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How to Get into Your House with a Credit Card If You’re Locked Out

Uh, oh. You’re at your front door without a key. If you’ve got a credit card, see if you can get it to open the door before you use it to pay for a locksmith.


  • : Only do this on your own lock -or you could wind up in a lot of trouble.
  • Step 1: Check the lock Check the lock. A credit card will only open a spring bolt--the kind of lock that comes with a standard doorknob. It won’t work on a deadbolt.
  • Step 2: Choose a card Choose a card. If you have a plastic card that’s less valuable than a credit card, like a video membership card, try that first.
  • TIP: Laminated cards work best, because they tend to be flexible.
  • Step 3: Insert card Wedge the card between the door and the frame where the doorknob’s latch is located.
  • TIP: Many doors have molding that will make this difficult; if you’re desperate to enter, you can pry it off--but keep in mind this may cause more damage than the cost of a locksmith.
  • Step 4: Wiggle and jiggle Holding the card flush against the doorframe, begin pushing and wiggling it towards the latch in the door crack.
  • TIP: If the sloped side of the latch isn’t facing you, you will need a tool or long piece of plastic that you can hook around the other side and pull towards you, making this much more difficult.
  • Step 5: Push and bend While pushing the card in, begin bending it away from the doorknob. When you feel it slide the latch back, the door should open.
  • Step 6: Call a locksmith If you got into your home, don’t be so smug--it means you have a crappy lock. Call a locksmith and get a deadbolt.
  • FACT: Most home burglaries occur in the middle of the day with the majority of burglars entering through the front door, which is often unlocked.

You Will Need

  • A standard doorknob lock
  • Credit card or similar plastic card
  • Patience
  • Steady hands

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