Who Are the Credit Card Outsiders and How Can They Gain Access? (2024)

Who Are the Credit Card Outsiders and How Can They Gain Access?

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Credit Card Outsiders
  3. The Challenges Faced by Credit Card Outsiders
  4. The Role of Secured Credit Cards in Bridging the Gap
  5. Case Studies and Real-World Examples
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs


Imagine needing to cover an unexpected expense but being unable to access credit. For 16% of U.S. consumers, this is a reality as they find themselves without a credit card. These individuals, often referred to as "credit card outsiders," face significant financial hurdles due to their lack of access to credit. This blog post delves into the state of these credit card outsiders, exploring who they are and the ways they can navigate the challenges of securing a credit card. We'll also look into how financial institutions can cater to these groups by offering solutions like secured credit cards.

Understanding Credit Card Outsiders

Credit card outsiders are not a hom*ogenous group. Instead, they fall into four distinct personas:

  1. Second Chancers: Individuals who have had credit cards in the past but faced adverse events leading them to close their accounts.
  2. Credit Curious: Those who have never had a credit card but are interested in obtaining one.
  3. Gone for Goods: Consumers who previously had a credit card but chose to close it voluntarily for personal reasons.
  4. Never-Nevers: Individuals who have never owned a credit card and show no interest in acquiring one.

Understanding these segments enables lenders to better address their unique challenges and needs.

The Challenges Faced by Credit Card Outsiders

Financial Constraints

One of the most significant impacts of not having a credit card is on financial flexibility. Without access to credit, many credit outsiders struggle to manage essential expenses, especially in emergencies. For instance, second chancers and gone for goods are almost 50% more likely to have difficulty covering unforeseen expenses compared to other credit outsiders. This lack of a financial buffer can be particularly debilitating during economic downturns or personal financial crises.

High Rates of Account Closures

Another key finding is that 52% of credit outsiders once had a credit card, but three-quarters chose to close their accounts. The reasons for these closures vary widely, from personal financial mismanagement to involuntary closures caused by adverse events. Second chancers, in particular, experience higher rates of involuntary closures, highlighting the need for targeted support to help these consumers rebuild their credit.

The Role of Secured Credit Cards in Bridging the Gap

What Are Secured Credit Cards?

Secured credit cards are designed for individuals looking to build or rebuild their credit. Unlike traditional credit cards, secured cards require a cash deposit that serves as collateral. Typically, the credit limit on the card is equal to the deposit amount. This arrangement provides a safety net for both the cardholder and the issuer.

Benefits for Credit Card Outsiders

For credit outsiders, secured credit cards offer several advantages. They serve as "training wheels" for those new to credit or those who have had issues in the past. By requiring a deposit, these cards encourage responsible spending and offer a controlled way to build credit. About half of the credit curious and second chancers show interest in these accounts, indicating a market need.

Moreover, secured credit cards can be particularly appealing to high-income individuals. Nearly half of those earning more than $100,000 annually express interest in secured cards, suggesting that financial institutions could tap into this demographic by positioning secured cards as credit-building tools.

Practical Advice for Financial Institutions

Financial institutions aiming to attract credit outsiders should consider positioning secured credit cards as a path to financial recovery and credit building. Tailored marketing efforts can emphasize the role of these cards in managing emergencies and unexpected expenses, a major pain point for second chancers and gone for goods.

Case Studies and Real-World Examples

Synchrony's Personalized Financing Strategies

Synchrony has implemented tailored financing strategies to attract diverse customer segments, including credit outsiders. By using personalized data, Synchrony offers bespoke financing options that cater to the specific needs and purchasing behaviors of consumers. This approach has proved effective in big-ticket commerce, where consumer hesitation due to high borrowing costs is a barrier.

Omnichannel Financing Solutions

Synchrony's omnichannel financing solutions provide a seamless shopping experience across various platforms. Customers can easily access financing options whether they are shopping in-store, online, or via mobile apps. This flexibility is crucial in bridging the gap between different shopping experiences and making credit more accessible to outsiders.

Success Stories from the Auto Industry

In the auto industry, Synchrony's partnerships with companies like Continental and Big Brand Tire have demonstrated the efficacy of flexible financing options. These partnerships have not only driven up sales but also made high-cost purchases more manageable for consumers. Such real-world examples illustrate the potential benefits of offering tailored financing solutions to credit card outsiders.


Credit card outsiders face significant barriers to financial flexibility, but solutions like secured credit cards offer a viable path to overcoming these challenges. By understanding the unique needs of different credit outsider personas, financial institutions can better tailor their offerings and marketing strategies.

Increasing access to secured credit cards can help these consumers manage essential expenses, build credit, and reduce financial stress. Companies like Synchrony provide a blueprint for how personalized, omnichannel financing solutions can drive consumer engagement and foster loyalty.


What are credit card outsiders?

Credit card outsiders are individuals who do not have access to credit cards. They fall into four distinct categories: second chancers, credit curious, gone for goods, and never-nevers.

Why do some people choose to close their credit card accounts?

Various personal factors lead to account closures, including financial mismanagement, involuntary closures, and a personal choice to avoid using credit cards.

How can secured credit cards help credit card outsiders?

Secured credit cards require a cash deposit, making them less risky and providing a controlled way to build or rebuild credit. They offer financial flexibility and help manage unexpected expenses.

What strategies can financial institutions use to attract credit card outsiders?

Financial institutions can position secured credit cards as credit-building and financial recovery tools. Tailored marketing efforts that emphasize the benefits during emergencies can also attract credit outsiders.

Are there any real-world examples of successful financing strategies?

Yes, companies like Synchrony have implemented personalized financing strategies and omnichannel solutions that have proven successful in attracting diverse consumer segments, including credit card outsiders.

Who Are the Credit Card Outsiders and How Can They Gain Access? (1)

About Author

Haris James S. is a Paid Specialist at HulkApps, adept at both creating successful ad campaigns and dancing. When not fine-tuning customer-centered marketing strategies, he enjoys learning new dance moves to groove to.

Who Are the Credit Card Outsiders and How Can They Gain Access? (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Last Updated:

Views: 6079

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Birthday: 1998-02-19

Address: 64841 Delmar Isle, North Wiley, OR 74073

Phone: +17844167847676

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: LARPing, Kitesurfing, Sewing, Digital arts, Sand art, Gardening, Dance

Introduction: My name is Amb. Frankie Simonis, I am a hilarious, enchanting, energetic, cooperative, innocent, cute, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.