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Can you get a credit builder card with no credit check?

In the UK, you cannot get a credit builder card without a credit check. This applies even if you have no credit history because you recently moved to the UK or just turned 18. The lender will still have to run a credit check.

But if you’re concerned about a credit check, you shouldn’t be – credit builder cards are explicitly meant for people with bad credit history or even no credit history at all.

This means that even if your credit score is very poor, you could still qualify for a credit-building card—which is what it’s intended for.

What are the eligibility criteria for credit builder cards?

The eligibility criteria for credit builder cards in the UK typically include the following requirements:

  • Being at least 18 years old, although some lenders may have a higher minimum age requirement.
  • Being a UK resident.
  • Not being legally restricted from obtaining credit, for example, due to bankruptcy.
  • Some lenders may require applicants to be full-time and earn above a certain threshold annually, but this can vary between providers.
  • Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance, as the decision to lend ultimately rests with the credit card provider.

What can I do if I fail a credit check for a credit building card?

In the UK, several alternatives to credit builder cards exist for individuals with poor credit or no credit history. These include:

  1. Bad credit loans: Instead of a credit card, try a loan instead. The eligibility criteria are similar, as are the high interest rates. Still, they can be an option if you really need the cash.
  2. Secured loans or cards: Secured loans and cards require collateral, such as property or savings, which the card provider can keep if you don’t repay the loan. Because of this security, most secured loans and cards have lower eligibility criteria and lower APRs. However, how much you can borrow will be mainly based on the collateral you can put down.
  3. Guarantor loans: With guarantor loans, a close friend or family member acts as a guarantor, agreeing to repay the loan if you can’t. If the guarantor has a good credit history, this can help you qualify for loans or cards you otherwise couldn’t. Keep în mind that guarantors also need to pass a credit check.
  4. Credit union loans: If you’re a member of a credit union, you might be able to get credit on better terms and lower interest rates than from a traditional lender.
  5. Budgeting loans: Budgeting loans are loans from the UK Government for people on benefits. They can provide small interest-free amounts to help with basic expenses.

But just because you got rejected for a credit-builder card doesn’t mean you automatically have to go for one of the other options. In some ways, not being accepted for a credit building credit card can also be a blessing in disguise.

For starters, credit builder cards generally have lower credit limits than standard credit cards. The typical credit limit range for credit builder cards in the UK is between £50 and £1,500.

More importantly, credit builder cards come with some of the highest APRs on the market. APRs include interest rate charges and fees; in the case of credit builder cards, they range from 27% to 60%.

If you are looking to use a credit builder card to improve your credit score, consider a safer alternative like Wollit instead. Unlike a credit card, Wollit reports your fixed fee monthly subscription as loan repayment, helping you build your credit history without unexpected interest rate charges. It also guarantees approval – anyone can sign up to Wollit regardless of their credit score.

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