Best Credit Cards after Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
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There are many reasons why Americans might have to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection. Often, those who file this form of bankruptcy have had their finances devastated by extended unemployment, medical bills, or divorce. In other instances, people make a series of poor decisions that results in more debt than they are able to pay off. The advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that it can discharge most of your debts, although there are some things like student loans, child support, and alimony payments that must still be made.
But once your bankruptcy has been discharged, then you are able to begin the process of rebuilding your credit. One of the most important tools to accomplish this goal is a secured credit card, which is very similar to other credit cards, except that it requires the payment of a refundable security deposit before an account can be opened. After that, you must still make a minimum payment each month, and you will incur interest if you choose to carry a balance. But since these cards are offered to nearly anyone who has had their bankruptcy discharged, they are perfect for those who have completed Chapter 7 proceedings.
Having a secured card and managing it responsibly will help you to quickly rebuild your credit. In addition, having any kind of credit card will make it much more convenient when you are traveling. For example, using your credit card to reserve a hotel room is much easier than using cash or a debit card. And when renting a car, it is much more difficult when you don’t have a credit card. In addition, some secured credit cards even offer rental car insurance, allowing you to avoid the costly policies sold by car rental agencies. Credit cards also offer more robust legal protections against fraudulent purchases than debit cards. Finally, some secured credit cards offer valuable travel insurance and purchase protection policies that you can’t find with debit cards. After a year of on-time payments, most secured card holders find that they are able to qualify for a standard, unsecured credit card.
Here are five of the best credit cards for those who have completed their Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
Capital One® Secured Mastercard® customer must submit a refundable security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit worthiness. You will then receive a credit line of $200. You will also get access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed. You will build credit by using this card since it reports to all three of the major credit reporting bureaus. This card does not have an annual fee, and has an interest rate of 26.99% (Variable).
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a secured Mastercard which offers a quick online application and an expedited processing option. Applicants have no credit history or minimum credit score required for approval and receive a full-featured Mastercard. Payments are reported monthly to all three major consumer credit bureaus to help you establish your credit history. As a secured card, your credit line secured by a fully-refundable deposit of between $200 and $2,000 which is submitted with your application. You can receive your deposit back at any time just by paying off your balance. There is an annual fee of $29 with this card.
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card is another secured card offered by Green Dot Bank. It reports your activity to the three major credit bureaus, so responsible use of the card can help build your credit profile. The card has one of the lowest APRs of any secured card on the market: 9.99%. The credit line you receive will be determined by the amount of your security deposit but there is a minimum deposit of $200 and a maximum of $5,000. There is a $49 annual fee on this card.
Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card is marketed by Green Dot Bank to people who may not have a bank account. This card may help you build your credit score if you use it prudently since your activity will be reported to the major credit bureaus. There are no monthly or one-time fees on this card, but there is an $39 annual fee. A security deposit of at least $200 is required for this product. The card has an APR of 19.99% (F). It can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted.