Don't think that having bad credit is a permanent roadblock to getting a loan if you need one. There are still ways to get a legitimate loan at a reasonable rate.
- Step 1: Have a qualified friend or relative cosign for a loan from a bank or credit union. Note the risk to your relationship with that person – they'll be called on to make payments if you default.
- FACT: According to a 2009 Sallie Mae study, 84 percent of undergraduates had at least one credit card, compared with 76 percent in 2004
- Step 2: Apply online for an unsecured credit card aimed at consumers with bad credit. Most don't require a collateral deposit, but offer credit lines less than $300.
- Step 3: Apply online for a secured credit card. This requires submitting identifying information to the lender, such as your driver's license number or social security number.
- TIP: Comparison factors to consider include application fees, annual fees, monthly interest charges, late payment, and other penalty fees.
- Step 4: Comparison shop for a secured credit card at credit card information web sites. A secured credit card requires a cash collateral deposit. If you put $1,000 in an account, you may charge up to $1,000.