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The best credit cards for bad credit — updated for May 2020

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This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on this page are from our partners, like Citi, but our coverage is always independent.

Having a low credit score makes it harder to get approved for a new credit card and other types of loans, and it means that when you do get approved for, say, a mortgage, you’ll generally get less-favorable terms like the highest variable interest rates.

A bad credit score is defined as anything below 580, according to the FICO scoring model, and anything below 601 according to VantageScore. If you currently find yourself in this credit score range, you probably won’t get approved for popular rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, but you do have some credit card options. Secured credit cards are particularly easy to get approved for, because you put up a cash deposit as collateral to get started, and there are also non-secured cards tailored to those looking to repair or build their credit.

Using a card responsibly will help boost your credit over time, since keeping your credit utilization low and making on-time payments are the two biggest factors that determine your credit score. Once you have your finances on track and your credit score keeps climbing, it’s only a matter of time before you can get a rewards credit card offering bonus points and other enticing perks. 

  • Best secured card with rewards: Discover it® Secured
  • Best secured card with purchase and travel protection: Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  • If you can qualify for a non-secured credit card: Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
  • Best for building credit: Petal Visa
  • For students building credit: Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • A secured credit card for businesses: Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Best secured card with rewards: Discover it® Secured

The Discover it® Secured is easily the top secured credit card on the market today, because not only is there no annual fee, but you also get the opportunity to earn rewards. You’ll need to put down a cash deposit to get started, and you’ll secure a line of credit equal to that amount that you can use to begin building a responsible credit history. If you use your card responsibly, you can also get your deposit back when you close or upgrade your account in good standing.

In terms of rewards, the Discover it® Secured lets you rack up 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter you activate (then 1%), plus 1% back on all other purchases. Even better, Discover will double all the rewards you earn after the first year.

The Discover it® Secured also gives you a free FICO score on your monthly credit card bill, and you can use this information to monitor your score as you improve your credit over time.

Regular APR

26.99% variable APR

Credit Score

Bad or No Credit

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Offers you an opportunity to build or rebuild your credit with responsible use
    • $49, $99 or $200 refundable minimum security deposit
    • Make the minimum required security deposit and you’ll get an initial credit line of $200
    • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
    • Pick your own monthly due date and payment method
    • Add an authorized user to your account, and track spending by user
    Pros
    • Minimum deposit ($49) is lower than with some other secured cards
    • You can access a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time
    Cons

    Secured card with purchase and travel protection: Capital One Secured Mastercard

    The Capital One Secured Mastercard is another popular secured credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. This card starts you out with a low line of credit (possibly as low as $200) when you make the minimum deposit amount of $49, $99, or $200 depending on your application details.

    From there, you can begin building good credit by using the card for small purchases and paying your bill on time each month. Capital One will consider you for a higher line of credit after you’ve paid your credit card bill early or on time for six consecutive months.

    You can pick your payment due date with the Capital One Secured Mastercard, and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees if you use it for purchases made outside the United States. This card also comes with travel accident insurance and extended warranties on eligible items that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

    Regular APR

    26.99% variable APR

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Access to a higher credit line with Credit Steps after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
    • Unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile with CreditWise from Capital One®
    • Add an authorized user to your account, and track spending by user
    • Personalized email or text reminders to help you stay on top of your account
    Pros
    • Access to a higher credit line after you make your first five monthly payments on time
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • No extra benefits and no rewards

    If your credit’s on the higher side of low: Capital One Platinum Card

    Unlike most other card issuers, Capital One indicates what type of credit score you need to get approved for each of its cards. The Capital One Platinum Card is for “average credit,” which Capital One defines as having defaulted on a loan in the past five years or “limited credit history” (defined as having a credit card or other credit for less than three years).

    This card doesn’t offer any rewards, but it is an unsecured credit card, meaning you don’t have to put down a cash deposit as collateral. There’s also no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, and extended warranties. 

    You may have to start out with a relatively low line of credit, but Capital One promises to reevaluate your credit line after you’ve made six on-time monthly payments.

    Credit Score

    No Credit History

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 6 months from date of account opening

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • The information related to the Discover it® Student Cash Back has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% after that.
    • $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
    • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
    • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.
    Pros
    • Earns 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories
    • $20 statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher
    • Discover matches your cash back after the first year
    Cons
    • Not the most rewarding cash-back card for non-bonus purchases

    For students building credit: Discover it® Student Cash Back

    The Discover it® Student Cash Back is specifically geared to students with limited credit history, so it may be considerably easier to qualify for when compared to other unsecured credit cards. You won’t pay an annual fee for this card, and you won’t pay a late fee on your first late payment.

    You can also earn rewards with the Discover it® Student Cash Back by enrolling each quarter to earn 5% back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly rotating bonus categories (then 1%), and 1% back on all other purchases. Like with its other cash-back credit cards, Discover will also match all the rewards you earn the first year.

    As a bonus, you can qualify for a $20 statement credit each year you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher (for up to five years).

    Best for building credit: Petal Visa card

    Unfortunately, this card is currently only available to those with an offer code, but you can add your name to the list here to be notified when you’re able to apply.

    The Petal Visa was designed for consumers with limited credit histories who need help building credit from scratch. This credit card comes with no annual fee and no hidden fees, yet it’s a Visa credit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide. Not only that, but you may be able to qualify for a credit limit up to $10,000, and you’ll earn rewards on your spending.

    Cash back is initially offered at 1%, but you’ll graduate to earning 1.25% back after six on-time payments then 1.5% back once you’ve made 12 on-time payments on your card. This credit card also works in conjunction with a handy app that helps you track your spending and set a budget for the month, and usage of the app is also free.

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

  • Pros
    • Earns 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend, or choose to earn rewards points instead
    • If you choose to earn points instead of cash back, you can earn 1,000 bonus rewards points when you spend $1,000 or more in a billing period
    • You can get up to a $25,000 credit line
    Cons
    • Unlike many other secured cards, it has an annual fee (of $25)

    A secured credit card for businesses: Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

    Business owners who want to improve bad credit may need to get started with a secured credit card for business, and the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is a good option. This option only requires a $25 annual fee per card, yet you can qualify for a line of credit between $500 and $25,000.

    You’ll also earn 1.5% cash back for each dollar you spend, or you can decide to earn rewards “points” instead and redeem them for gift cards, merchandise, and flights. You’ll earn 1 point on every dollar spent and receive 1,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 or more during a monthly billing period. Cash back is received automatically as a deposit into an eligible checking or savings account each quarter.

    This card won’t charge any foreign transaction fees, and you can log in for business spending reports from Wells Fargo. 

    If your credit is in poor shape, picking up a credit card can help if you use it to your advantage. These questions and answers can help you get approved for a credit card for bad credit, then use it to boost your credit score over time.

    How do I know if I have bad credit?

    According to myFICO.com, poor credit is typically considered any FICO score below 580. Meanwhile, “fair credit” is considered any FICO score between 580 and 669.

    The best way to find out if you have bad credit is to check your credit score for free online. Fortunately, a variety of platforms let you get a free look at your credit score, including Credit Sesame and Credit Karma.

    How can a credit card help me build credit?

    Credit cards help you build credit by reporting your credit movements to the three credit bureaus. To build credit with a credit card, all you have to do is use your card for purchases you can afford to pay off. From there, pay your credit card bill early or on time each month. Over time, your positive credit usage will help boost your score.

    What is a secured credit card?

    A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires a cash deposit as collateral. The cash deposit you put down is typically equal or close to the line of credit you qualify for, meaning you’ll get a $500 line of credit if you put down $500 in cash to get started. While putting down collateral may not seem ideal, secured credit cards are considerably easier to get approved for when you have bad credit or a limited credit history.

    How do I avoid credit card interest?

    To avoid paying interest on purchases made with a credit card, you need to pay your credit card statement balance in full each month. You’ll only be charged interest on balances you carry from one month to the next, so you should strive to avoid this.

    Which credit card fees should I watch out for?

    Try to pick a credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. Other credit card fees to watch out for include application fees, late fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, and over-the-limit fees.

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    Bad Credit

    Loans Bad Credit Online – China’s Very Bad Bank: Inside the Huarong Debt Debacle | Fintech Zoom

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    Loans Bad Credit Online – China’s Very Bad Bank: Inside the Huarong Debt Debacle

    It’s been 11 weeks since Lai Xiaomin, the man once known as the God of Wealth, was executed on a cold Friday morning in the Chinese city of Tianjin.

    But his shadow still hangs over one of the most dramatic corruption stories ever to come out of China – a tale that has now set nerves on edge around the financial world.

    Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

    At its center isChina Huarong Asset Management Co., the state financial company that Lai lorded over until getting ensnared in a sweeping crackdown on corruption by China’s leader, Xi Jinping.

    From Hong Kong to London to New York, questions burn. Will the Chinese government stand behind $23.2 billion that Lai borrowed on overseas markets — or will international bond investors have to swallow losses? Are key state-owned enterprises like Huarong still too big to fail, as global finance has long assumed – or will these companies be allowed to stumble, just like anyone else?

    The answers will have huge implications for China and markets across Asia. Should Huarong fail to pay back its debts in full, the development would cast doubt over a core tenet of Chinese investment: the assumed government backing for important state-owned enterprises, or SOEs.

    “A default at a central state-owned company like Huarong is unprecedented,” said Owen Gallimore, head of credit strategy at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. Should one occur, he said, it would mark “a watershed moment” for Chinese and Asian credit markets.

    Not since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s has the issue weighed so heavily. Huarong bonds — among the most widely held SOE debt worldwide — recently fell to a record low of about 52 cents on the dollar. That’s not the pennies on a dollar normally associated with deeply troubled companies elsewhere, but it’s practically unheard of for an SOE.

    Time is short. All told, Huarong owes bondholders at home and abroad the equivalent of $42 billion. Some $17.1 billion of that falls due by the end of 2022, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

    Huarong Bonds Tank

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Huarong was created in the aftermath of the ‘90s Asian collapse to avert another crisis, not cause one. The idea was to contain a swelling wave of bad loans threatening Chinese banks. Huarong was to serve as a “bad bank,” a safe repository for the billions in souring loans made to state companies.

    Along with three other bad banks, Huarong swapped delinquent debts for stakes in hundreds of big SOEs and, in the process, helped turn around chronic money-losers like the giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.

    After Lai took over in 2012, Huarong reached for more, pushing into investment banking, trusts, real estate and positioning itself as a key player in China’s $54 trillion financial industry.

    Before long, global banks came knocking. In 2013, for instance, Shane Zhang, co-head of Asia-Pacific investment banking at Morgan Stanley, met with Lai. Zhang said his company was “very optimistic” about the future of Huarong, according to a statement posted on Huarong’s website at the time.

    Before Huarong went public in Hong Kong in 2015, it sold a $2.4 billion stake to a group of investors including Warburg Pincus, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group acquired lots of stock too, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock has collapsed 67% since its listing.

    Lai had no trouble financing his grand ambitions. A big reason: Everyone thought Beijing would always stand behind a key company like Huarong. It easily borrowed money in the offshore market at rates as low as 2.1%. It borrowed still more in the domestic interbank market. Along the way Lai transformed Huarong into a powerful shadow lender, extending credit to companies that banks turned away.

    The truth was darker. Lai, a former senior official at the nation’s banking regulator, doled out loans with little oversight from his board or risk management committee.

    One Huarong credit officer said Lai personally called the shots on most of the offshore corporate loans underwritten by her division.

    Money also flowed to projects disguised as parts of China’s push to build railroads, ports and more around the world – the so-called Belt and Road Initiative, according to an executive at a state bank. Huarong didn’t immediately reply to questions on its lending practices.

    Given Lai’s fate, both people spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Huarong snapped up more than half of the 510 billion yuan in distressed debts disposed of by Chinese banks in 2016. At its peak, Lai’s sprawling empire had almost 200 units at home and abroad. Heboasted in 2017 that Huarong, having reached the Hong Kong stock exchange, would soon go public in mainland China, too.

    The IPO never happened. Lai was arrested in 2018 and subsequently confessed to a range of economic crimes in a state TV show. He spoke of trunk-loads of cash being spirited into a Beijing apartment he’d dubbed “the supermarket.” Authorities said they discovered 200 million yuan there. Expensive real estate, luxury watches, art, gold – the list of Lai’s treasure ran on.

    This past January, Lai wasfound guilty by the Secondary Intermediate People’s Court in Tianjin of accepting of $277 million in bribes between 2008 and 2018. He was put to death three weeks later – a rare use of capital punishment for economic crimes. Some took the execution as a message from China’s leader, Xi Jinping: my crackdown on corruption will roll on.

    At Huarong, the bottom has fallen out. Net income plummeted 95% from 2017 to 2019, to 1.4 billion yuan, and then sank 92% during the first half of 2020. Assets have shriveled by 165 billion yuan.

    The company on April 1 announced that it would delay its 2020 results, saying its auditor needed more time. The influential Caixin magazine this week openly speculated about Huarong’s fate, including the possibility of bankruptcy.

    According to people familiar with the matter, Huarong has proposed a sweepingrestructuring. The plan would involve offloading its money-losing, non-core businesses. Huarong is still trying to get a handle on what those businesses might be worth. The proposal, which the government would have to approve, helps explain why the company delayed its 2020 results, the people said.

    Company executives have been meeting with peers at state banks to assuage their concerns over the past two weeks, a Huarong official said.

    The Chinese finance ministry has raised anotherpossibility: transferring its stake in Huarong to a unit of the nation’s sovereign wealth fund that could then sort out the assorted debt problems. Regulators have held several meetings to discuss the company’s plight, according to people familiar with the matter.

    In an emailed response to questions from Bloomberg, Huarong said it has “adequate liquidity” and plans to announce the expected date of its 2020 earnings release after consulting with auditors. China’s banking and insurance regulator didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment on Huarong’s situation.

    Rising Stress

    Onshore bond defaults by China’s state firms hit a record in 2020

    Source: Fitch Ratings; 2021 data are for the first quarter

    One thing is sure: Huarong is part of a much bigger problem in China. State-owned enterprises are shouldering the equivalent of $4.1 trillion in debt, and a growing number of them are struggling to keep current with creditors. In all, SOEs reneged on a record 79.5 billion yuan of local bonds in 2020, lifting their share of onshore payment failures to 57% from just 8.5% a year earlier, according to Fitch Ratings. The figure jumped to 72% in the first quarter of 2021.

    The shockwaves from Huarong and these broader debt problems have only begun to reverberate through Chinese finance. Dismantling all or part of Lai’s old empire would show Beijing is willing to accept short-term pain to instill financial discipline among state-owned enterprises.

    The irony is that Huarong was supposed to fix China’s big debt problem, not cause a new one.

    “Allowing a state-owned financial institution that undertook the task of resolving troubles of China’s financial system to fail is the worst way to handle risks,” said Feng Jianlin, a Beijing-based chief analyst at research institute FOST. “The authorities must consider the massive risk spillover effects.”

    — With assistance by Charlie Zhu, Jun Luo, Zheng Li, Dingmin Zhang, Evelyn Yu, Rebecca Choong Wilkins, and Tongjian Dong

    Loans Bad Credit Online – China’s Very Bad Bank: Inside the Huarong Debt Debacle

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    Loans Bad Credit Online – Federal Student Loans and COVID-19: What You Need to Know | Fintech Zoom

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    Loans Bad Credit Online – Federal Student Loans and COVID-19: What You Need to Know


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    4.54%+N/A10, 15, 20$7,500 up to up to $200,000
    (larger balances require special approval)
    • Fixed APR:
      4.54%+
    • Variable APR:
      N/A
    • Min. credit score:
      Does not disclose
    • loan amount:
      $7,500 up to $500,000
    • loan terms (years):
      10, 15, 20
    • Max. undergraduate loan balance:
      $250,000 – $500,000
    • Time to fund:
      4 months
    • Repayment options:
      Immediate repayment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
    • Fees:
      None
    • Discounts:
      Autopay
    • Eligibility:
      Must be a resident of Kentucky
    • Customer service:
      Phone
    • Soft credit check:
      No
    • Cosigner release:
      After 36 months
    • loan servicer:
      Kentucky Higher Education Student loan Corporation
    • Max. graduate loan balance:
      $250,000 – $500,000
    • Credible Review:
      Advantage Education loan review
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    2.95%+1.89%+5, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 up to $250,000
    (depending on degree)
    • Fixed APR:
      2.95%+
    • Variable APR:
      N/A
    • Min. credit score:
      Does not disclose
    • loan amount:
      $10,000 to $400,000
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 7, 10, 15, 20
    • Repayment options:
      Military deferment, forbearance
    • Fees:
      Late fee
    • Discounts:
      Autopay
    • Eligibility:
      Must have a credit score of at least 720, a minimum income of $60,000, and must be a resident of Texas
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone
    • Soft credit check:
      Does not disclose
    • Cosigner release:
      No
    • loan servicer:
      Firstmark Services
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      $100,000 – $149,000
    • Max. Graduate loan Balance:
      $200,000 – $400,000
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
      Does not disclose


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    2.97%+¹2.24%+¹5, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 to $500,000
    (depending on degree and loan type)
    • Fixed APR:
      2.97%+¹
    • Variable APR:
      2.24%+¹
    • Min. credit score:
      Does not disclose
    • loan amount:
      $10,000 to $750,000
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 7, 10, 15, 20
    • Repayment options:
      Immediate repayment, academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
    • Fees:
      Late fee
    • Discounts:
      Autopay, loyalty
    • Eligibility:
      Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loans
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone, chat
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      After 24 to 36 months
    • loan servicer:
      Firstmark Services
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      $100,000 to $149,000
    • Max. Graduate loan Balance:
      Less than $150,000
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    3.34%+23.24%+25, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20$5,000 to $300,000
    (depending on degree type)
    • Fixed APR:
      3.34%+2
    • Variable APR:
      3.24%+2
    • Min. credit score:
      Does not disclose
    • loan amount:
      $5,000 to $300,000
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20
    • Repayment options:
      Military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
    • Fees:
      Late fee
    • Discounts:
      Autopay
    • Eligibility:
      All states except for ME
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone, chat
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      After 24 to 36 months
    • loan servicer:
      College Ave Servicing LLC
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      $100,000 to $149,000
    • Max. Graduate loan Balance:
      Less than $300,000
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    4.41%+52.03%+510, 15, 20$7,500 to $200,000
    • Fixed APR:
      4.41%+5
    • Variable APR:
      2.03%+5
    • Min. credit score:
      700
    • loan amount:
      $7,500 to $200,000
    • loan terms (years):
      10, 15, 20
    • Repayment options:
      Immediate repayment, academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
    • Fees:
      None
    • Discounts:
      Autopay
    • Eligibility:
      Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and submit two personal references
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      After 36 months
    • loan servicer:
      Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R)
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      $150,000 to $249,000
    • Max. Graduate loan Balance:
      $150,000 to $199,000
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    2.79%+32.39%+35, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Minimum of $15,000
    • Fixed APR:
      2.79%+3
    • Variable APR:
      2.39%+3
    • Min. credit score:
      680
    • loan amount:
      No maximum
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20
    • Repayment options:
      Forbearance
    • Fees:
      None
    • Discounts:
      None
    • Eligibility:
      Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have at least $15,000 in student loan debt, and have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved school
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      No
    • loan servicer:
      Mohela
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      No maximum
    • Max. Graduate loan Balance:
      No maximum
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    3.47%+42.47%+45, 10, 15, 20$5,000 – $250,000
    • Fixed APR:
      3.47%+4
    • Variable APR:
      2.47%+4
    • Min. credit score:
      670
    • loan amount:
      $5,000 to $250,000
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 10, 15, 20
    • Repayment options:
      Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance
    • Fees:
      Late fee
    • Discounts:
      Autopay
    • Eligibility:
      Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone, chat
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      Yes
    • Max undergraduate loan balance:
      $250,000
    • Max graduate loan balance:
      $250,000
    • Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    3.05%+3.05%+7, 10, 15$10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debt
    • Fixed APR:
      3.05%+
    • Variable APR:
      3.05%+
    • Min. credit score:
      670
    • loan amount:
      $10,000 up to the total amount
    • loan terms (years):
      7, 10, 15
    • Repayment options:
      Military deferment, loans discharged upon death or disability
    • Fees:
      None
    • Discounts:
      None
    • Eligibility:
      Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loans
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      No
    • loan servicer:
      AES
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      No maximum
    • Max. Gradaute loan Balance:
      No maximum
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    2.99%+2.15%+5, 8, 12, 15$7,500 to $300,000
    • Fixed APR:
      2.99%+
    • Variable APR:
      2.15%+
    • Min. credit score:
      670
    • loan amount:
      $7,500 to $300,000
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 8, 12, 15
    • Repayment options:
      Does not disclose
    • Fees:
      None
    • Discounts:
      None
    • Eligibility:
      Must be a U.S. citizen and have and at least $7,500 in student loans
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone, chat
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      After 12 months
    • loan servicer:
      PenFed
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      $300,000
    • Max. Graduate loan Balance:
      $300,000
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    3.19%+N/A5, 10, 15$7,500 up to $250,000
    (depending on highest degree earned)
    • Fixed APR:
      3.19%+
    • Variable APR:
      N/A
    • Min. credit score:
      680
    • loan amount:
      $7,500 to $250,000
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 10, 15
    • Repayment options:
      Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
    • Fees:
      None
    • Discounts:
      Autopay
    • Eligibility:
      Available in all 50 states; must also have at least $7,500 in student loans and a minimum income of $40,000
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone
    • Soft credit check:
      Does not disclose
    • Cosigner release:
      No
    • loan servicer:
      Rhode Island Student loan Authority
    • Max. Undergraduate loan Balance:
      $150,000 – $249,000
    • Max. Graduate loan Balance:
      $200,000 – $249,000
    • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
      Yes


    Credible Rating



    Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

    2.99%+62.85%+65, 7, 10, 15, 20$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans
    • Fixed APR:
      2.99%+6
    • Variable APR:
      2.85%+6
    • Min. credit score:
      Does not disclose
    • loan amount:
      $5,000 up to the full balance
    • loan terms (years):
      5, 7, 10, 15, 20
    • Repayment options:
      Academic deferment, military deferment
    • Fees:
      None
    • Discounts:
      Autopay, loyalty
    • Eligibility:
      Available in all 50 states
    • Customer service:
      Email, phone, chat
    • Soft credit check:
      Yes
    • Cosigner release:
      No
    • Max undergraduate loan balance:
      No maximum
    • Max graduate loan balance:
      No maximum
    • Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
      Yes
    Compare personalized rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!
    Compare Now

    All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 5Iowa Student loan Disclosures | 6SoFi Disclosures

    Loans Bad Credit Online – Federal Student Loans and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

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    Bad Credit

    Tips on how to boost a bad credit rating

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    HOLLAND, Mich. — Your credit score is just a number, but it can make a difference in your ability to get a loan, house, or even a job, and after a tough year for finances, now is an important time to pay attention to your score.

    “You need to have options, and you need to be able to have access, and all of that boils right back down to your credit score,” says Bree Austin-Roberts, a credit expert and founder of Lakeshore Credit Management and Repair Services in Holland. “I think it was a reality check for a lot of people to saying, ‘Hey, it’s time for me to start thinking about my financial situation.’”

    Bree’s story is similar to so many of her clients. A few years ago, before she founded her credit repair business, she and her family were evicted from their apartment. Searching for a house and facing homelessness, Bree noticed a similar roadblock everywhere she looked.

    “The credit became a problem,” she said. “It always boiled back down to the credit.”

    Bree buckled down on payments and, in no time, had raised her credit score enough to move her family into a home and start up her business. Now helping others achieve the same success, Bree says a few simple adjustments can make a big difference. Her first call was to the three major credit bureaus to check the accuracy of her score.

    “Like 80 percent of people in the United States have something that’s inaccurate on their credit report, but a lot of people don’t know because they don’t monitor their credit.”

    So start by checking with TransUnion, Equifax and Experian on the accuracy of your score.

    If you’re having a tough time making payments this year on bills or installment loans (which Bree says you should always have at least one of them), try contacting your creditors to see if they can delay payments or work out some payment plan that works for you.

    “Directly related to the pandemic, a lot of lenders are being very lenient,” said Bree.

    In addition to making all your monthly credit card payments on time when you can, Bree says it also matters how often you use your credit card and on what. She says most repair experts recommend keeping your card usage below 30 percent, but Bree recommends a lower limit for her clients.

    “When you’re in the building process, you want to keep it 10 percent or below,” she said. “If you’re planning on making a major purchase in like 30 to 60 days, you probably want to keep your credit card balances between 1 and 3 percent.”

    Other tips include becoming an authorized user on a loved one’s credit card. If they have good credit, spending responsibly on their account could help boost your score faster. Just have them ask their bank or credit union about adding you as an authorized user.

    You can also open a secured card on your own. A secured credit card is essentially a prepaid card that ensures you don’t miss payments.

    And remember: no credit doesn’t mean good credit. Lenders want to see you can responsibly handle debt.

    “Having something to report is positive, but it’s the amount that reports that shows your creditworthiness,” said Bree.

    What it boils down to, Bree says, is having good habits and sticking to them. Building or rebuilding credit is a marathon, not a sprint, and Bree says patience is key.

    “I was never always a credit expert. It was trial and error,” she said. “I have been there before, and it doesn’t take much to end up right back there again if you’re not budgeting well–if you do not credit consciously.”

    You can reach Bree at [email protected] or on her website or Facebook and use the hashtags #lakeshoreCredit and #CreditQueen to join the conversation with her.

    Doug Reardon at WXMI first reported this story.



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