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Can you get a credit card with no credit check?

You can't get a credit card in the UK without a credit check. However, you can use an eligibility checker to find out if you will likely be approved for a credit card, which won't impact your credit score. A large and growing range of cards is designed specifically for people with bad credit.

Can I get a credit card without a credit check?

No. Even if you have no credit history, lenders will still have to run a credit check as part of your application process.

It's possible to find online guides on how to get a credit card without a credit check. Verify where those websites are based – some countries offer credit cards without a credit check. For example, in the US, you can get a secured credit card, which only requires a deposit. In the UK, however, getting a credit card without a credit check is impossible.

What are my options if I want to avoid a credit check?

The most common reason to avoid a credit check is if you have bad credit or no credit history at all.

In this case, you should search for a "credit builder credit card". They might charge high interest rates and fees and offer low credit limits, but they are an option if you're looking for a credit card and can't get accepted by other credit card providers. In fact, credit builder cards are specifically designed for people with poor credit scores, so you'll find it much easier to get accepted by them.

Some of the biggest credit builder credit card providers are Vanquis, Aqua, and Capital One.

Another reason you might want to avoid a credit check is if you already have a few loan applications and want to avoid having another one show up on your credit report.

În the UK, each loan application requires the lender to run – with your permission – a so-called "hard check", which is visible to other lenders and stays on your credit report for up to 2 years.

Hard checks can be challenging because if you have too many in a short period of time, they may hurt your credit score. Too many applications can make lenders think that you're suddenly struggling financially, which is why Experian suggests you avoid more than two hard checks in any six-month period.

In this case, your best option is to use an eligibility checker first. Most card issuers and financial comparison websites (like MoneySuperMarket or CompareTheMarket) offer an eligibility checker. This is an excellent tool because it only runs a soft check on your credit file, which is only visible to you and doesn't impact your credit score.

How can I improve my credit rating to get a credit card?

There are many things you can do to improve your credit score. This might be surprising, but one of them is to get a credit builder credit card – they're meant to help you build your credit history.

However, credit builder cards come with high interest fees and low credit limits, making them quite expensive and risky as credit building tools.

A safer alternative is a credit-building app like Wollit.

Wollit reports your monthly subscriptions as loan repayments to all three major credit reference agencies, aiding in building your credit history. It also tells Experian about your rent payments, showing you pay bills on time and are stable financially.

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Terms apply. Results may vary. Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed. Wollit Credit Builder plans are unregulated.