Best Way to Get a Credit Card if You Have a Low CIBIL Score

secured credit card

Having a low CIBIL score can indeed pose challenges when it comes to credit card applications. However, there are still options available for individuals with low CIBIL scores to get credit cards. 

This guide will aid you in your search for the best credit card in India if your CIBIL score is low, and it will also provide you with valuable insights on applying for a low CIBIL score credit card. 

What is a CIBIL Score?

A CIBIL score is a three-digit number that reflects your creditworthiness as a borrower. It plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility for loans and credit cards. This score, ranging from 300 to 900, is calculated by the Credit Information Bureau India Limited (CIBIL) based on your credit history. Maintaining a good CIBIL score is essential as it increases your chances of loan approvals and favourable interest rates. So, keep track of your CIBIL score and strive to maintain a healthy financial profile.

Low Versus High CIBIL Scores

Understanding the difference between low and high CIBIL scores is vital when it comes to borrowing money. Your CIBIL score, a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 900, reflects your creditworthiness. A low CIBIL score indicates a less favourable credit history, making it challenging to secure loans or credit cards. Lenders may hesitate due to the perceived risk. On the other hand, a high CIBIL score signifies a strong credit profile, increasing the likelihood of loan approvals and better interest rates. Therefore, maintaining a high CIBIL score is crucial for easier access to credit and financial opportunities.   

How to Apply for a Credit Card If You Have a Low CIBIL Score

Many financial institutions require you to have a minimum CIBIL score before you can get approved for a normal credit card. Having a CIBIL score below the recommended threshold can make it challenging to get approved for a regular credit card. However, there are still options available for individuals with less-than-perfect credit histories; these include the following:

  • Apply for secured credit cards

Consider applying for secured credit cards. These are backed by a security deposit. In this regard, OneCard credit cards deserve special mention. 

The credit limit is typically determined by the deposit amount, and with responsible usage, you can use it to improve your CIBIL score and rebuild your credit score.

  • Start with add-on credit cards

If you have a family member or a close friend with a good credit score, you can explore the option of getting an add-on credit card linked to their account. This allows you to piggyback on their credit history and benefit from their good CIBIL score. However, ensure responsible usage and prompt repayments to maintain a positive credit profile.

Issuers like OneCard provide a MyFamily co-branded credit card that you can share with family members. You will be able to share your credit limit with them and also track their expenses from the credit card app.

  • Apply for credit builder loans 

Another option to improve your creditworthiness is to apply for a credit builder loan. This type of loan is specifically designed to help individuals build or rebuild their credit. The loan amount is usually small but timely repayments can positively impact your CIBIL score.

  • Provide additional documentation

When applying for a credit card with a low CIBIL score, consider providing additional documentation to support your application. This could include proof of stable income, employment records, or any other financial details that demonstrate your ability to manage credit responsibly.

  • Review and improve your credit report

Get your credit report from the bureau and thoroughly examine it for any errors or discrepancies. If you spot any inaccuracies, take immediate action by raising a dispute to have them corrected. Moreover, prioritise enhancing your credit habits by ensuring timely bill payments, reducing outstanding debts, and maintaining a low credit utilisation ratio. These proactive steps will help improve your creditworthiness and enhance your financial prospects.


Individuals with low CIBIL scores may initially encounter difficulties in getting credit cards, but they can overcome these challenges by implementing the strategies outlined in this guide. Secured credit cards, high-interest credit cards, add-on cards, and credit builder loans are good options to explore. In addition, it is crucial to practice responsible credit behaviour and regularly monitor your credit report to witness the positive growth of your CIBIL score. By following these steps, you can gradually improve your creditworthiness and expand your credit opportunities. While looking for a low CIBIL credit card, you can always consider the secured cards that may be the best credit card in India.