Getting a Credit Card While on Social Security Disability

You can get the credit card you need.

From renting a car to booking a hotel room, many things we take for granted are next to impossible without a valid credit card. But when your income is limited to Social Security disability payments, getting the credit card you need can be very difficult. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to get the credit card you need for both day-to-day transactions and unexpected emergencies.

Banks and Credit Unions

Step 1

Contact the bank where you have your checking or savings account and ask for an application for its Visa or MasterCard. Often an existing relationship with a bank makes it easier to qualify for that bank's credit card.

Step 2

Join a local credit union and apply for its credit card. It is often easier to get a credit card through a nonprofit credit union.

Step 3

Fill out the application completely, including your name, your Social Security number and your income information. Submit the application to the credit union representative or mail it to the address listed on the form.

Secured Credit Cards

Step 1

Obtain a secured credit card if you do not qualify for the one offered by your bank. Secured credit cards require you to deposit money into a bank account, and your credit limit is tied to the amount you deposit.

Step 2

Read the fine print carefully on each secured credit card application. Compare the fees and expenses for each card, including any application fees and monthly charges.

Step 3

Complete the application for the secured credit card and send it along with your deposit. Be sure to follow up if you have not had a response within about a week.

Step 4

Use your credit card as needed. Be aware that the amount you can charge on the card is limited to the amount you have on deposit with the issuing bank.