[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Capital One Secured MasterCard and USAA Secured Card American Express. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
There is nothing fun about declaring bankruptcy, but those who emerge from it can be thankful for the opportunity to rebuild their finances without the burden of debt. And while one of the quickest ways to rebuild your credit is with a credit card, there are few cards that you can get soon after bankruptcy.
The exception is secured cards, which generally approve all applicants who’ve had their bankruptcy fully discharged, and can offer proof of identity. These cards require that a refundable security deposit be submitted first, but then work almost identically to standard credit cards. Secured card holders must make monthly minimum payments, and are subject to interest charges when they carry a balance. In addition, payments are reported to the three major consumer credit bureaus, allowing you to improve your credit score as you make on-time payments. (There are many ways to get your credit scores for free so you can track your progress over time — including through Credit.com.) So after a year, many secured cardholders are able to transition to a non-secured card and receive their deposits back.
Here are five credit cards you can be approved for after your bankruptcy is fully discharged:
Capital One Secured Mastercard
This is one of the rare secured cards with no annual fee. Cardholders submit a refundable security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 in order to receive an initial credit line of between $200 and $3,000. The standard interest rate for purchases is 24.9% APR, and it has no foreign transaction fees imposed on charges processed outside of the United States.
Wells Fargo Secured Visa Credit Card
New accountholders must submit a minimum of a $300 refundable security deposit, which then becomes their credit limit. Benefits include auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, emergency card replacement and a roadside dispatch service. In addition, cardholders are also covered by a cellular telephone protection policy that covers theft or damage up to $600 (with a $25 deductible), when you charge your monthly service to this card. The standard interest rate is 18.99% APR, and there is a $25 annual fee for this card.
BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
New cardholders pay a minimum refundable security deposit of $300 to open an account. Then, their maximum credit limit (up to $4,900) is granted based on their income, ability to pay and the size of the security deposit provided. After 12 months, the account may be reviewed and cardholders may qualify to have their security deposit returned, without any interruption of their existing account. The standard interest rate is 20.24% and there is a $39 annual fee for this card.
US Bank AeroMexico Visa Secured Card
This is one of the few secured cards that is also a reward card. Cardholders receive double miles on gas and grocery purchases, and a mile per dollar spent elsewhere. In addition, new account holders earn a 5,000-mile bonus and a complimentary companion certificate after their first use of the card, as well as a $99 companion certificate each year with renewal. Other benefits include a complimentary checked bag on AeroMexico flights. There is a 22.99% APR and a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, which is $25 per year after that.
USAA Secured Card American Express
This card requires a $250 deposit, which is placed in a two-year, interest-earning certificate of deposit (CD). Then, the amount of your deposit, from $250–$3,000 becomes your credit limit. This card includes benefits such as auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty coverage and travel accident insurance. To apply, you must become a member of USAA, which is open to active and retired members of the military, as well as their families. The standard interest rate is 9.90%–19.90%, and the annual fee is $35.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
At publishing time, the Capital One Secured MasterCard and USAA Secured Card American Express cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for either of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
More on Credit Cards:
- 6 Smart Credit Card Strategies
- How Secured Cards Can Help Build Credit
- How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit