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What is the best credit score

8 Best Loans & Credit Cards for a 450 to 500 Credit Score

By: Ashley Dull Updated: 6/5/2018

Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines and are updated regularly.

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An unfortunate fact of debt is that it often takes far longer to repay than it did to accumulate it in the first place.

And if you happen to fall behind on that debt, each late payment can knock dozens of points off of your credit score. Before you know it, you could find yourself struggling to rebuild a credit score that’s fallen below 500.

While it can be difficult to find the credit you need to rebuild a 450 to 500 FICO Score, options for new credit still exist even with a low credit score.

Credit Cards: 450-500 Credit Score

In a world where even street artists now take credit cards, it can be a challenge to get along without one.

Luckily, credit cards are among the easiest types of new credit to obtain with a low credit score, particularly if you choose a card specifically designed to help poor-credit consumers rebuild their credit scores.

1. Fingerhut Credit Account

Over the last few decades, has grown from a mail-order catalog to a vast eCommerce website with thousands of products from hundreds of major brands.

And those products can help you rebuild credit through the responsible use of a WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account, an unsecured credit line with no annual fee that can only be used to make purchases on (See complete WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account Terms and Conditions.)

Fingerhut Credit Account

While the WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account is designed for building credit, some consumers may not qualify. These consumers will be automatically reviewed for eligibility for a WebBank/Fingerhut FreshStart Installment Loan.

With a FreshStart Loan, you can finance a purchase of $50 or more by making a $30 down payment. Then, you’ll make six to eight regular payments until the full financed amount is repaid.

If you make all of your payments in full and on time, and complete your FreshStart Loan, you may become eligible for a WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account.

2. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

As the name states, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a secured credit card that will require a cash deposit to open and maintain.

The deposit required for an initial $200 credit limit will be $49, $99, or $200, with the exact amount depending on your credit profile. That said, with a 450 to 500 credit score, you will likely be required to put down the full $200 if approved.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

On the plus side, the deposit you make to open your secured credit card is fully refundable so long as you maintain your account in good standing.

To reclaim your deposit, you can simply close your credit card account. You may also get your deposit back if you show significant credit improvement, as Capital One regularly checks your progress to see if you’re ready to be upgraded to an unsecured credit card.

3. Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard®

If you want a way to play with plastic that won’t be impacted by your credit score, then a prepaid card like the Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® may be the way to go.

Unlike a credit card, prepaid cards aren’t tied to a line of credit, so you won’t need a credit check to get approved. Plus, none of your activity will be reported to the credit bureaus, so using your Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® won’t impact your credit score.

Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard®

  • Brink’s gives you the peace of mind you deserve. Securing cash and valuables since 1859.
  • With Brink’s Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Brink’s Money Prepaid Mobile App to manage your Card Account on the go and enroll to get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply.)
  • Subject to card activation and ID verification. Terms and Costs Apply. Issued by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. Click for full details.
  • See additional Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® Details.

To use the Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard®, you’ll need to load funds onto the card, which can be done via a direct deposit, mobile check loading, or by transferring funds from an existing bank account.

So long as your Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® has a positive balance, you can use it to make purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

While the fact that the Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® doesn’t depend on your credit score can be useful, it can be a double-edged sword. That’s because the lack of credit reporting means that the Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard® can’t be used to build your credit score or a positive payment history.

4. First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card can be a good choice for those who may need to occasionally carry a balance thanks to the fairly low APR.

The initial deposit you’ll need to make will depend on how large of a credit line you want, as the two are directly tied. For example, you can put down up to $2,000 if you would like a $2,000 credit line. The minimum deposit amount to open a First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is $200.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

While the security deposit acts as collateral against default on your credit card debt, don’t think you can use your deposit to cover your bill. Your deposit is only used to repay your card balance if the bank forcibly closes your account for delinquency.

In this case, your deposit is used to cover your remaining balance, as well as any applicable late fees and interest charges. If your balance and fees add up to more than your deposit amount, you’ll still be on the hook for repaying the remainder.

Personal Loans: 450-500 Credit Score

The two main types of personal loans available are installment loans and short-term loans. Installment loans are generally long-term loans of six months or more, while short-term loans typically have terms of less than three months.

With a credit score of 450 to 500, you’ll likely be limited to loans of $1,000 or less, no matter which type of loan you seek.

Installment loans will generally be more affordable, with much lower rates and fees, while short-term loans are more expensive but may be easier to obtain.


When you’re dealing with a low credit score, particularly one in the sub-500 range, online lending networks, like, can be your best friend.

Lending networks can connect borrowers with hundreds of potential lenders from around the country to increase the chances of finding a compatible lender.

  • See official site, terms and details.

Though you’re unlikely to receive the maximum number of offers with a 450 to 500 credit score, you may receive up to four offers so you can compare terms for the best fit.

In addition to limiting the number of offers you receive, a sub-500 credit score also means you’ll probably be charged an interest rate at or near the installment loan maximum of 35.99%.

However, you can still impact the size of your monthly payment by varying the length of your loan. Just remember that longer loans are more expensive in the long run to due additional interest charges.


Another online lending network, specializes in lenders who offer short-term cash advance loans. Unlike installment loans, short-term loans are generally repaid as a single lump sum that includes both the principal and all finance charges.

Since approval for short-term loans is usually more dependent on your income than your credit score, the key will be to use the lending network to compare offers and find the lowest rates.

Money Mutual

  • Short-term loans up to $2,500
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 customers
  • Not available in NY
  • See official site, terms and details.

When browsing short-term loan offers, it’s important to understand the different types of fees. Short-term loans typically charge finance fees based on how much you need to borrow. For example, it’s not uncommon to be charged $20 in finance fees for every $100 you borrow.

This type of fee can make it more difficult to compare the cost of different types of credit products, as most list fees based on the interest rate, or APR.

When you do the math, a basic short-term loan often has a three-digit APR. For instance, a $1,000 loan charging $20 per $100 and repaid after four weeks has an APR of 434%.

Auto Loan: 450-500 Credit Score

Given that most automobile loans are secured by the vehicle they finance, you may have luck finding a lender willing to extend an auto loan despite a 450 to 500 credit score.

The caveat here, of course, is that you’ll probably need a fairly sizable down payment or, at least, a trade-in of decent value. In any case, don’t expect to finance a high-priced luxury car, and if you have trouble finding a loan, consider looking for a lower-priced vehicle.

7. Auto Credit Express

In many cases, dealers — and/or their third-party financiers — are more willing to work with bad credit than a big bank. Rather than go from dealer to dealer looking for a match, however, you can use an online dealer network like Auto Credit Express.

There is no fee to use Auto Credit Express to connect with a dealer, and the site has over 1,200 partners to help borrowers of all types. While there is no minimum credit score, you’ll need to have a monthly income of at least $1,500 to qualify.

Auto Credit Express

  • See official site, terms and details.

Auto Credit Express has an easy, 30-second pre-qualification form that can help determine which dealers are best for your situation. Once you connect with a dealer, you’ll be invited to meet with a dealer representative to choose a vehicle.

It’s important to note that Auto Credit Express is an online network, not a lender. The process of selecting a specific car and completing the loan is all done with the individual dealer.

Home Loan: 450-500 Credit Score

To qualify for a conventional mortgage, you’re typically going to need a credit score of at least 620 (with a big down payment), but ideally one over 680.

With a credit score below 600, chances are that you’ll need to use an FHA-backed mortgage to purchase a home since the FHA has no minimum credit score requirements for their loans. However, lenders can set their own requirements, so a 450 to 500 credit score will likely make finding a loan a challenge.

You may be able to improve your odds by reducing your debt-to-income ratio as much as possible and by putting forward a down payment of 20% or more.


As with other types of loans, finding a mortgage with a sub-500 credit score is likely going to require shopping around a bit. Not every lender will offer FHA loans or be willing to work with such a low credit score.

An online lending network, like, can eliminate a lot of hassle by connecting you with hundreds of lenders with one easy form.


  • Find lenders for new home purchases, refinancing, home equity loans, and reverse mortgages
  • Lenders compete for your business
  • Offers in minutes
  • Receive up to 5 loan offers and select the right one for you
  • Founded in 1996
  • Over $250 billion in closed loan transactions
  • See official site, terms and details. can also help you find a lender to refinance your mortgage loan, to obtain a home equity loan, or even a reverse mortgage.

Each type of mortgage has its own distinct characteristics and requirements, but all three use your current home as collateral. Be sure to do your homework before taking on any type of loan that could put your home in jeopardy.

Even with Poor Credit, You Still Have Options

It only takes one dire financial event to fall behind on your debts — and only a few delinquent payments to see your credit score crash.

Trying to rebuild a sub-500 credit score can be a challenge, especially when few lenders want to take on your credit risk. Thankfully, there are still ways to find new credit and start rebuilding through positive credit behaviors.

Range of credit scores covered in this article: 450, 451, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 459, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 477, 478, 479, 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 485, 486, 487, 488, 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 497, 498, 499, 500

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

About the Author

Ashley Dull is the editor-in-chief of, where she works closely with industry leaders in all sectors of finance to develop authoritative guides, news, and advice articles read by millions of Americans. Her expertise lies in credit cards and rewards programs as well as credit reports and how credit scores affect all aspects of consumerism. She is often asked to serve as an expert source on financial topics for national media outlets, such as CNN Money, MarketWatch, Money Matters, ABC News, and NBC News, and has recurring contributions to several leading finance websites. Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information, however all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on an offer you will be directed to the credit card issuer’s web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your offer.

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