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People with a poor credit rating often struggle to find a card issuer willing to lend, as many lenders are hesitant to offer credit to those with a turbulent financial past. It can be assumed that consumers with poor credit will be more irresponsible with their money, and likelier to default on their payments.

However, some companies do offer credit cards for bad credit that are very similar to normal cards. The main difference between bad credit credit cards and 'normal' cards are the higher interest rates charged. Many bad credit credit card companies offer services with flexible payment dates, help with building your credit rating, a month (or sometimes more) of interest free borrowing, and even a prepaid card option. The advantages of credit cards for bad credit are that if you have a CCJ, IVA, defaults or just financial problems, you can still get access to the credit you need. If you have a poor credit rating as a result of a mistake or bad financial management rather than irresponsibility - this type of card will definitely suit you.

Credit cards for bad credit are also ideal if you've never had a card before or just want to improve your credit rating to get a better deal. Such cards prove that a cardholder is financially responsible, as consumers are expected to use the card frequently, make payments on time and stay within their agreed credit limit. It can be a challenge to remain in control at times, but the incentive for many consumers is the promise of a higher credit rating, resulting in successful applications for cards with lower interest rates.

Despite the higher interest rates, it is important to remember that bad credit credit cards will allow your financial situation to improve. If they are used responsibly, you will be able to improve the tarnished rating you had beforehand. Unlike other forms of short-term credit such as payday loans and bank overdrafts, cards for people with poor credit aim to incentivise moderate lending - as well as allowing it.

When you decide to purchase a credit card for bad credit, it's a good idea to look at how fast you can pay your debt back, to calculate how much debt you have, and to find out exactly what your credit score currently is.