A bankruptcy is sometimes a necessary evil. It can be hard to bounce back after you file a chapter 13 discharge, especially now that your credit score is damaged and your record is marked. However, there are still a few credit cards that you can use even when your credit score has taken a huge hit.
Secured Credit Cards
Secured credit cards are specifically for individuals with poor or no credit. Do not confuse a secured credit card with a prepaid debit card. Many secured credit cards will act like a prepaid debit card, meaning you have to put down a $400 deposit to have a $400 line of credit, but a secured credit card can help or hurt your credit score, whereas a prepaid debit card is not connected to any of your banking accounts.
Here are the best secured credit cards to use after filing bankruptcy.
USAA Secured Card American Express
USAA Secured Card® American Express® Card
- USAA Eligibility Requirement: Today, USAA membership is only open to U.S. military service members, veterans who have received a discharge type of Honorable, and their eligible family members.
- It’s a real credit card – not a prepaid or debit card, that helps you build or improve your credit score.
- When you apply – you’ll also be opening a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit (CD), an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit.
- Your CD is a security deposit – the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card’s credit limit.
- Earn interest on your CD – your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don’t default on your payments.
- Start building your credit – opening a CD lets you get a credit card even if you don’t have a credit history or have bad credit.
- Chip technology has added security when used at a chip-enabled terminal and greater acceptance worldwide.
primor Secured Visa Gold Card
The primor Secured Visa Gold Card comes with a larger annual fee, at $49. However, it also comes with the lowest APR. It has a fixed rate of 9.99% and no penalty rate. There is a guaranteed approval, as long as your monthly income is at least $100 more than your monthly expenses.
This card is meant to help people rebuild their credit. There is no annual fee, but a refundable security deposit is required of either $49, $99, or $200, depending on your creditworthiness. Your initial credit line is determined by how much money you put down as a security deposit, ranging from $200-$3,000. The card comes with CreditWise, which allows you to monitor your credit profile. The 24.9% APR is a bit high, so be sure to pay off your balance each month.
While the Wells Fargo Secured Visa Credit Card comes with a $25 annual fee, it has a lower APR than the Capital One Secured MasterCard. Currently, this card has a 19.24% APR on purchases. Wells Fargo will offer you an upgrade to an unsecured card as soon as your credit score improves.
The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card comes with a $39 annual fee and a 20.49% APR. A minimum $300 deposit is required to use as a credit line. Bank of America will then review your account after 12 months, and you could have your security deposit returned while you continue using the card.
Milestone® Unsecured MasterCard®
- No security deposit required
- Pick from multiple card designs at no extra charge
- Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
- 24/7 access to your account information, even on mobile
- Simple and fast application process
- Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
- Don’t have perfect credit? No problem!
After your bankruptcy is settled, make sure all of your discharged debts are cleared from your credit report. Also, be sure to always pay your monthly bill on your secured credit card to help raise your credit score. Once your score improves enough to get an offer from an unsecured card, switch to an unsecured card.