Best Credit Card After Bankruptcy... How To Find One
Finding the best credit card after bankruptcy is not that difficult, if you know where to look and what to look for.
Let’s start by talking about secured and unsecured credit cards. When it comes to applying for a credit card after bankruptcy one question that a lot of people seem to have is: Should I apply for a secured credit card or unsecured credit card?
In case you don’t know the difference, a secured credit card is “secured” by a special savings account you establish with the credit card issuer which acts as collateral for your credit limit.
For example, you deposit $500 in a special savings account and then have a $500 credit limit. If you default, the credit card issuer simply takes the money in your special savings account.
Unsecured credit cards are just that – unsecured. Meaning the person fills out a credit application and, based on their credit report, income, etc. are approved for a certain credit limit. Of course, they could also be declined depending
on the credit card issuer’s guidelines.
So which is best? It depends on your credit history. However, if you apply for a secured credit card you have a higher chance of getting approved versus an unsecured credit card.
But be careful. Not all secured cards are created equal. And to make matters worse, there are tons of banks out there pushing secured credit cards!
So how do you find the best credit card after bankruptcy? Come up with a list of criteria that the secured card needs to meet in order for you to consider it. When I’m researching secured cards, I apply eight criteria. Not many meet these criteria so I’m able to narrow down the choices quickly.
What are the some of the eight criteria? For example, a low interest rate is important. While researching some secured credit cards I ran across one with an interest rate of 23.99% and another with an interest rate of only 9.25%.
This is just one of the criteria I use to find the best credit card after bankruptcy – and look at the potential savings! Over several years you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest depending on the balance you maintain.
Okay, here’s another criteria: application fees. Again, I found some secured credit cards that have no application fees and one that had a… are you ready for this… $120 application fee! Sadly, people have paid it!
Let me give you one more criteria you can use to find the best credit card after bankruptcy: You want to make sure the secured card issuer reports to all three credit bureaus. But you also want to make sure they report it a certain way.
I don’t have room here for all eight criteria, but hopefully this gives you an idea of some of the things you need to look at when it comes to finding the best credit card after bankruptcy.
By the way, don’t apply for too many credit cards at once. If you do, it can hurt your credit score. That’s why if you’re uncertain as to whether or not you’d be approved for an unsecured credit card it may be better to apply for a secured credit card.
Now you know some steps you can take toward finding the best credit card after bankruptcy!