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Best Business Credit Cards for Bad Credit in 2020



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Securing a line of credit for your business can be difficult when your credit score is below average or you’ve made credit mistakes in the past. But all isn’t lost and, in fact, some business credit cards for bad credit come with lax standards that make it significantly easier to get approved. This may mean they’re secured credit cards, which require a cash deposit as collateral to get started. However, small business credit cards for bad credit can help you get your foot in the door.

If you’re looking for the easiest business credit card to get, consider the cards we’ve highlighted below and how they might work for your small business.

Here are Bankrate’s top picks for business credit cards for bad credit in 2020:

  • Best overall: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
  • Best secured credit card for business: Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
  • Best secured credit card with rewards: BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa Credit Card

Best overall

Capital One Spark Classic for Business

  • Earn an unlimited 1% back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Available for average credit
  • Free employee cards

Why it’s the best overall business credit card for bad credit

We like the Capital One Spark Classic for Business the most among business credit cards for bad credit based on the simple fact this is an unsecured credit card. This means you won’t have to put down a cash deposit as collateral, and you can secure a real line of credit you can actually borrow against right away.

You can also get approved for this business credit card with “average” credit, which makes it a doable option if your credit isn’t stellar. Finally, we love the fact that there’s no annual fee and that you get free employee cards for your business. You also get the chance to earn 1 percent back on all the business purchases made with your card, and you can start building your credit right away.

Best secured credit card for business

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on your spending or 1 rewards point per $1 spent
  • Earn 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period
  • $25 annual fee per card
  • Credit line from $500 to $25,000
  • Available to consumers with no credit or limited credit

Why it’s the best secured business credit card for bad credit

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is the top secured credit card for business due to its relatively low carrying costs and the fact you can earn some rewards. This card charges a $25 annual fee for each card you carry, including up to nine additional employee cards, but you can access a line of credit between $500 and $25,000 depending on your income and other factors. This is a secured business credit card, however, meaning you’ll have to put down a cash deposit as collateral to get started.

Not only will your credit payments with this card be reported to your personal credit reports, but Wells Fargo reports your payment and usage behavior to the Small Business Financial Exchange as well. This means you’ll get the chance to build personal and business credit as you learn better credit habits and make on-time payments with your card. Also, as your credit score improves, Wells Fargo promises to periodically review your account to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade to one of their unsecured business credit cards.

Best secured credit card with rewards

BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa Credit Card

  • Earn 3x points at office supply stores and 2x points at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • $40 annual fee (waived for the first year)
  • Free employee cards
  • Secure your line of credit with a savings account

Why it’s the best secured business credit card for bad credit with rewards

The BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa Credit Card made our list due to the fact there’s no annual fee the first year and it has a generous rewards program. Earning 3x points at office supply stores and 2x points at gas stations and restaurants could easily help you rack up points quickly, and you’ll also get 1x points on all other purchases you make with this card.

You’ll have to put down a minimum deposit of $500 to get started with this card, but your deposit goes into a savings account set aside on your behalf. From there, your available credit will work out to 90 percent of your savings account balance, or $450 if you put down $500 as collateral.

This card also comes with free employee cards and perks like auto rental insurance for business, purchase protection against damage or theft, extended warranties, travel accident insurance and travel and emergency assistance.

How to choose the best business credit card for bad credit

Check your credit score

When it comes to startup business credit cards for bad credit, it’s possible you’ll have to start your journey with a secured credit card. However, some business owners assume their credit is poor when it’s really just average or “okay.” With that in mind, you should check your personal credit score to see where you stand. According to, a “fair” credit score ranges from 580 to 669, so you could potentially qualify for an unsecured credit card with a FICO score in that range, especially if it’s on the higher end.

Compare fees and interest rates

Make sure to check for fees, including added fees for additional employee cards. Other fees to watch out for include annual fees, application fees, late fees and over-the-limit fees. Interest rates tend to be high for all credit cards for bad credit, so you should check to see about ongoing APRs as well.

Look for rewards

You should also look for and compare rewards programs, including the type of rewards you can earn and any bonus spending categories that may be available. Ideally, you’ll find a business credit card for bad credit that offers a generous flat rate of rewards or bonus categories you happen to spend a lot in for your business.

Frequently asked questions about business credit cards for bad credit

Do business credit cards for bad credit help you build your credit score?

Business credit cards for bad credit can help you build your credit score since they report your credit movements to the three credit bureaus. However, some business credit cards don’t report your payments to your personal credit reports, meaning responsible credit use with a business credit card may not directly boost your personal credit score.

How do I apply for a business credit card for bad credit?

Applying for a business credit card online is easy. All you have to do is find the best card for your needs, hit “apply now,” and provide information like your name, Social Security number, business type, business and personal income, your address and other details related to your business.

Do I really need a dedicated business credit card?

Having a dedicated business credit card can be helpful if you need to keep personal and business purchases separate. A business credit card can also help you build your business credit score, which is separate from your personal credit score.

What is a secured credit card?

A secured credit card is any card that requires a cash deposit as collateral to get started. These cards are typically geared to individuals and small business owners who have poor credit (or no credit) that prevents them from qualifying for an unsecured credit card.

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Bad Credit

European Regulator Worries Banks Are Ignoring Borrower Troubles



The European Central Bank is worried lenders in the eurozone aren’t properly evaluating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the financial health of borrowers, a problem that could result in a sudden cascade of defaults.

Andrea Enria,

head of banking supervision at the ECB, said banks are setting aside less money to cover for loan losses than peers in other countries, including the U.S. He added that the provisions are below levels reached during the financial crisis and short of the levels models suggest are required.

“The way in which banks are preparing for asset quality deterioration varies widely and could, in some cases, be insufficient,” Mr. Enria said Thursday.

He expects the impact of renewed lockdowns will be reflected in banks’ fourth-quarter results and through 2021. Several eurozone banks are due to report their annual results next week.

The true health of eurozone borrowers has become harder to track due to the amount of financial support from the ECB and the region’s governments, which includes payment holidays on existing loans. In Italy, for instance, over a quarter of loans to businesses are under payment moratoriums. In Portugal, half of the credit to companies in the hospitality and restaurant sectors are under the program.

State guarantees on loans have also incentivized eurozone banks to continue lending, including to small companies that would likely go bust without that help.

Mr. Enria said that while the support is likely helping banks to keep their loan books healthy, there are signs lenders aren’t properly looking at the personal situation of the borrowers who received support.

“Since March last year we told banks that they should develop additional indicators to try to understand the quality of their customers and to see through the moratoria,” Mr. Enria said. “We are not seeing a lot of that happening,” he said.

The ECB earlier last year said bad loans in the eurozone could soar as high as €1.4 trillion, equivalent to $1.7 trillion, if the economies were to contract more than expected, a scenario the central bank said was severe but plausible. That amount would be more than during the aftermath of the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

The ECB said the probability of that scenario is lower now, but “significant uncertainties remain in the short to medium term.”

Most banks were able to keep their capital levels stable through last year, although nine have taken advantage of looser regulatory requirements and ate into their buffers, the ECB said Thursday without naming the lenders.

The biggest concern for regulators is that low profitability—and a potential flood of losses from bad credit—could quickly deteriorate those capital levels.

Write to Patricia Kowsmann at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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How long do offers last, and what if I have bad credit? We answer the most-asked mortgage questions



Forget the eyes – nowadays, it is our internet searches that provide a window into the soul.  

We often turn to search engines to ask the questions that are on our minds, whether we’re just looking for a quick answer or because it’s something we are embarrassed to ask in person. 

Now, Britons’ most common mortgage questions have been revealed, thanks to a new analysis of Google searches.  

Many of the mainstream lenders are able to offer a mortgage within 2-3 weeks of an application being submitted, according to the mortgage experts we spoke to

Many of the mainstream lenders are able to offer a mortgage within 2-3 weeks of an application being submitted, according to the mortgage experts we spoke to looked at search data from the last twelve months, and discovered that the most asked mortgage question, with 20,960 searches, was ‘How long does a mortgage application take?’

Britons also wanted to know how long a mortgage offer lasted for, how to get a mortgage with bad credit, what an interest only mortgage was, and what a lifetime mortgage was. 

Applying for a mortgage can sometimes be complicated, and there is often a lot of jargon to contend with – so it is not surprising that people search online for more information.

This is Money asked Mark Harris of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, Nicholas Morrey of mortgage broker John Charcol and a spokesperson from the Mortgage Advice Bureau to help provide answers to the five most-asked questions.

How long does a mortgage application take?

The most common mortgage question on Google, this is particularly relevant at the moment given that some buyers are keen to complete before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31 March. 

But the answer depends on the type of mortgage application being submitted, according to Harris.

For example, a product transfer – where you stay with your current lender but move to a new deal – can take a matter of days, whilst a more complex mortgage application can take weeks.

‘Once the application is submitted, a lot depends on the lender and the complexity of the application – it may take anywhere between one day to two weeks for an initial assessment to take place,’  Harris said. 

If you’re self-employed or the mortgage valuation requires a surveyor to visit the property in person, then you are likely to face further delays. 

A firm mortgage offer will follow once your application has been fully reviewed and an acceptable valuation received.

The experts we spoke to said that typically, it would to take two to three weeks from application to offer – but the pandemic has meant that these timescales have been stretched. 

‘Unfortunately, during the Covid-19 pandemic, lenders have suffered from staff and resource issues and tasks are taking longer to complete,’ said Harris.

‘Also, given the effect on employment and income, lenders are scrutinising applications in greater depth to see how applicants have been affected.’ 

How long does a mortgage offer last?

In most cases mortgage offers last for six months, although some offers will only last for three months.

‘If the offer expires, lenders will sometimes agree to an extension – although this will sometimes require a re-assessment by the lender,’ said Morrey.

A typical mortgage offer will last for six months, but this can sometimes be extended

A typical mortgage offer will last for six months, but this can sometimes be extended

‘For example, the original deal may no longer be available, or a new valuation may be required, or the lender may wish to re-assess your income and outgoings.’

Where an application involves a new-build property, the offer may last longer – potentially up to 12 months, according to Harris.

‘Borrowers should be aware that some new builds have completion deadlines that may not coincide with offer expiry dates,’ he said.

How to get a mortgage with bad credit?

Some lenders will not offer mortgages to people with a history of bad credit, and this was something that Google searchers wanted to know how to get around. 

Lenders that are willing to do so often charge a higher interest rate, to reflect the increased level of risk.

‘When getting a mortgage with bad credit, you can expect to borrow less and to pay more in interest in comparison to someone who has an exemplary credit record,’ explained the spokesperson for the Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Having bad credit may mean you are not able to borrow as much on your mortgage

Having bad credit may mean you are not able to borrow as much on your mortgage

‘High street lenders are generally averse to dealing with those who have bad credit, which can make it pretty difficult.

‘When you apply for a mortgage, it can register on your credit file – and if you apply to a number of lenders to see if they will lend to you, it may be doing additional damage to your credit score.’

‘Your best option, according to Mortgage Advice Bureau, is to contact an established and experienced mortgage broker.

‘They will have access to contacts and deals that are exclusive and not available to the general public. The mortgage broker will carry out a ‘soft’ credit check first, so your inquiry doesn’t negatively impact your credit score.’ 

What is an interest-only mortgage?

Another common question on Google concerned interest-only mortgages. So what are they? 

When borrowing for a home, you can either opt for a repayment mortgage or an interest-only mortgage.

With a repayment mortgage, you will pay back a part of the loan, as well as the interest, each month until you eventually pay off the mortgage.

With an interest-only mortgage, you will only pay the interest each month, with the loan amount remaining the same.

‘It means your monthly payments will be lower but, at the end of the mortgage term, the full amount you borrow is still outstanding and you have to pay the lender back everything at that time,’ said Morrey.

‘When applying for an interest-only loan, the borrower must demonstrate that there is a clear and credible strategy in place to repay the capital,’ added Harris.

What is a lifetime mortgage?

A lifetime mortgage is a mortgage secured on your home, with the loan only being repaid when you pass away, go into long-term care or sell the property.

Two examples of this are retirement interest-only mortgages and equity release mortgages.

Equity release allows you to access some of the equity in your home via a lifetime mortgage

Equity release allows you to access some of the equity in your home via a lifetime mortgage

‘Lifetime mortgages often have fixed rates of interest, and in the case of equity release mortgages, the fixed rate is for life and not just two or five years,’ explained Morrey.

He added: ‘They should not be confused with lifetime tracker mortgages, which track a specific index such as the Bank of England base rate – these will likely have an end date and won’t be for a ‘lifetime’ in itself.’

There are strict lending criteria, with the amount you can you borrow depending on your age.

‘Seeking expert financial and legal advice is crucial for this type of mortgage,’ said Harris.

‘An adviser covering both equity release and standard mortgages would be most useful as they can assess the most suitable route forward.’

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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What is a Subprime Mortgage?



What is a subprime mortgage? If you’re asking this question, chances are good you’re either trying to borrow for a home with poor credit or you’ve been offered a loan you’re concerned is a subprime loan. We’ll explain the answer to the question “what is a subprime mortgage?” and discuss some of the risks and alternatives.

What is a subprime mortgage?

Prime loans usually offer competitive interest rates to well-qualified borrowers. A subprime mortgage is similar to a conventional mortgage, except it has a higher interest rate. Subprime loans are geared toward borrowers with bad credit who can’t qualify for a prime mortgage at the best rates. Lenders take a bigger risk with subprime loans, so they charge substantially higher rates due to the borrower’s poor credit history.

If you have a credit score below 620, you may not be able to qualify for a prime mortgage, but you might get a subprime mortgage.

Types of subprime mortgages

There are multiple types of subprime mortgage loans. However, one particular type of loan — an adjustable-rate mortgage — is especially common for subprime mortgages.

Adjustable-rate mortgages

Many subprime mortgages are adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs. The introductory rate on an ARM is fixed for a limited time. For example, a 5/1 ARM provides a fixed rate for five years. After that, the rate adjusts based on a financial index.

That means your interest rate may go down — but it could go up, too. ARMs carry more risk than fixed rate loans. If interest rates rise, monthly payments could increase. If you take out an adjustable loan, find out how high your payment could go. Don’t assume you’ll always be able to refinance or sell your home before it adjusts.

Fixed-rate mortgages

With fixed-rate subprime mortgages, the interest rate remains the same for the entire repayment period. Since the rate doesn’t change, payments don’t change.

The important question is, what is a subprime mortgage interest rate you’d qualify for? You need to make sure the rate is reasonable and that monthly payments are affordable.

Shop and compare rates from multiple mortgage lenders for poor credit to find the best subprime loan rates. And use a mortgage calculator to see how much your monthly payment would be for any loan you’re considering.

Interest-only mortgages

Interest-only mortgages allow you to pay only interest for a limited time, such as the first five years. This makes monthly payments more affordable, but you don’t make progress in reducing your loan principal.

At the end of the initial period, you’ll begin paying both principal and interest. Your payments may rise substantially because you’ll have a shorter timeline to pay your loan off. If you took a 30-year mortgage and only paid interest for the first 10 years, you’d have just 20 years to pay off your entire principal balance.

Most interest-only loans are also structured as ARMs, so you take the added risk of rates going up and payments rising.

Dignity mortgages

Dignity mortgages are a specific type of subprime loan offered by some lenders. With this type of mortgage, you’ll initially have a high interest rate. But if you make on-time payments for a period of time, your interest rate will eventually be reduced to the prime rate.

Subprime mortgage risks

It’s important to also consider if you’re willing to take on the risk of this type of loan. Some of the biggest risks include:

  • Interest costs will be high: You will pay significantly more mortgage interest over time than if you took out a conventional mortgage.
  • Finding a lender may be difficult: Not all mortgage lenders offer loans to subprime borrowers. You could be limiting your potential loan options.
  • Payments could increase: If you choose an ARM, you face the risk of interest rates going up and payments rising.
  • Foreclosure is possible: If you don’t pay your subprime mortgage loan, your lender will foreclose. Your credit could be severely damaged.

Lenders are required under Dodd-Frank financial reform laws to conduct an “ability-to-repay” assessment. This ensures borrowers are capable of paying back their loans. These mandates can reduce the risk for borrowers. But the bottom line is buying a house with bad credit can create a host of complications.

Alternatives to subprime mortgages

You may be wondering if there are other options. The good news is that there are multiple solutions for borrowers with bad credit. Some of the best options include these government-back loans:

  • FHA loan: FHA lenders often work with borrowers with lower credit. FHA loans are available to borrowers with credit as low as 500 as long as they make a 10% down payment. Borrowers with scores of 580 or higher can get approved with a 3.5% down payment.
  • VA loan: A VA mortgage loan is available to eligible service members and veterans regardless of their poor credit history. The VA doesn’t set a minimum score, but some lenders do.

USDA loan: These allow you to purchase eligible homes in rural areas. More stringent underwriting is required to qualify borrowers with credit scores below 640. But it may still be possible to qualify.

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