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Small Business Loan Requirements – and How to Meet Them

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Reeling from these tough economic times, you may be considering a loan for your business for the first time.

How do you get a small business loan? Should you apply to an online lender? Try to get a loan through a bank? Go through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for financing?

Many loan requirements are the same for the application process. Lenders and the SBA have specific conditions you must meet in order to get a loan. But with some loans and lenders, there is a protection program to ensure that you are safe.

An SBA loan may have special requirements that differ from the requirements of traditional loans. Every lender uses certain evaluations to determine your ability to repay.

Lenders look at bank statements, assets in the business, financial statements, debt service coverage ratio, and personal and business credit score (present and history). Lenders also want you to have a sound business plan.



Get Your Ducks in a Row

Did you ever change the business name, physical address, or phone number? Are these changes on past bank statements, tax forms, incorporation papers, utility bills, and websites?

In other words, Joanie’s Pet Sitting is not the same as Joanie’s Pet Sitting LLC. Joanie’s Pet Sitting, Virginia Beach is not the same as Joanie’s Pet Sitting, Norfolk.

If a business name, address, or phone number changes, the change should be made on every license and document related to the business. You can’t rewrite former financial records. But you can include documentation that supports the business history. You can include a letter of explanation as well.

The main concern of a lender is to determine your ability to repay the loan. Here’s a look at the key pieces of the loan application puzzle.

Top 8 Small Business Loan Requirements

Here are the top 8 small business loan requirements and how to qualify for a loan:

Personal Credit Score

Your personal credit score carries a lot of weight in the business loan application process. For many types of business loans, when you as the owner of the business sign on the dotted line, you are guaranteeing payment of the loan.

This is especially true with fledgling small businesses that are still building a history of tax returns. Don’t worry if your business is relatively new. You may still get a loan if you have an excellent personal credit score and all the business owners have good credit scores. If your business has multiple owners, the lender may want to see a credit score from each. The loan amount will be closely tied to those scores.

Some lenders may require the business to be operational for a minimum of 2 years. If the business has 2 or more years behind it, lenders may look at a business credit score. That score comes from a business credit bureau, such as Dun & Bradstreet.

Action to take: Before applying, business owners should check their personal credit score to make sure all the information is correct. Get credit scores from each owner. Clear up any inaccuracies. Some credit report monitoring services have suggestions for improving your score, and you may be able to bump your score up a bit if you have time. In borderline cases, it could be enough to net you a better interest rate or other terms.

Work to improve your credit score. Schedule payments to make sure you make them on time, reduce your debt, open a business credit card and keep you utilization of available credit low.

Bank Statements and Ratings

What do lenders look for when they examine your bank records? Lenders look at seasonal fluctuations in income, debt to income ratio (see below), and tax obligations.

When you’re borrowing from a bank, the bank will assign a rating. The rating is the total amount of borrowing capacity you have from that bank.

The date you opened a business bank account is used as the start date for your business. The longer your business has been established, the more likely you are to qualify for a loan.

There are contributing factors to favorable bank ratings. Ideally, your average daily balance should be above $10,000 for 3 months. Manage your bank accounts to keep the average daily balance as high as possible. Avoid overdrawing your account, and set up overdraft protection.

It’s not enough to just have the money sitting there. Your business should be generating a steady volume of regular deposits.

You also should have a bank reference, who is the person you work with at the bank. In other words, a person who will vouch for you as bank officials consider your loan.

Revenue/Balance Sheet

Of course, revenue is important. A business must make money to stay afloat, and pay the requested loan.

But revenue is just one of the important numbers that help businesses get loans. Revenue is part of a balance sheet.

The balance sheet includes assets, liability and owner equity. The assets of businesses are subtracted from the liabilities of businesses. The calculated amount of owner equity is added to that number. That number is an estimate of what the business is worth. That number must be reasonable in comparison to the loan amount sought.

Action to take: Chip away at the amount of liability every chance you get. It’s a lot like paying off a credit card. Just paying interest keeps you treading water. Applying even a small amount of money monthly to principal debt will show a positive change and attention to the health of the business.

Debt-to-Income Ratio / Cash Flow

Think of the balance sheet as a snapshot of your business. The debt-to-income ratio, or cash flow, is a monthly snapshot.

Each month, after expenses are paid, how much money is left? This number shows the lender how much of a loan payment you may be able to handle monthly.

Lenders may also do a comparison of accounts receivable to accounts payable. You won’t be able to “pick your best month” as an example. The lender will do that comparison the month you are asking for a business loan.

What’s the number that a lender wants to see for a debt service coverage ratio? A lender typically wants to arrive at a calculation that is less than 1.25 or 1.35 times your expenses. That calculation of expenses will include the payments you’d be making on the loan you are seeking.

How does the lender get to that debt service coverage ratio number? Typically, the lender divides the annual net operating income by the total principal and interest of all debt obligations.

Here are the highlights of what a lender will analyze: gross margin, cash flow, debt to equity ratio, accounts payable, accounts receivable and earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

Lenders prefer to see financial statements that have been audited by a certified public accountant. You can have financials reviewed by a CPA – which is faster and cheaper – but some lenders require audited financials. Find out what the lender requires.

Action to take: Accounts receivable will only include goods or services that have already been invoiced. Make sure you are invoicing promptly. And of course, make sure you are paying your bills promptly. Proving that you are up to date with sending out bills and paying bills shows the lender that you have a good process in place for money management.

2+ Years in Business

For a Small Business Administration lump-sum loan, your business has to have been running for 2 years. There are SBA loans that don’t have that requirement, such as many of the line-of-credit loans and the SBA microloans.

To get a business loan from the SBA, you’ll need to present tax returns for the past two years that prove the existence of the business.

Action to take: Organize your tax returns. Put them on a disc or into another format that is easy to provide to a lender. Provide a business credit report. Provide the applicant’s credit report and get copies of the credit scores of all owners.

Type of Industry

To get an SBA loan, businesses must meet the requirements according to the SBA’s definitions of small business. Those definitions vary by type of industry.

The SBA definition of small business is two-part: by the number of employees or by the average annual receipts (gross income).

The gross income is averaged over 3 to 5 years. If the business hasn’t been around for more than a year, the gross income is calculated by the average weekly income times 52.

The number of employees is calculated as the average number of employees per pay period. This includes part-time employees. The average is calculated using a 12-month period.

For a look at the SBA requirements under the type of industry, go to www.sba.gov/document/support–table-size-standards. It’s an interesting read and may make you realize just how big or small some small businesses are.

For example, a cheese manufacturer can have up to 1,250 employees, and be considered, well, small cheese. A flower or nursery stock wholesaler may have no more than 100 employees.

Businesses can make a lot of money and still be considered small. For example, a home health company can have yearly revenue of up to $16.5 million. A baked goods store can make up to $8 million.

Action to take: If you think your business is too big for a small business loan, think again. Check the Type of Industry chart to learn the requirements. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out you can apply for a small business loan. Get familiar with the numbers for employees by the type of business. Since part-timers are also counted, you might be getting close to going over the requirements. To qualify for an SBA loan – with better rates and longer payback terms – you may consider combining part-time positions to full time.

Collateral or Assets

Not all lenders require that you put up collateral to get a loan for business use. But for those lenders that do, you may have to list assets on your loan application.

Lenders like to see assets that they can easily use (seize) if needed to cover your loan obligation if you fail to repay.

Assets include business real estate, inventory and business equipment. It’s important to know that collateral can also include funds from accounts receivable. That can include monies that have been invoiced but haven’t yet been paid to the business.

If you can’t pay the loan, the lender can seize the assets. For real estate and equipment loans, a UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) statement may be filed to claim accounts receivable and other collateral.

If you don’t have sufficient assets, a lender may require personal guarantees. This is not a good option. This type of loan backing puts your personal assets at risk as well as the assets of the company.

Action to take: Yikes! Imagining a future where you lose business real estate and inventory may give you pause as you list those items on your loan application. Scary stuff. But it’s a given that those who are confident enough to start and operate a business have already demonstrated determination and boldness. Taking out a business loan is a risk, but growth doesn’t come without risk.

Business Plan

Lenders don’t often ask to see a business plan from those seeking loans for businesses. But adding information about the plan to your application may make your business stand out from others looking for a loan.

It’s like adding a brilliant cover letter to your resume. Of course, the application information includes bank statements, information about the owner’s (or owners’) credit score.

You may also include information about the nuts and bolts of your company. Let the lender know what you do and how you make money.

Also, include information about how the loan fits into your plans for the business. Let the lender know how you place the spend the proceeds of the loan. Provide realistic financial projections for future growth

If applicable, include market information and details on the status of your business niche. Describe how demand for your products and services is growing. Make projections to predict future growth.

Action to take: As you prepare to apply for the business loan, gather the paperwork needed to document your business plan. Include bank statements, information about personal credit/credit score and business expenses. These are the black and white proof of your ability on paper to pay the loan.

Add the missing piece to make your application for a business loan stand out from others. The average person on a lender review team may have no knowledge of what your business is.

For example, let’s use a business that makes something called a Skid Plate. Piece of metal that goes under a car, huh? Would a lender want to grant a business loan for a company expansion? What if the lender knew that the Skid Plate was a patented new product, in huge demand in the race car industry, primarily NASCAR?

By adding an explanatory description of the business, you will be more likely to get a business loan.

FAQs About Qualifying for a Loan

Let’s review some quick facts about the application process for business loans.

Who Can Apply for a Small Business Loan?

Any small business can apply for a loan. You should be making a profit and have a good credit score. You should not be involved in any default action by any entity, including the US government. People in the loan business don’t like that kind of stuff.

If the business owner is going for a loan through the SBA, the requirements are different. The SBA requires that your business operates within the United States and has been operating for a minimum of 2 years. If you can’t meet those qualifications, don’t bother going through the application process.

Are Small Business Loans Hard to Get?

The business loans are not hard to get if the company has owners with good personal credit and has been making money.

If you or any of the company owners (20% ownership or more) have a bad credit score, you have little chance of getting loans through the SBA. The SBA won’t give loans to a businesses which aren’t making money. A startup entity may try for a microloan.

You may find although you were stressed out about how to land a business loan, the process was easy. If you’re already running a company, you’re good with paperwork. Or you’ve hired somebody who’s good with paperwork!

One of the main requirements for getting loans is being organized. Get your paperwork stuff together and go for it. Today you have more options than ever for getting business loans.

For more information see the Small Business Credit Survey1.

What Documentation Must I Provide?

Lenders require documentation for business loans and it varies by the type of loan. At a minimum, you will need to provide income tax returns, your credit score, bank account information, a business financial statement, and personal identification such as a driver’s license. For more information about loan paperwork, go to Business Loan Documents to Provide.

What is the Minimum Credit Score for a Small Business Loan?

Most lenders require a minimum credit score of 600-680 for a small business loan. That’s a minimum requirement for business loans from most lenders.

People who get a business loan from an online lender may be able to get around that qualification. Online lenders considering loans often value business revenue more highly. Do some shopping, as the loan amount is typically smaller with varying interest rates.

How Much Can I Borrow on a Business Loan?

The amount of money lenders award is directly connected to how much you can afford. It won’t be how much you think you can afford. It will be how much the lender determines you can afford.

That’s a good thing. A reputable lender has your back and doesn’t want you to fail.

Summing Up

It’s no shame to need a loan for your business. In fact, obtaining a loan for future expansions or growth is a standard part of nearly every business plan.

Getting a loan to expand the business is not a one time venture in a business plan. Often business owners take out and pay off a series of loans during the course of doing business. You can use the loans to finance purchases, such as real estate, equipment or fleet vehicles.

Business owners historically have borrowed about $600 billion each year, according to a study by the SBA. Typically about 40% of small company owners borrow money each year. And that doesn’t mean that business owners are landing huge loans.

The average size of a business loan, since 2016, has been about $600,000. But many of those applying for a loan borrow much less. More than half of the business applied for loans of less than $100,000.

It’s important to understand what lenders are reviewing when you apply for a loan. Understanding what’s important to get a loan will help you improve your chances, now and in the future.

Although additional paperwork is required for an SBA loan, you may be pleased to find that it is easier to qualify for one of their options. In fact, business owners often get SBA loans after being turned down for a traditional loan.

Yes, it can take some time to complete the application and get the loan. On the plus side, terms range from five to twenty-five years for paying off the loan. Loan interest rates are priced according to risk, which is also standard practice with conventional commercial loans.

No matter what type of business you have, it stands to reason that someday you’ll need a loan for improvements and growth. Take steps now that will help you qualify for a small business loan.

Information Sources

1 Fed Small Business. “Small Business Credit Survey

Image: Depositphotos.com




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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Finest pupil bank cards for March 2021 | Fintech Zoom

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One of the biggest learning experiences a young person has when it comes to their personal finances is figuring out how to manage their credit cards. This can be a fraught process. First, for someone with no credit, like a student, getting a credit card is easier said than done. Then, once a student has a card, the temptation to overspend can lead to a financial hole — and it can happen fast. Luckily, there are options out there that are good for beginners — almost like cards with training wheels. These are student credit cards.

There are lots of reasons someone might consider a student card. First, being a student comes with a lot of expenses, and even a flush checking account may be no match for the seemingly endless list of books, software and other school supplies needed during a given semester. After all, college and high school students have returned to campus (or their virtual classrooms) for the spring semester already, and while school definitely looks different right now due to the global coronavirus pandemic, that just means that students need supplies beyond the typical notebooks and pens — think top-of-the-line computers, a new desk, and other work-from-home essentials to complete schoolwork.

However, perhaps the most pressing reason to pursue a student credit card is to build credit. After all, it’s hard to get good credit if you don’t already have it. And, if you’re a high school or college student with no credit at all — well, that reflects on a credit report and makes everything twice as difficult when working with a credit bureau.

While some people choose to build credit with a secured credit card — that is, a card where you’ve backed your credit limit with a cash deposit, student credit cards work a bit differently. These cards typically only offer a small credit line, sometimes just a couple hundred bucks. That way, the student can use the card to build credit without the risk of racking up too much credit card debt (which leads to bad credit), while the card issuer hopes that the card holder will transition into full-time employment and will use their card for everyday purchases for years to come.

There are a handful of good student credit cards out there. This list will help you figure out which one is the best student credit card for you.

Best student credit cards

Best overall Best for students without a credit history Best for students who plan to carry a balance Best for students with a co-signer
Discover It Student Chrome Deserve Edu Credit Card Chase Freedom Student Bank of America Travel Rewards
Annual percentage rate (standard / penalty) 17.99% variable, with 0% for the first 6 months / None 18.74% variable / None 14.99% variable / None 14.99% to 22.99% variable
Late payment fee Up to $40 Up to $25 Up to $39 Up to $40
Cash-back reward rate 2% on gas and dining (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter), 1% on all other purchases 1% on all purchases 1% on all purchases; 4% cash back on Lyft until 2022 1.5% on all purchases
Eligibility requirements No credit history required, proof of income required No credit score required; no Social Security number required for international students Co-signers not allowed, proof of income required Co-signers allowed
Annual fee $0 $0 $0 $0

A typical credit card application requires a high credit score (around 650 or so) and at least a few years of credit report history. To get a student credit card, however, you don’t necessarily need either, though some proof of financial experience and responsibility helps when it comes to securing a credit card offer. The card issuer looks at sources of income — even from part-time work or deposits from parents — as well as information about checking and savings accounts to get a sense of an applicant’s saving and spending. Luckily, once a student is able to get a card, simply making everyday purchases is an easy way to build credit (so long as the student is able to pay off their purchases).

In addition to more relaxed eligibility requirements, the best student credit card will offer some of the following features:

  • Special rules for credit newcomers such as minimal late fees and no-penalty APRs
  • Lower credit limits — usually between $500 and $2,000
  • Cashback rewards program on spending
  • A “reasonable” APR — usually between 15 and 20%

We evaluated 19 credit cards marketed specifically to students. We selected four cards that stood out across a range of criteria, including APR, forgiveness for credit mistakes, cash rewards and lenient eligibility requirements. We urge students to consider important factors like interest rate, whether the card has an annual fee and if the card offers a cash advance before they make a decision. Check out our picks below as well as some answers to frequently asked questions about student credit cards at the end of this article. We’ll update this list periodically.

The best student credit card overall

  • Standard APR: 17.99% variable (0% for the first 6 months)
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Late payment fee: Up to $40
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash-back rewards: 2% on gas and dining, up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; 1% on all other purchases 
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Standout feature: No late fee for first late payment
  • Eligibility requirements: No credit history required, proof of income 

The Discover It Student Chrome offers a winning combination of cash back and other rewards as well as lenient terms for first-time credit card holders. You won’t get dinged by the credit card company for a late payment — at least the first one — or have to deal with an exorbitant penalty APR. And, of course, getting 1 to 2% back in rewards each month is a welcome bonus. Note that Discover offers another similar student credit card, the Discover It Student Cash Back credit card, but the rotating bonus categories make things overcomplicated, especially for first-time cardholders. 

Features and rewards

Most student credit cards offer 1% cash back. The Discover It Student Chrome card bests that with 2% cash back on gas and dining, plus a generous cash-back match at the end of the first year. The match effectively doubles your first year’s bonus rewards, so if you receive $75 in cash-back rewards during the first 12 months, Discover will chip in an additional $75. We also like that the Chrome student credit card incentivizes good grades: You can earn a $20 statement credit for each school year you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 

Rates and fees 

Discover’s rates and fees are generally lower than competitors’. The APR charged on purchases ranges between 12.99 and 21.99%, and there’s an introductory six-month period with 0% APR. Students with the Discover It Student Chrome also don’t have to worry about a penalty APR, which some issuers will institute if a card holder misses a payment. There’s no late fee for the first late payment, but for the second instance the credit card company charges up to $40, which is comparable to what other cards charge. 

At the moment, most study abroad programs have been put on hold. That noted, the Chrome student credit card has no foreign transaction fees — though Discover isn’t as widely accepted outside of the US as Mastercard and Visa.

Best for students without a credit history

  • Standard APR: 18.74% variable
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Late payment fee: Up to $25
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash-back rewards: 1% on all purchases 
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Standout feature: Low late payment fee
  • Eligibility requirements: No credit score required; no Social Security number required for international students 

Deserve Edu Mastercard positions itself as an alternative to the traditional banks and credit card issuers, and specializes in credit cards for students and first-timers. And the Deserve Edu student credit card checks many of the boxes: It offers 1% back on all spending, features a relatively low late-payment fee and comes with a flat 18.74% APR. While it offers a lower student rewards rate than others, its relaxed eligibility requirements are well suited for students with a brief or nonexistent credit history or other potentially disqualifying limitation — like not having a Social Security number, if you’re an international student. 

Features and rewards

The Deserve Edu student credit card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, which can be redeemed for statement credits in increments of $25. Card holders also get one year free of Amazon Prime Student — worth around $40 — and up to $600 of credit toward cell phone protection coverage when you pay your monthly bill with it. 

Rates and fees

The 18.74% variable APR is relatively low for a student credit card, and it’s not tied to your credit score, so you know exactly what the APR is at the outset. Rather, the APR is “variable” because it’s tied to the “prime rate” — a benchmark interest rate used by lenders that changes over time. With most other cards, you won’t know the exact APR certain until you’ve been approved, and if you have a limited or nonexistent credit history it could be on the higher end of the range of what the issuer advertises. If you miss a payment, there’s no penalty APR, though you may be charged a late payment fee of $25. (Still, that’s about $15 less than the fee charged by most other student cards.) Deserve doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees.

Best for students who plan to carry a balance

  • Standard APR: 14.99% variable
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39
  • Cash-back rewards: 1% on all purchases; 4% cash back on Lyft until 2022
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Standout features: Free, unlimited access to credit score; Earn a credit limit increase after making 5 monthly payments on time
  • Eligibility requirements: No co-signers, proof of income

The student version of one of our favorite cash-back credit cards, the Chase Freedom Student credit card has a lot to offer. The 14.99% variable APR is one of the lowest available for student credit cards, and you get a $50 credit when you sign up, a $20 bonus every year and a credit limit increase after five on-time payments.

Features and rewards

Chase offers cardholders free and unlimited access to their credit score, which can be an important tool for those building credit from scratch. The credit limit increase is another nice feature as credit use is a primary factor in a credit score. Most credit experts recommend using less than 30% of your total credit available, so the higher the limit, the easier it is to keep your credit use low.

Its 1% cash back on all purchases is consistent with the category average and the 4% back on Lyft rides is nice (though less practical for many in the coronavirus era). The $50 sign-on bonus can be triggered by making a single purchase in the first three months so you need not worry about hitting a high spending threshold. And the $20 annual reward can be redeemed for five years — as long as your account remains in good standing.

Rates and fees

Every cardholder gets the 14.99% variable APR — so you know what you’re signed up for at the outset. It’s best not to maintain a balance month to month, but if it happens once or twice, the interest will be lower than with other cards.

A few words of caution: This card’s late payment fee can run as high as $39 for a first late payment; most other student cards have a lower penalty or no penalty for first-time offenders; and if you’re planning on studying abroad, this card will subject you to a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Best for students who have a co-signer

  • Standard APR: 14.99% to 22.99% variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
  • Late payment fee: Up to $40
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash-back rewards: 1.5% on all purchases
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Eligibility requirements: Allows co-signers

Bank of America is one of the few card issuers that allows co-signers, who can be a parent, guardian — or anyone with a good credit score who’s willing to share the legal liability. On the other hand, any late or missed payments or high outstanding balances will also negatively affect the co-signer’s score. 

Features and rewards

This student credit card is essentially the same as Bank of America’s Travel Rewards card, which means it offers higher risks and rewards than most other student cards. You get a higher cash rewards rate — 1.5% back on all purchases — but fewer of the relaxed requirements for credit novices. And points can be redeemed only as statement credits against travel purchases; so, unless 1.5% of your spending is on taxis, Uber or Lyft, flights, baggage fees, hotels, rental cars, buses, trains, amusement parks or campgrounds, this card’s rewards aren’t particularly valuable.

Bank of America will grant you 25,000 points, equivalent to $250, when you sign up if you spend $1,000 during the first three months. That’s a higher threshold than you’ll find with other student cards, but also a higher reward. Bottom line: If you can time your credit card application with a large purchase, it’s worth it.

Rates and fees 

Bank of America offers an introductory 0% APR for the first year and no foreign transaction fees. That being said, this student credit card doesn’t mess around when it comes to penalties: The standard APR runs between 14.99% and 22.99% depending on your credit score, but if you’re late with a payment, you could be hit with the 29.99% penalty APR. That’s exorbitant — and it comes in addition to a $40 late payment fee. Students at risk of paying late should avoid this card at all costs.

What’s the best student credit card right now?

The Discover It Student Chrome is our pick for the best student credit card right now due to its lenient terms for first-time cardholders, including no penalty for the first late payment, and a combination of cash back and other rewards. The Deserve Edu Credit Card is best for students without a credit history, while the Chase Freedom Student is a sound choice for students who plan to carry a balance. If the student has a co-signer, we recommend the Bank of America Travel Rewards card.

How does a student credit card work?

Student credit cards offer those with limited or no credit a way to start building credit and create a credit history. They generally come with lower credit limits than typical credit cards and don’t charge annual fees. And they often have novice-friendly features, including late payment forgiveness, incremental credit limit increases over time and credit education resources. Reward rates may be lower than for standard cash-back and travel credit cards, however, making student credit cards a lower-risk, lower-reward financial tool.

Are secured credit cards a good option for first-time credit card holders?

Student credit cards offer those with limited or no credit a way to start building credit and create a credit history. They generally come with lower credit limits than typical credit cards and don’t charge annual fees. And they often have novice-friendly features, including late payment forgiveness, incremental credit limit increases over time and credit education resources. Reward rates may be lower than for standard cash-back and travel credit cards, however, making student credit cards a lower-risk, lower-reward financial tool.

If you subscribe to only one CNET newsletter, this is it. Get editors’ top picks of the day’s most interesting reviews, news stories and videos.

What do you need to qualify for a student credit card?

Most credit cards require an applicant to have a credit score of at least 650 and a substantial credit history. Student cards don’t. Still, you may need to demonstrate some financial responsibility — including a source of income, even from part-time work or deposits from your parents. The card issuer may also want to see information about your checking and savings accounts to get a sense of your spending habits and confirm that you’ll have sufficient funds to pay the minimum monthly payment. 

How do cash-back rewards work?

For all the cards listed above, “cash back” refers to a statement credit that’s applied to your account to lower your balance. For the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, for example, you can only redeem rewards against travel purchases. But for most other cards, cash rewards can be applied toward a balance regardless of expense type.

Cards we researched

  • CapitalOne Journey Student Rewards
  • Discover It Student Chrome 
  • Discover It Student Cash Back 
  • Deserve EDU Student
  • Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students
  • CapitalOne Secured Mastercard
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students 
  • Citi Rewards + Student
  • OpenSky Secured Visa
  • BankAmericard for Students 
  • StateFarm Student Visa 
  • Wells Fargo Cash Back College 
  • Petal Visa 
  • Chase Freedom Student
  • CapitalOne Platinum
  • Discover It Secured
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Citi Double Cash Card
  • CapitalOne Quicksilver Cash

Disclaimer: The information included in this article, including program features, program fees and credits available through credit cards to apply to such programs, may change from time to time and are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please check the credit card provider’s website and review its terms and conditions for the most current offers and information. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

The comments on this article are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Feds charge four more in alleged $31 million embezzlement scheme preceding 2017 failure of Washington Federal Bank in Bridgeport | Fintech Zoom

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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Feds charge four more in alleged $31 million embezzlement scheme preceding 2017 failure of Washington Federal Bank in Bridgeport

James Crotty, 41, of Tinley Park; Boguslaw Kasprowicz, 63, of Burbank, California; and Miroslaw Krejza, 62, of Chicago, were also charged in Thursday’s 67-page superseding indictment. All four new defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in federal court March 4.

Bad Credit Credit Cards – Feds charge four more in alleged $31 million embezzlement scheme preceding 2017 failure of Washington Federal Bank in Bridgeport

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Bad Credit

Complaints of credit report errors have increased during the pandemic. Here’s how to protect yourself.

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Complaints about errors in credit reports have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic began — and these errors can pose a host of problems for the consumer.

Roseann Palmeiri wanted to borrow money for some home improvement projects. But she was shocked to learn that her credit score had dropped by 200 points.

“I said, ‘How am I going to apply for a loan and get the good interest rates now? I might not even get the loan,’” she says.

Palmeiri says that she disputed a fraudulent charge on her credit card and that it somehow had been reported as a bad debt.

“To drop by almost 200 points? That’s ridiculous. And first of all, you really had no business reporting that until it was resolved,” she says.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says that there were 195,974 complaints about bad information on credit reports last year – almost as many as all other complaints combined.

Palmeiri’s credit card company fixed the mistake. But it is not always that simple.

“There’s more of a chance of bad information being put on your credit report than there is a chance of them fixing it. It’s a mess,” says Ed Mierzwinski, with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

Mierzwinski says that a mistake on a credit report can have serious consequences.

“If you’ve got a bad credit report and you can’t get it fixed, you’ll either pay more for credit or be behind credit or you could even be denied a job,” he says.

PIRG hopes that under the Biden administration, the CFPB will take a harder line on credit agencies that post bad information. But in the end, it is up to everyone else to make sure their credit report is accurate.

Experts say that people should check their credit reports regularly. They can get a free report once a year from each of the major reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. Anyone who sees an error should contact each agency, point out the error and provide evidence.

If the problem isn’t resolved, one may consider taking legal action against both the credit agency and the company that reported the bad information.

“Sometimes you should see an attorney before you write your letter because it may be a complicated matter that you need help trying to figure out how to articulate the information. That’s fine. But legal action can’t be taken until the credit reporting agency and the furnisher has an opportunity to correct the information,” says consumer attorney Craig Kimmel, with the firm Kimmel & Silverman.

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