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Do No (Financial) Harm

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In getting to know my patients better, I often ask them, “What is your dream job?”

[women with future career titles in clinic waiting room]



This was especially true at PurpLE Clinic,(purplehealthfoundation.org) a program I piloted for four years in a New York City community health center that was designed to provide family medicine care for survivors of trauma, particularly human trafficking and domestic violence.

My question has been met with declarations of “Doctor!”http://www.aafp.org/”Food truck owner!”http://www.aafp.org/”Social Worker!”http://www.aafp.org/”Teacher!”http://www.aafp.org/”Actress!”http://www.aafp.org/”Farmer!” and more.

But patients also have shared struggles that prevented them from achieving these dreams: domestic violence that destroyed credit histories, intermittent incarceration that resulted in large resume gaps, severe debt that led to homelessness and exploitation, and physical and mental health diagnoses that persistently hindered their ability to thrive in school or keep a job.

Many patients are caught in the health-poverty trap:(www.healthaffairs.org) a cycle of poor health that leads to loss of economic and educational opportunity, which, in turns, results in worsening health and health care access. The health-poverty trap disproportionately impacts women, people of color,(cdn.americanprogress.org) and trauma survivors(static1.squarespace.com) — a reality that was reflected in my clinic.

[glad you came in for testing]



Understanding and addressing financial health is just as important for our patients as caring for their physical and mental health — especially in the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis. Here’s what I’ve learned from my patients: Key to understanding financial health is understanding financial trauma. And key to understanding financial trauma is understanding the diagnostic utility of a disconnected phone.

In the early days of my clinic, I found myself sitting with critical results – a positive sexually transmitted infection screen, a CBC showing severe anemia, a creatinine level indicating renal failure — and no effective way to convey them to patients. Each time, the dispassionate voice alerting me that a number was no longer in service triggered a production of “I Hope You Get Care: A Soliloquy in Three Acts”:

  • Hopefully, they’ll receive the letter I send alerting them to their results.
  • Hopefully, they’ll walk into the clinic for follow-up.
  • Hopefully, even if they don’t come back, they’ll still seek care somewhere else.

[disconnected phone]



On the other end of a disconnected phone and an unshared diagnosis lies the rest of the story: The symptoms that lead patients to seek medical care call for appropriate — but often costly — lab testing that results in unaffordable bills that lead to debts being sent to collections, resulting in constant calls from collectors that exacerbate the need to screen phone calls from unfamiliar numbers (a practice already in place to avoid harassment from abusive ex-partners), all of which ultimately lead to disconnected phone numbers.

Either the phone bills are unaffordable, or the phone numbers are untenable. Either way, health care is compromised. And in a world that hurtles toward telemedicine expansion, recognizing that both stable phone access and stable phone number access are luxury goods is essential in designing health care delivery options that ensure all patients have access to care. This is how a disconnected phone can diagnose financial trauma. And why it matters.

[past due bills]



For patients living paycheck to paycheck — the working poor — unpaid bills can become an entry into the health-poverty cycle through a mechanism known as fringe banking(www.healthaffairs.org) (i.e., utilizing cash-advance businesses, high-interest payday lending establishments and pawn shops). In some communities, fringe banking entities are more common than conventional banks. For example, paying a $25 Pap smear bill may involve paying a $15 fee to a payday lending company to borrow a $100 cash advance (to meet a minimum amount that a company sets for lending), with the total $115 to be paid back by the next payday (typically two weeks). If the payment cannot be made on time, then interest and fees can accrue on the original amount, potentially multiplying a $25 bill into a four-figure expense.

[payday loan business]



The Pew Charitable Trusts reports(www.pewtrusts.org) that 12 million Americans use payday loans each year. Those individuals spend more than $500 a year in interest to pay back an average of eight loans of $375. These expenses can trap patients in chronic debt.

And when private debts, including medical bills, can’t be paid, wages can be garnished. Several of my patients shared the stress and shame of employers garnishing their wages. Federal law protects employees(www.dol.gov) from losing their jobs for any one debt resulting in wage garnishment, but they can be fired if there is more than one, because wage garnishment places liability on employers for properly implementing the terms of garnishment. This can lead to a cycle of unemployment, increased debt and delays in accessing essential medical care. Early experiences with debt and wage garnishment can impact the interplay between physical, mental and financial health for the rest of a person’s life.

[wage garnishment]



According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,(www.fdic.gov) one in four U.S. households is unbanked or underbanked. Being unbanked means not having any savings or checking accounts, and being underbanked means having a traditional bank account, but still using alternative financial services (such as the fringe banking resources described above). The U.S. Department of the Treasury recognized the need to address this reality when issuing stimulus payments for households during the pandemic by providing prepaid debit cards to the unbanked.(home.treasury.gov) Notably, the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color is mirrored in the public health crisis of being unbanked.

A 2017 survey conducted by the FDIC (the most recent version available) showed that the most common reason for being unbanked is that people did not have enough money to keep a bank account open. The second-most common reason was that they did not trust banks. Learning this matched offhand remarks I would hear in clinic about bills patients couldn’t pay. They shared fears that using banks would allow the government or collection agencies to strip them of their savings — post-traumatic stress from their experiences with wage garnishment, in some cases.

[cash under couch]



For them, personal banking meant keeping their cash hidden in their mattresses, walls, floors and safes at home. But it also meant never having savings, a retirement account, or a safety net during a pandemic. And being without a financial safety net can mean ever-teetering on the edge of homelessness.

[woman with bags outside bank]



For some patients, the only relationship they have with banks is as a form of temporary housing — ATM spaces they sleep in overnight — when the threat of eviction becomes a reality.

Banks recognize this, too, investing in policies and signs to rid themselves of this nuisance — triggering an ongoing cycle of debt, homelessness, arrest, unaffordable bail, incarceration and poor health.

[officer at bank]



Working with patients who were newly experiencing homelessness taught me to expand the concept of a physical exam to include the physical objects a patient brings with them to an appointment. I used to naïvely think that patients with a suitcase had just returned from travel or those surrounded by shopping bags had just made a few purchases before an appointment. But as hospital discharge summaries were pulled out of suitcases and albums of certificates and awards were proudly pulled out of Ikea bags, I realized that the shopping bags were not filled with items that were new, but with moments from the past. My patients sometimes carried their whole lives with them to appointments because they had recently become homeless or were between shelters.

[doing fine, doc]



Accounting for financial pain expands the language of trauma, rendering a translation of “Everything’s great” to “I don’t want to bother you with my nonhealth problems.” And because “nonhealth” problems are almost always miscategorized, I learned to be prepared to ask, “How are you really doing?” The answer to this vital follow-up question can lead to better medical diagnoses, care delivery and connection to services.

[eat healthy exam room]



Expanding the physical exam to consider objects patients bring into the exam room also helped me better understand how nonhealth policy issues are almost always miscategorized, as well. For example, observing the traitorous presence of fast food in the clinic used to lead me down a road of resigned frustration. But eventually, just like with any concerning physical exam finding, I worked on getting a better history.

[fast food in exam room]



This is how I learned about a new type of food desert in the United States: “credit card-only” food establishments.

Many of my patients don’t have access to credit or are deemed to have bad credit and are unable to qualify for credit cards. For those who rely on cash, the promise of organic, all-natural and fresh foods at restaurants is often merely a food desert mirage. This leaves cash-accepting fast food establishments the sole reliable, ever-accessible option and, for some, makes food banks the only accessible banking option.

[food desert]



The issue of credit card access and banking ability permeates other aspects of health, as well, impacting the ability to perform such tasks as paying a hospital bill online or by check, receiving prescriptions from an online pharmacy, and setting up grocery delivery during a pandemic. Some cities have pushed to ban cashless vendors,(www.npr.org) citing the harmful impact of financial exclusion of the unbanked. And in these efforts, it again becomes clear that financial policy can be health policy.

In the age of COVID-19, when for both public health and financial purposes, stores are shifting away from cash to credit, the pain for those with poor credit is intensified.

[salad bar storefront]



Which means recognizing the shame that comes with financial trauma. The heat of shame can come when parents are counseled to make sure their children eat healthy, all the while knowing their food options are limited. It can appear when patients share the need for STI testing because their landlord is coercing them to exchange sex for rent to avoid eviction(www.nbcnews.com) (which can be considered a form of sex trafficking).(polarisproject.org) It can present when front desk staff divert a patient to see a case manager before seeing the doctor because they don’t have insurance anymore. And it can come out when a patient shares that he is being bullied at school for wearing smelly clothes because his mother, who is awaiting asylum and her work permit,(www.cbsnews.com) could only afford one school uniform on the income she makes braiding hair.

[no cash on premises]



These experiences pushed me to reflect on the health care system’s role in the health-poverty trap. And my own role in perpetuating it. I began incorporating “do no financial harm” into routine care. I know now that a physical exam is not limited to the patient’s body, that front desk staff should be trained to reassure patients that seeing a social worker first does not mean they will not see a doctor, that a “15-minute visit” needs to include time for having uncomfortable conversations about the eventual receipt of a medical bill so a patient is not caught by surprise (and making sure they know who to contact if they cannot pay) — and being prepared for patients to decline essential care because of this — that it’s essential to know whether a patient has access to a stable phone and phone number before they leave to set up an appropriate plan for sharing results — and letting them know the clinic phone number they should expect when I call with results so they feel safe answering the phone — and that pre-employment physicals need to be scheduled as urgent care appointments so that patients are not delayed in starting their jobs. These are ways in which I have integrated patients’ financial health into care delivery to mitigate my role in the health-poverty trap.

[women in clinic waiting room-1st take]



Despite these efforts, my frustration grew on seeing television commercials and billboards that advertise wealth management services, “smart” retirement planning, banks that “can do wonders” with your savings, and homeowner’s insurance, and recognizing the elusiveness of their applicability to my patients. After years of meeting potential doctors, food truck owners, social workers, teachers, actresses and farmers stuck in the health-poverty trap, I was being confronted by the possibility that economic mobility is a myth instead of an aspiration of the American Dream. And that was unacceptable.

So I decided to take a career leap in 2019 to work on transforming the health-poverty trap into a health-prosperity cycle for my patients — one where they would be supported in not only realizing their dream jobs, but also their vision for themselves and their families. Together with a team of fellow family physicians and multidisciplinary collaborators, we founded a nonprofit(purplehealthfoundation.org) and medical practice to improve the health of our communities by addressing the physical, mental and financial health of women and girls who experience gender-based violence. And when anyone asks, I tell them that this is my dream job.

Anita Ravi, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.H.P., is a family physician in New York and the CEO and co-founder of the PurpLE Health Foundation. You can follow her on Twitter @anitafamilydoc.(twitter.com)

Read other posts by this blogger.



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

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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

Comparethemarket.com 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?

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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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Indigo Platinum Mastercard Review | NextAdvisor with TIME

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We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

  • Intro bonus: No current offer
  • Annual fee: $0 – $99
  • Regular APR: 24.90%
  • Recommended credit score: 300-670 (Bad to Fair)

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard can help you build a better credit score (if you practice good credit habits) with monthly reporting to the three credit bureaus. Unlike many other options for building credit, this is an unsecured credit card, so it doesn’t require a cash deposit as collateral. But you may incur an annual fee, depending on your creditworthiness when you apply.

At a Glance

  • Monthly payment reporting to the three credit bureaus for people with limited credit history or poor credit
  • Annual fee of $0, $59, or $75 the first year, depending on your creditworthiness ($75 version charges a $99 annual fee after the first year)
  • Unsecured credit card with no security deposit required
  • Standard variable APR of 24.9% 

Pros

  • Available to individuals with no credit history or low credit scores

  • Unsecured credit card

  • Annual fee could be as low as $0 depending on your creditworthiness

  • Monthly payments report to all three credit bureaus

Cons

  • No rewards

  • Annual fees vary depending on creditworthiness, and you won’t know your fee until you apply

  • High variable APR

  • $300 credit limit

Additional Card Details

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is geared toward people with “less than perfect credit” or minimal credit histories. Like other credit-building card options, it doesn’t offer a lot of perks.

You will get a few benefits, like online account access and reporting to all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can also choose from multiple card designs for no extra charge.

Prequalification is another benefit of the Indigo Platinum Mastercard. Prequalifying is a great way to gauge your approval odds and the terms of your offer without filling out a full application and undergoing a credit check, which can temporarily hurt your credit score. If you do choose to apply after pre-qualifying, you’ll still be subject to credit approval with a hard credit inquiry.

Should You Get this Card?

Many credit cards available to people with bad credit scores are secured credit cards that require a cash deposit as collateral. The Indigo Platinum Mastercard offers an alternative to secured cards for building better credit, but has its own drawbacks.

For one, your credit limit is capped at $300. If you’re approved for a version of this card with an annual fee, it’ll be automatically applied, which means your starting limit could be as low as $225. 

The annual fee itself is another drawback. The amount you’re charged will depend on your creditworthiness when you apply. If your approval comes with an annual fee, that $59 or $99 ($75 the first year) charge can quickly add up over time. Consider other cards with no annual fee (and even no annual fee secured credit cards) that may make better long-term options for building a healthier credit profile.

How to Use the Indigo Platinum Mastercard

Because the Indigo Platinum Mastercard doesn’t offer any rewards and your credit limit is just $300, you should use this credit card for the sole purpose of improving your credit score. Only make purchases you can afford to pay off when your statement is due, and pay your bill on time to avoid up to $40 in late fees and a penalty APR up to 29.9%. 

Pro Tip

Building a great credit score, whether you’re starting from no credit history or repairing damaged credit, requires a foundation of good credit habits your credit card can help establish — such as timely payments, low credit utilization, and paying off your balances in full each month.

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard’s low credit limit means you’ll need to be extra careful with your spending to improve your credit score. Using more than 30% of your available credit can hurt your credit utilization rate — one of the most influential factors in your credit score. With a credit limit of $300, that means you should keep your charges below $90.

The goal of a card like Indigo Platinum Mastercard is to, over time, improve your credit score enough to qualify for a better credit card. Use this card to establish and maintain the healthy credit habits (like timely payments in full, low utilization, and consistently paying down balances) that will improve your credit long-term, and help you qualify for a card that’s better suited for your spending habits in the future.

Indigo Platinum Mastercard Compared to Other Cards

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

  • Intro bonus:

    No current offer

  • Annual fee:

    $0 – $99

  • Regular APR:

    24.90%

  • Recommended credit:

    300-670 (Bad to Fair)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site
Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

  • Intro bonus:

    No current offer

  • Annual fee:

    $0

  • Regular APR:

    22.49% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    (No Credit History)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Intro bonus:

    No current offer

  • Annual fee:

    $39

  • Regular APR:

    26.99% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    (No Credit History)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site

Bottom Line

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

If your credit score isn’t great and you want to start building the credit foundation to move in the right direction, the Indigo Platinum Mastercard can help by reporting your usage to the three credit bureaus — if you practice good habits that will reflect positively on your report. But you may also take on a pricey annual fee and risk high utilization due to the card’s low credit limit. Before applying, consider other cards for bad credit and secured credit cards with no annual fee that may better serve your credit-building goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is a decent option for consumers with poor credit who don’t want to put down a security deposit on a secured credit card. Check your prequalification terms, and compare other options for people with fair credit or bad credit before applying.

The credit limit for the Indigo Platinum Mastercard is $300. If you get approved for a version with an annual fee, your annual fee will be deducted from your credit limit.

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is an unsecured credit card, so you do not have to put down a cash deposit as collateral.

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