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Credit score needed for the Capital One Platinum

A great option for those with fair credit


The Capital One Platinum credit card is designed for people with fair credit who don’t want to put down a security deposit or pay an annual fee. If approved for this card, Capital One will automatically review your account after six months to see if you qualify for a credit limit increase.

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For anyone with a thin credit file or who has made a couple of financial stumbles recently, it can be challenging to qualify for an unsecured credit card. The Capital One Platinum Credit Card, however, is designed specifically with such applicants in mind – and there are no annual fees or security deposits required. Find out the credit score you need for a Capital One Platinum card and learn more about how you can qualify.

What credit score is needed for the Capital One Platinum card?

Capital One says that its Platinum card is aimed at applicants with fair credit, typically defined as having a FICO score of 580 or higher.

In addition, the card provides a credit-building path for those with limited or not-so-hot credit histories without having to leave a security deposit. For example, some applicants may still qualify even if they have a past loan default or if they only have a short credit history of three years or less. But, they’ll start off with a lower credit limit.

Considering that this is an unsecured card with no annual fee, the Capital One Platinum credit card could be a good starter card or credit-rebuilding tool for those with scores in the high 500s or low 600s.

What can I do if my application is denied?

If you are denied for the Capital One Platinum card, it may mean that, in the issuer’s eyes, you’re not ready for an unsecured credit card just yet. Whenever you are not approved for credit, by law, the lender must disclose the reasons. That information can help you understand what measures you’ll need to take in order to qualify in the future.

For example, if it’s because of insufficient income, working toward a better paying job or taking on more hours to hit the income threshold for the card may help improve your chances. Maybe you’ll find an error you can fix on your application and ask for reconsideration. Or, if you’re just shy of the credit score requirements, you could work on improving your score.

How can I improve my score to get this card?

If your credit score falls below the 580 score threshold, that would put you in the poor credit tier. The good news is that credit scores change over time, and it’s in your control to improve your credit score. It will take time and patience, but it’s totally doable. Here are some strategies you can try:

Pay down outstanding debts. If you’re maxed out on another card, that could be one of the key factors keeping your score down. Credit utilization, or how much of your credit limit you are using, is the second most important factor in the credit score calculation (right behind your payment history).

So if you have a $1,000 credit limit on a card and you owe $980, you’re using 98% of your available credit. Because of that, the credit score algorithms deem you to be a higher-risk borrower. Therefore, make it a goal to get your utilization down in increments: first below 50%, then 30%, and eventually as close to zero as possible. The lower it goes, the greater the positive impact will be on your credit score.

Check your credit reports for errors. If you’re not sure why your score is coming up low, it could be that there are negative items on your credit reports that shouldn’t be there. In fact, a recent study by Consumer Reports found that 11% of consumers had an error on their credit reports.

Pull your reports from all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Transunion) for free via AnnualCreditReport.com, and go over them carefully. For instance, it may show that you never finished paying a particular loan or that you paid a bill late when you didn’t. Disputing such errors with the bureaus could result in improving your score.

Keep paying other bills on time. If you were late in the past, those credit wounds take time to heal. The best way forward is to make sure every bill is paid by its due date. Setting up automated payments or text or email notifications to remind you when the payment is due can help ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Get a secured credit card. If you can’t qualify for the Capital One Platinum card just yet, you might be able to get a secured credit card, which requires you to leave a security deposit. Once you open one of those, spend on it for a few months to establish a track record of responsible payment behavior. This means making small charges and paying your bill in full and on time each month.

Keep tabs on your credit score to watch for score increases. Over time, if you make some progress and break past 580, you can go ahead and apply for the Capital One Platinum card. The preapproval process on the Capital One website will not impact your credit score, so you can start there.

Once you put through the full application, though, that will count as a hard inquiry, so it will ding your credit score temporarily. Therefore, it’s always best to try spacing out your credit applications and apply only when there’s a strong likelihood you’ll be approved.

Bottom line

The Capital One Platinum credit card is a solid product for those with fair credit and for those who otherwise might only have access to secured cards or ones with fees.

If you meet the minimum credit score requirement and other qualifications, you’ll likely be approved with a low credit limit to start. From there, Capital One will automatically consider giving you a credit limit increase after you make six on-time payments, helping you progress on your credit journey.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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