What is bad credit?


Bad credit is a term used to describe past failures to make repayments on credit agreements. This can be missing a payment date or full non-payment.


Check Your Credit Eligibility

Representative 39.9% APR (variable)

When you apply for a credit card the lender needs to know if you are going to pay them back. They’ll check your application against records held by a credit reference agency, such as TransUnion (formerly Callcredit), Experian or Equifax.


If you’re rejected for credit it usually means you’ve got a bad credit rating. This can make it difficult to have a credit card, borrow money or even take out a mobile phone contract.

Reasons you could have bad credit

  • Previously missed a credit payment or made a late payment
  • Gone over your credit limit on a credit card, store card or credit account
  • Missed a mortgage or loan payment
  • Had a CCJ, bankruptcy or Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) against your name in the last six years

A Vanquis credit card can help if you have bad credit - offering you the chance to rebuild your credit rating.

What is a credit card for bad credit?

Used responsibly, a credit card can help improve your credit score. If you miss a payment or go over your credit limit you could further harm your credit rating.


If you have bad credit or a poor credit history, a Vanquis credit card can help. We’ve already helped more than 3.5 million customers improve and build their credit score. Make bad credit a thing of the past.

  • Manageable credit limit of £150 - £1,000
  • Increase your credit limit up to £4,000
  • Quick initial indicator of eligibility, with no risk to your credit rating
  • Representative 39.9% APR (variable)
  • Track your spending online and via the Vanquis app

Can I get a credit card with bad credit?

Yes, if you have poor credit you can still get a credit card.


A Vanquis credit card allows people with bad credit to get a credit card and start rebuilding their credit rating.


Vanquis assess each credit card application on personal circumstances, helping people with bad credit rebuild their credit history.


Join the 3.5 million people who have used the Vanquis credit card.


Check Eligibility


How to repair a bad credit score with a Vanquis credit card?

If you have a poor credit rating there are steps you can take:

  • Check your eligibility without affecting your credit score
  • Don’t apply for too many credit cards
  • Read the Vanquis guide to bad credit history
  • Budget and manage your incomings and outgoings
  • Make your payments on time
  • Build your credit history



  • Vanquis Visa Card is only available to UK residents over 18’s.
  • Vanquis Visa Card is issued by Vanquis Bank Limited, No. 1 Godwin Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD1 2SU.