400 Credit Score: What Are Your Credit Card and Loan Options?

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by Enoch Omololu

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A 400 credit score is nearly as bad as it gets. It is much lower than the average credit score in Canada and you will find it difficult to get approval for any kind of credit product.

Read on to learn about what a 400 credit score means, how to fix your credit rating, and your credit card and loan options.

What Does a 400 Credit Score Mean?

Credit scores in Canada range from 300 to 900. In the U.S., credit scores or FICO Scores range from 300 to 850.

Your score provides lenders with an assessment of your creditworthiness i.e. how faithful are you with paying off your debts on time.

A bad or poor credit score (300-599) means there is a high risk that you will default on paying your loans, and most lenders will deny your credit application.

When they do approve your application, the chances are that you will pay higher interest rates or may need to provide collateral upfront.

Credit scores in Canada are ranked as follows:

  • Excellent credit score: 800-900
  • Very good credit score: 720-799
  • Good credit score: 650-719
  • Fair credit score: 600-649
  • Poor or bad credit score: 300-599

A 400 credit score is a bad credit score and well below the average credit score of 672 as per Borrowell.

With a 400 credit score, you will find it difficult to qualify for a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, and traditional credit cards.

Credit Cards For 400 Credit Score

Getting approval for a credit card is difficult if you have a credit score of 400.

For regular cards, banks want you to apply with a credit score that is 660 or higher. In the case of a premium credit card, they may even require 750+ credit scores.

That said, you could qualify for a secured credit card that accepts all credit types.

Some options include:

Neo Secured Credit Card

The Neo Secured Mastercard offers guaranteed approval even if you have a bad credit score or no credit history.

Unlike many other secured cards, it has no annual fees and you earn cash back rewards when you make any purchase.

This card is easily the best credit card for bad credit in Canada. Learn more in this review.

Neo Secured Mastercard

Rewards: Earn up to 5% real cash back on purchases.

Welcome offer: 15% cashback on your first purchases; plus a $25 welcome bonus.

Interest rates: 19.99% – 24.99% for purchases.

Annual fee: $0

Credit limit: Starts at $50.

Credit score required: Poor or bad credit score.

KOHO Prepaid Card

While the KOHO Prepaid Card is not a credit card, it can be used to fix your 400 credit score.

This card pays up to 10% cash back at participating retailers and you earn higher interest savings rates on your balance if you set up a direct deposit to your account.

The KOHO Credit Building service costs $7/month. You can apply for the KOHO Card with any credit score. You can learn more in this review.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard (formerly KOHO Visa)

Rewards: Earn 0.50% cash back on all purchases; Up to 10% cashback at select partners; Earn 1.20% savings interest on your balance*.

Welcome offer: Get a $20 bonus when you load and make your first purchase (use promo code CASHBACK during sign-up).

Interest rates: 0%

Annual fee: $0

Plastk Secured Credit Card

The Plastk Secured Credit Card is another card that works for rebuilding credit.

Cardholders earn points when they spend and can redeem these for gift cards, merchandise, or statement credits.

This card has a $48 annual fee and $6 monthly maintenance fees.

Plastk Secured Credit Card

Rewards: Earn points you can redeem for cash.

Welcome offer: 5,000 bonus points ($20 value) and 0% APR for 3 months.

Interest rates: 17.99% on purchases; 21.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $48, plus a $6 monthly maintenance fee.

Credit limit: $300 to $10,000.

Credit score required: Poor or bad credit score.

400 Credit Score Loan Options

You could potentially get a bad credit personal loan or car loan with a 400 credit score but can expect to pay much higher interest rates.

Some options include:

Loans Canada

Loans Canada works with various lenders who offer loans in the range of $500 to $35,000. APRs are from 1.99% to 46.96% and depend on your credit profile.

Visit Loans Canada

LoanConnect

LoanConnect is a loan comparison tool that has been used to process $500+ million in loan applications over the last 2 years.

After completing their online application, you receive a list of loans that meet your needs and can receive funding within 1-2 business days.

APRs range from 5.75% to 46.96%.

Visit LoanConnect

CarsFast

CarsFast can help you access car loans with any type of credit.

To qualify, you must have a steady job and live in Ontario, Alberta, or British Columbia.

Visit CarsFast

How To Fix a 400 Credit Score

In order to improve your credit score, you need to understand the factors that affect it. They are:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Credit utilization rate (30%)
  • Length of credit history (15%)
  • Credit mix (10%)
  • New credit applications (10%)

Credit bureaus also consider public records such as bankruptcies and court judgements.

You can fix your 400 credit score over time using these strategies:

Pay your bills on time. Ensure you pay your credit card balance by the due date. Your payment history has the most impact on your credit score.

Get a secured credit card. You need a credit-building tool like a credit card or loan to increase your score over time. Use the card responsibly and ensure the credit card company is reporting your credit history to the credit bureaus.

Create an emergency fund. This will give you some cushion if you need money to pay off an expense quickly instead of turning to payday loans.

Dispute errors on your credit report. Check your credit report for errors and dispute them.

Limit your credit usage. Keep your credit utilization to 30% or lower, for example, if you have a $1,000 credit limit, your balance should not exceed $300.

Keep old credit accounts open. The longer your credit history, and the more varied your credit account types, the better your credit score.

Limit new credit applications. Don’t apply for too many credit cards around the same time. When there are multiple hard inquiries on your credit report, lenders begin to think you are in financial trouble.

400 Credit Score FAQs

Can I buy a house with a 400 credit score?

It is incredibly difficult to qualify for a mortgage with a credit score of 400. It is better to focus on improving your credit profile and finances before considering a mortgage loan.

Can I get a car loan with a 400 credit score?

Yes, you could potentially qualify for a bad credit loan with a credit score of 400, but can expect to pay outrageous interest rates.

Related:

400 Credit Score: What Are Your Credit Card and Loan Options?

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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