Credit cards for bad credit

Aqua Classic


A credit card to help repair bad credit

  • Check your eligibility in 60 seconds with no impact to your credit score
  • Smart credit limits from £250 - £1,500 that adjust as we get to know you
  • Build better credit with expert support in the Aqua app


34.9% APR

Representative (variable) for Aqua Classic

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Benefits of Aqua Classic


Get the smart way to build better credit. Aqua Classic is the credit card for bad credit or poor credit history, that gives you the power to improve your credit score. Backed by our expert support, personalised credit limits & secure app that guides you on your credit building journey.

Build better credit

  • Ability to build your credit score, if you manage your account well
  • Get free access to your credit score in the Aqua app
  • Get expert support from Aqua Coach with hints & tips to help improve your score


Safe and secure

  • Check your eligibility for an Aqua card in just 60 seconds with no impact on your credit score
  • Get 24/7 fraud protection to keep your account safe
  • As a Mastercard, Aqua Classic is accepted at over 35 million places worldwide


Smart credit limits

  • We give you a personalised credit limit starting from £250 - £1,500
  • Your credit limit adjusts as we get to know you and could even grow if you manage your account well

Don't forget

Failure to make payments on time or to stay within your credit limit means that you will pay additional charges and may make obtaining credit in the future more expensive and difficult.

Am I eligible to apply for an Aqua Classic card?


You can apply for an Aqua card as long as you:


  • Are aged 18 and over and have a permanent UK address
  • Haven’t been registered bankrupt in the past 18 months and don’t have ongoing bankruptcy proceedings against you
  • Have a current UK bank or building society account
  • Haven’t received a County Court Judgement (CCJ) in the past 12 months
  • Don’t already have an Aqua card and haven’t have taken out an Aqua, marbles, opus, Fluid or Bip card in the past 12 months

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Aqua Classic FAQs

  • Aqua Classic comes with a host of tools to help you use your card responsibly, including:

    • Aqua Coach – our free credit builder tool in the Aqua app
    • A great mobile app to keep you in control 24/7
    • Text reminders to keep you on track
    • Award-winning support from our UK-based call centre

    If you use these tools to manage your account well, then this will help to build your credit rating.

  • Unlike some other credit cards, there are no annual fees with the Aqua Classic card.

  • If you make your payments on time and stick within your credit limit over a number of months, then we may look at increasing your credit limit, if we think that’s the right thing and taking into account your personal circumstances. We’ll need to see that your account is being managed responsibly before we can offer you a credit limit increase.


    You can reduce your credit limit at any time by calling customer services. You can also choose how you would like us to manage your credit limit preferences.

  • Yes, just look for the contactless symbol at locations that accept Mastercard.

What's the difference between an eligibility check and an application ?


An eligibility check – like our SafeCheck – tells you whether the card company is likely to say ‘yes’ to your application, but it doesn’t leave a hard check on your credit report and doesn’t commit you to applying for the card. This means that you know whether you’re safe to apply, without having to worry about damaging your chances of getting other credit in future.

A full application, on the other hand, does leave a mark on your report. That’s why it’s best not to fill in lots of applications with different companies. If in doubt, always check your eligibility first.


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What is bad credit?

Bad credit is usually a way of describing having a low credit score, due to either a history of using credit poorly or not having built up much of a credit history. Having a bad credit history is one of the main reasons people are turned down for credit cards, loans, and even bank accounts.

If you have a bad credit history, it’s important to remember that millions of people in the UK are in the same category, so you’re not alone and you can get help to fix it.

It’s also important to remember that nobody has a single credit ‘score’ that all lenders look at to decide whether to give you credit. Each lender will carry out its own assessment based on your credit history and decide based on their own criteria, so it’s still possible for you to get credit and use it responsibly.

Let’s look at the two situations which usually result in it being more difficult for people to get credit


A bad credit history

If you haven’t stuck to the terms of credit agreements in the past, lenders might decide that it’s a risk to give you credit.

The most common ways that people break credit agreements are:

  • Making lots of late payments or missing payments altogether
  • Going over their credit limit – especially if it happens regularly

For example, if you made lots of late payments on your credit card or missed payments altogether, other lenders are likely to think that you might miss payments and decide not to give you credit. There are lots of steps you can take to start improving your credit score and options for getting credit while you have bad credit. At Aqua, we’ll do our best to help you with both. 

No credit history

If you’ve never borrowed money, lenders don’t have much information to judge whether you’ll manage your credit well.

Using credit well is the most important factor in building a good credit history, so having no history of using credit can be just as much of an issue as a history of using credit poorly. 


How to improve your credit score


If you have a bad credit score, getting a credit card and managing it well can be a great way to improve it. There are a few other easy things you can do to help improve your credit score, too.

Make sure you’re on the electoral register

Lenders use the electoral register to check your identity against your application. If you’re not on it, it’s harder for them to make sure the application is genuine.

Pay your bills on time, including your monthly credit card payments

Missing a payment by a couple of days can make a difference to your credit score. Late payments can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.

Check your credit record

Regularly checking your report means you can keep on top of any issues and pick up any suspicious activity, such as signs of identity fraud.

Keep old accounts open and build your credit history

If you have long-standing credit accounts that have been managed well, consider keeping them open. This can show you’ve been a reliable borrower in the past which is a good sign to lenders.

Do not make too many applications for credit within a six month period

Too many credit searches on your credit report in a short space of time can make lenders view you as a risk and reduce your chances of being accepted.

Use credit responsibly

Lenders like to see you can be responsible with credit, so managing your existing credit cards and loans well is one of the best ways to improve your credit score.


Can I apply for a credit card if I have bad credit?

The short answer is ‘yes’. The first step is to decide which card is right for you.

If you have a bad credit history or haven’t applied for a credit card before, it can be tempting to fill out lots of applications in the hope that at least one of them will be successful. But this is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Each full application is logged on your credit report, so the more you apply and are turned down, the more likely you are to keep getting turned down. That’s why you need to pick a card that’s designed for your circumstances and offers an eligibility check – sometimes called a ‘soft’ check – up front.

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Bad Credit FAQs

  • Your credit score is a number based on a range of different factors that gives an indication of how good you are with credit. A higher score means that lenders are more likely to lend to you. If you’re an Aqua customer, you can find out your current credit score (powered by TransUnion) at any time in the Aqua Coach tab of the Aqua app.

  • Your credit score is calculated by one of the three credit reference agencies in the UK - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit). What’s classed as a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ score varies slightly between the three agencies – you should check with the agency that your score is from to see if it’s a bad score.


    Having a bad score may make lenders concerned that you’re not able to manage credit as well as they would like. This could make it more difficult and/or expensive for you to obtain credit – but, the good news is, it’s possible to improve your credit score (see ‘Can bad credit be fixed?’ below).

  • Yes. An Aqua card can help you fix bad credit and get you back on track.


    If you use your card responsibly, including by making all your repayments on time and staying within your credit limit, then over time this will help you build up a history of good credit. Your improved credit score may then help you be accepted for other types of credit that you can apply for – from credit cards and loans, to mortgages and other large purchases.

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