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Easiest Credit Cards to Get After Bankruptcy

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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.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

  • 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

Get everything you need to master your credit today.

Get started

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.


First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

  • 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.


Milestone® Unsecured Mastercard®

  • 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*

APR: 24.90%

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.


Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit

  • 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*

APR: 24.90%

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.


Surge Mastercard® Credit Card

  • 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.

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Bad Credit

3 credit habits that you need to break

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(© Rido – stock.adobe.com)

Are you using your credit card responsibly? Or do you have a few bad habits? Take a look at three common bad habits that people have with their credit cards and the best ways to stop doing them.

Habit 1: Pushing the limits

The first bad credit habit is pushing your outstanding balance close to its limit. What’s wrong with that? The first problem is that you’re giving yourself a larger debt load to contend with every month — one that accumulates interest the longer that it sits. It could be very difficult to pay down, and it could even lead to you maxing out your card.

The second problem with this habit is that it leaves you vulnerable to emergencies. You’ve taken up the majority of your available credit, so you can’t depend on it for unexpected payments. What if you need to pay for an urgent repair and there’s not enough room on your card? What can you do?

To avoid that difficult situation, you could apply for an online loan to help you cover the emergency costs and move forward. See how you can apply for an online loan in Ohio when you have no other safety nets to fall back on. It’s important that you only turn to this solution when you’re dealing with an emergency. It’s not for everyday purchases or small budgeting mistakes.

In the meantime, you should try your best to keep your credit utilization at 30% or lower — this means that your balance should be below the halfway point of your limit.

Habit 2: Paying the minimum

You pay your credit card bills on time, but you only give the minimum payment. While this habit can stop you from racking up late fees and penalties, it can still get you into hot water if you’re not careful.

Only paying the minimum for your bill will make it very difficult for you to whittle down the balance, especially when you’re continuing to charge expenses on your card. You’re only taking $20-$25 off a growing pile.

So, what can you do? If you’re paying this amount by choice, stop it — you’re only making things harder for yourself down the line. If you’re paying this amount because you don’t have any more funds, look at your budget to see whether you can cut your monthly costs to get more savings and use them to tackle your balance.

Habit 3: Using it for every single expense

You don’t need to put every single expense on your credit card. Your morning coffee? Your afternoon snack? Putting these small, everyday expenses on your card is a habit that can make your balance climb quickly.

You also don’t want to put some very important expenses on there, like mortgage payments. For one, these payments are large and will take up a significant amount of your credit. Secondly, if you need to use a credit card to make these payments on time, you need to reinvestigate your budget to see whether you can actually afford your living space.

So, what you should you do? Use a debit card, cash or checks to pay for the items above. Only put expenses on your credit card that you’re positive you can pay off in a reasonable timeframe.

Don’t let these bad habits drag you down and get you into financial trouble. Break them now, before it’s too late.

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Free credit reports have been extended; here’s why it’s important to check yours regularly

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Checking your credit could save you from identity theft. (iStock)

Typically, you’d be able to check your credit report — at least for free — just once annually through each of the three major credit reporting agencies. But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, credit reports are now more accessible than ever.

Credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are all offering  free credit reports weekly through April 20, 2022.

The move means better insight into your financial health during what, for most, is an economically challenging time. According to experts, it might also be a time that’s ripe for at-risk personal information and identity theft, too — even more reason consumers should be checking their credit on the regular.

HOW OFTEN DOES YOUR CREDIT SCORE CHANGE?

Have you checked your annual credit lately? If not, here’s what you need to know about these free nationwide credit reports and how to get them. If you’re not sure where you fit on the credit score spectrum, you may want to start using a credit monitoring service to track changes to your credit score. Credible can get you set up with a free service today.

Free credit reports for all?

The nation’s three credit bureaus initially started offering free weekly credit reporting last year, just after the pandemic began. In early March, they announced they’d extended the offer for another year, this time through April 20, 2022.

To request your free credit reports and access copies, you can go to AnnualCreditReport.com and provide some basic information to verify your identity (things like your date of birth, Social Security Number, and address).

Once your report is ready, you should see a detailed list of all open and closed accounts in your name, your payment history, recent credit activity and more.

5 BENEFITS OF HAVING A GOOD CREDIT SCORE

Protect yourself from identity theft

There are many reasons why checking your credit activity is important, but chief among them? That’d be the prevalence of data breaches in today’s world — not to mention the risk of identity theft they come with.

“In the past, it was perfectly acceptable for people to check their credit history once a year, but now with security breaches happening on a regular basis, consumers should be monitoring their credit more closely than ever,” said Clint Lotz, president and founder of TrackStar.ai, a predictive credit technology firm.

Lotz said the Equifax breach — which exposed over 147 million Americans’ personal information in mid-July 2017 — is the perfect example of why watching your credit report is important as far as identity theft protection goes. The pandemic, he said, adds an extra layer of risk to things.

“It took them [Equifax] months before they even realized they had been hacked, and considering that they hold files on hundreds of millions of Americans, it’s fair to say that many identities were stolen by the time they caught up to it,” Lotz said. “With many of us worrying about very serious issues not related to our credit, it’s a prime time for that stolen data to be put to work by bad actors in slow, methodical ways and in the hopes that nobody notices it.”

More reasons to check your credit

Checking your credit health often isn’t just good for detecting fraud alerts and to protect your identity, though. You can also monitor your report for errors — things like inaccurately reported late payments, for example — and then dispute those with the credit bureau.

If the error gets corrected, it could improve your credit score and make a jump from bad credit to a FICO score that’s more favorable. Not sure of your credit score? Head to Credible to check your score without negatively impacting it.

WHAT IS CREDIT MONITORING, AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

You can also use your credit reports and scores to monitor your financial habits — like the timeliness of your payments or how much debt you have left to pay off. Both of these factors can play a big role in your score, as well as how likely you are to get approved for loans, credit cards and other items.

“If you’re taking out a loan, getting insurance or even applying for a new job, checking your credit will allow you to see an overview of what would be seen by others looking at your credit,” said Leslie Tayne, a debt relief attorney with the Tayne Law Group. “Staying up-to-date on your credit reports and information allows you to know exactly where you need to improve.”

Want to be sure your credit is stellar before applying for a loan or insurance policy? Consider Credible’s partner product Experian Boost, which lets you use positive payment history on utilities, streaming and other bills to improve your credit score.

Set up a monitoring service, too

Though checking your credit reports manually is smart, you should also consider signing up for a credit monitoring service. These consumer financial services check your credit information and score regularly and alert you of any changes.

IS IT WORTH PAYING FOR CREDIT MONITORING?

If you’re interested in monitoring your credit or improving your score, head to Credible and learn more about how Experian can help. You can also use Experian Boost to get credit for on-time bill payments.

Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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Do Personal Loans Have Penalty APRs?

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Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners.

When you make your credit card payment late, you’re often subject to late fees and a penalty APR, which is a temporary spike in your interest rate.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, for instance, has a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR, but the penalty APR is a variable 29.99% (see rates and fees). Penalty APRs usually last for at least six months, but card issuers often reserve the right to extend them — especially when you continue making late payments. A look at the terms for the Citi® Double Cash Card show us that the “penalty APR may apply indefinitely.”

Penalty APRs are certainly not a trap you want to fall into, but it’s not something you usually have to worry about if you have a personal loan. Personal loan lenders can, however, charge late fees upwards of $39 per late payment. Whether your loan charges late fees all depends on how good of a loan you qualify for, and that comes down to your credit score, borrowing history and ability to make your payments.

Personal loans also tend to charge lower interest rates than credit cards, too. The average personal loan interest rate for two-year loans is currently 9.46% according to Q1 2021 data from the Federal Reserve, compared to 15.91% for credit cards.

Typically, interest rates for personal loans range between roughly 2.49% and 24%, but personal loans for applicants with bad credit can come with even higher APR — so do your research before applying.

Other common personal loan fees include:

  1. Interest: The monthly charge you pay to borrow money
  2. Origination fee: A one-time upfront charge that your lender subtracts from your loan to pay for administration and processing costs
  3. Late fee: A one-time fee charged for each payment that you fail to make by the due date or within your grace period
  4. Early payoff penalty: A fee incurred when you pay off your balance faster than planned (because the lender misses out on months of expected interest payments)

As you can see, personal loans can be costly, even without a penalty APR. It’s obviously best to avoid paying extra fees whenever possible. That’s easier to do when you have a good to excellent credit score, since you’ll qualify for better loan options.

Select has a free tool to help match you with personal loan offers without damaging your credit score.

None of the loans on our best personal loan list charge origination fees or early payoff penalties, but some may charge late fees.

Our top picks for best personal loans

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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