., the surplus of the automobile’s value above your loan balance).

Credit Cards For a 450 to 500 Credit Score

A poor credit score calls for a secured credit card with a credit limit backed by a cash deposit. These cards are much easier to get than their unsecured credit card cousins. Some even offer cash back rewards on eligible purchases.

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual or hidden fees, and you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. See if you’re approved in seconds
  • Put down a refundable $200 security deposit to get a $200 initial credit line
  • Building your credit? Using a card like this responsibly could help
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you’re approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review

at Discover Card’ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
25.24% Variable APR
$0
New/Rebuilding

You may want to consider applying for a credit card from a credit union, as it may be easier than a bank-issued card to obtain. 

Other Types of Bad Credit Loans

Every borrower wants choices, even those with bad credit. Here are four types of loans that don’t require a good credit score. 

The first three types of lenders don’t check credit scores but charge a much higher interest rate, and you can’t use them to rebuild credit because they don’t report to the credit bureaus. The fourth loan type approves scores as low as 500 and charges a much lower interest rate.

Payday Loans

A payday loan is a cash advance on your next paycheck. You have a one- to four-week loan term until you must repay the entire loan (including interest) or roll it over to a new period.

With APRs in the 300% to 700% range, payday loans may send you into a debt spiral that could land you in bankruptcy court. 

Some states charge 700% interest or more for a payday loan.

Approach a payday loan with extreme caution — it’s best used as an emergency loan that you repay quickly.

Payday loans are available from online and storefront lenders. Some of the online installment loan networks reviewed above offer payday loans, and you can apply for them from the comfort of your own home. 

Storefront lenders require you to apply in person, and you may not relish the idea of walking out of the establishment with a wallet full of cash.

Auto Title Loans

If you own your vehicle outright without any outstanding loans, you can hand the title to a lender as collateral for a loan. The title loan amount is small compared to the car’s value. 

Failure to repay by the end of the loan term will prompt the lender to repossess and auction your car. For this reason, you should consider it as strictly an emergency loan.

Title loans are costly, but they are available without a credit check. They make the most sense when you need money for only a short period, and you’re sure you can repay it on time. 

Pawnshop Loans

You can get a no-credit-check loan by walking into a pawnshop with some personal property to collateralize the loan. You can hock a camera, musical instrument, or other property for about 30% to 50% of its value. 

APRs for pawnshop loans are in the triple-digit range. If you fail to repay on time or roll over the loan, the pawnbroker will put your property up for sale. 

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a governmental agency that guarantees mortgages and other home loans for eligible borrowers. Agency-approved banks, credit unions, and other institutions provide these loans to borrowers who successfully navigate the FHA application process. 

FHA loans usually have a lower interest rate and less stringent credit requirements than conventional mortgages. You may qualify with a poor credit score as low as 500, but you must also satisfy several other requirements to get an FHA loan guarantee. 

These loans require a 10% down payment (or 3.5% if your credit score is above 580), mortgage insurance, and a monthly payment for the life of the loan. 

You can lose your home if you default on the loan. If you have trouble making a monthly payment, contact your lender and explain the problem. Many mortgage lenders will try to accommodate borrowers rather than foreclosing on a home, which is time-consuming and costly.

How Bad Is a 450 to 500 Credit Score?

We won’t sugar coat it: These numbers indicate very poor credit. For context, the FICO score range is 300 (worst) to 850 (perfect), and the US average is 714, according to Experian data from September 2021. 

FICO Score Ranges

Very poor credit has pervasive consequences, including:

  • Hampering the acquisition of certain products and services, such as utilities and phone contracts
  • Harming your job-hunting prospects
  • Imposing a high interest rate on loans and credit cards
  • Increasing your insurance costs
  • Limiting access to loans
  • Making it harder to find housing
  • Putting better-quality credit cards out of reach

As you can see, the fallout from bad credit can significantly damage your lifestyle and elevate your cost of living. 

Can I Get Approved With a 450 Credit Score?

Approval doesn’t come easy when your credit score is 450. In many cases, you will have to rely on collateral if you want to borrow money or get a credit card.

Secured personal loans are available, though they may be hard to find. The reviewed lending networks include secured loan providers, and many issuers offer secured credit cards. 

Types of Secured Loans

It will be challenging to get a mortgage, as the minimum credit score for an FHA loan is 500. You may have better luck getting a car loan since the vehicle serves as collateral. 

You can improve your chances for approval by enlisting a cosigner or co-borrower with a good credit score. Lenders welcome cosigners, but many credit card issuers forbid them. 

You may also gain access to a credit card by becoming an authorized user of another person’s credit card. You’ll then have the opportunity to charge purchases and rebuild your credit rating.

What Interest Rates and Fees Will I Pay With a 450 to 500 Credit Score?

If you’re in the 450 – 500 score range, expect to pay up to 36% for an unsecured personal loan, and perhaps somewhat less for a secured one. Even the best personal loans may include an origination fee. The same rates apply to subprime credit cards.

Average Credit Card APRs

The typical unsecured credit card for bad credit imposes nuisance fees, including a signup fee (up to $129), an annual fee (up to $99), and a monthly maintenance fee (around $6/month starting in the second year of card ownership). 

Secured cards don’t charge as many fees, and the security deposit is refundable. These credit cards are a cheaper alternative for consumers with very bad credit scores.

The average car loan interest rate for borrowers in the deep subprime credit tier is about 15% for new vehicles and 21% for used ones. The lender usually requires money down and may impose semimonthly or weekly billing.

A lower credit score (i.e., below 500) will probably lock you out of the mortgage market, as that’s the minimum required for an FHA loan. With a 500 score, expect to pay well above 7% for a mortgage.

Your credit score doesn’t matter when you apply for a title, pawnshop, or payday loan. All three charge triple-digit interest rates, usually starting at 300%, but capable of going much higher.

How Do I Get My Credit Score Back From 450?

You can rebuild credit in several ways:

  • Pay your bills on time: FICO calculates 35% of your score on your payment history. Payments more than 30 days late appear in your credit history, where they remain for seven years and cause scores to tumble by dozens of points. If you always pay on time, your score should improve within a year. 
  • Reduce your credit card debt: Another 30% of your FICO score is based on how much debt you owe. You want to drive your credit utilization ratio (i.e., credit used divided by total credit available) below 30% to raise your credit score. 
  • Fix your credit history: Errors on your TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian credit bureau reports can unnecessarily harm your credit score. You can dispute inaccurate information, either on your own or with the help of a credit repair company.

Your credit score will also benefit if you keep your old credit cards open, refrain from applying for a new credit account too frequently, and increase the variety of your credit account.

Most negative items (e.g., defaults, write-offs, collections, repossessions, bankruptcies) evaporate from your credit bureau reports in seven to 10 years. They no longer drag down your credit score once they disappear, so patience alone can help your credit score heal.

You Still Have Options Even With Very Poor Credit

Consider a 450 to 500 credit score a challenge rather than a barrier. The good news is that this review’s lenders and credit card issuers design their products for consumers with poor credit. Moreover, you can improve your credit by adopting creditworthy habits such as reducing your debt and paying your bills on time.

You can click on the APPLY NOW links in the offer boxes to get more information about any of the loans or credit cards featured above. To avoid surprises, read all the disclosures before agreeing to any offer.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.