If you have bad credit, you might think that it is impossible for you to obtain a credit card. Let’s start out by saying that if you have bad credit, the only possible reason could have for wanting another credit card is to try and rebuild your credit rather than to go on a shopping spree at the local Wal-Mart. For people with bad credit, credit cards can be the bane of existence.

However, there are legitimate reasons for wanting a credit card. First, they are helpful in emergencies. For example, if you should get stranded by the side of the road with car trouble, a credit card can get you a tow truck quicker than if they have to bill you. Having a credit card with bad credit can also help get you back on the road toward good credit provided you use it wisely.

Just so you can’t get into too much trouble with a credit card while you have bad credit, we recommend that you get a secured credit rather than try to apply for a standard credit card. A secured credit card can prevent you from getting into credit problems and still show that you can be responsible with a credit card plus give you the peace of mind you need in the event of an emergency.

With a secured credit card, you deposit a certain amount of money into an account that is tied to that card. You can then use your card just like you would a regular credit card. The good part about a secured credit card is that once you’ve reached the amount of that deposit, you can’t use the card anymore until you deposit more money.

A secured credit card is a great way to start building your credit when you’ve amassed a bad credit history. Most credit bureaus don’t look at secured credit cards quite the same way they do regular credit cards, but they do look at it as a good faith gesture on your part to try and rebuild your credit and show that you can handle credit responsibly.

Even if you have bad credit, you might also be able to secure a department store credit card. Many department stores will offer you a credit with a low limit even if your credit isn’t stellar. Of course, the big thing here is to make your payments on time and don’t overextend your credit. It’s credit suicide to get a card, charge too much on it, and then miss payments or be late on payments.

Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t get a credit card. Just be careful if you do get one and remember that there’s a reason you have bad credit in the first place and learn from your past mistakes.