There’s nothing fun about declaring bankruptcy, but those who emerge from it can be thankful for the opportunity to rebuild their personal finances without the burden of debt. Unfortunately, bankruptcy also does damage to your credit, making it difficult to get approved for credit cards and other lines of credit. Since credit cards are a good way to build or rebuild credit, we have the details for some credit cards to get after bankruptcy.
Secured Credit Cards
Secured credit cards generally have lower credit score requirements and often can be obtained post-bankruptcy. While they do require an upfront security deposit to open, they otherwise work just like traditional credit cards and can help you rebuild your credit. When choosing a secure credit card, look for one that lets you build toward unsecured credit status and reports to all three credit bureaus so it helps you positively impact your credit.
Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Secured credit cards are often considered bad debt credit cards because they’re targeted to people with poor or no credit. But you can also find credit cards that are approved for people with less-than-stellar credit and don’t require a security deposit. In return for the chance to get positive reporting on your credit report via one of these cards, you might have to pay an annual fee or deal with a high interest rate.
Credit Card for After Bankruptcy
There’s no single best credit card to get after a bankruptcy, but there are many options to consider. Carefully review the details of relevant credit card offers before making a decision for yourself.
- No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
- The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
- Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
- We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
- OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
- *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card
Annual Fee: $35
APR: 17.39% (variable)
Why we picked it: This card helps you build credit while still offering a fairly low interest rate and a refundable deposit for as little as $200 (some restrictions apply; see cardholder agreement for details).
The details: There is no credit check necessary to apply, and you can apply in less than 5 minutes. Your responsible use of the card is reported to all three credit bureaus each month. And when you need extra credit, you may be eligible for a credit line increase.
Drawbacks: There is an annual fee, which isn’t necessarily bad in exchange for building credit.
- Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
- No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
- Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
- Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
- Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 — $2,000 Submitted with Application
- Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
- Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
- Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI * See Card Terms.
Annual Fee: $29
APR: 19.99% Variable APR for Purchases
Why we picked it: With responsible use, this card can be a good place to start working to rebuild your credit. There is no minimum credit score required for approval, and it also reports to all three credit bureaus each month.
The details: You can secure your credit line by putting down a fully refundable deposit of $200 to $2,000 during the application process. When you pay off your balance, you can receive your deposit back. Its expedited processing option lets you receive your card more quickly, and you can apply in minutes with no negative impact to your credit score.
Drawbacks: While the APR isn’t super high for a bad-credit credit card, it’s still high enough to run up hefty interest charges. You’ll want to pay the balance off as often as possible to avoid that extra expense. The card is not yet available in all states.
- Easy pre-qualification process which does not affect your credit score
- Choice of card image at no extra charge
- Less than perfect credit is okay, even with a prior bankruptcy!
- Mobile friendly online access from anywhere
- Accepted nationwide, wherever Mastercard is accepted
- Unsecured credit card, no deposit required
- Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
Annual Fee: $35 – $99*
Why we picked it: It is possible to be approved with poor credit and a bankruptcy on your credit report, but you don’t have to start with a security deposit. Plus, you can choose your card image at no extra charge!
The details: Prequalification doesn’t require a hard credit inquiry, so you can find out if you’re a likely candidate for this card without impacting your credit. You can access your account via mobile to manage it, helping you stay on track with positive payment history and balance management, and the card comes with decent fraud protection.
Drawbacks: The annual fee can be pretty high depending on the terms you’re approved for. The interest rate is also fairly high, so you might not want to carry over large balances between statements.
- Less than perfect credit histories can qualify, even with prior bankruptcy!
- Choose your card design with chip technology at no additional cost
- Quick pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
- Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
- 24/7 access to your account, even on mobile!
- Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
- Accepted nationwide wherever Mastercard is accepted
Annual Fee: $0 – $99*
Why we picked it: You can prequalify for this card without impacting your credit, and there’s no security deposit required.
The details: The APR is fairly steep, so you probably want to limit what balances you carry over each month. How much the annual fee is depends on your credit profile. However, it doesn’t require a security deposit.
Drawbacks: A potentially high annual fee and less-than-stellar APR make this a potentially expensive way to build credit.
- No deposit required
- No penalty APR
- No hidden fees
- Fast and easy application process
- Help strengthen your credit history with responsible use
- Disclosure: If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00. Cash Advance Fee: The greater of $10 or 3% of the amount of the cash advance
- Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC
Annual fee: $39
APR: 25.99% (variable)
Why we picked it: There’s no deposit required, no penalty APR, and no hidden fees.
The details: What you see is what you get with this card. With responsible use, you can strengthen your credit history.
Drawbacks: There is an annual fee and the variable APR can be a bit steep. You may also need fair credit to qualify.
- All credit types welcome to apply!
- Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
- See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
- Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
- Use your card at locations everywhere that Mastercard® is accepted
- Free online account access 24/7
- Checking Account Required
Annual fee: See Terms*
APR: See Terms*
Why we picked it: All credit types are welcome to apply, and the pre-qualification process won’t impact your credit score.
The details: Surge can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. , and the card reports to all three major credit bureaus.
Drawbacks: You need a checking account to apply. Because the card is specifically for people with less-than-perfect credit scores, interest rates and terms may be a bit high.
How to Choose a Credit Card After Bankruptcy
After a bankruptcy, improving your finances and rebuilding your credit should be a priority. Do some research and pick a credit card that helps you achieve that goal. If you feel that you can’t responsibly manage credit right now, you should wait until you’re in a better place to submit a credit card application.
Since secured credit cards require an upfront security deposit, you’ll need to determine how much money you can afford. Most secured cards will give you a credit line that equals the amount of your original deposit.
While high APRs and annual fees are common with all of these credit cards, you should compare rates across several cards to find the ones that are best for your spending habits.
Some cards for bad credit are designed to exploit people using unfair terms or policies that make it difficult to rebuild your finances. You may even start receiving multiple credit card offers in the mail after your bankruptcy is discharged. Watch out for red flags to avoid getting burned.
And remember: A credit card can only build credit if you use it correctly. You should keep your credit card balance below 30% of the available credit limit and make all your payments on time to help build your credit.