9 Best “After Bankruptcy” Credit Cards (Unsecured + Secured)

Best After Bankruptcy Credit Cards
GUIDE
Anne Chumley
By: Anne Chumley
Updated: August 12, 2021
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Some of life’s setbacks can be impossible to overcome. Fortunately, bankruptcy is not one of them. In fact, for many people in extreme debt, bankruptcy can actually be the first step to repairing your credit, for two important reasons:

  1. Bankruptcy can reduce or wipe out your debt. Since you now have less (or no) debt, you are in an excellent position to repay the next debt you take on.
  2. Creditors know you will be willing to pay high interest rates to rebuild credit and many are happy to offer you those products, which are often the most profitable.

There are several ways to restore your credit rating after bankruptcy. For example, credit unions offer credit builder loans that can rebuild your credit rating over the course of a year or two. The most feasible method is usually to obtain a credit card, secured or unsecured, and use it responsibly. After six months or so, you should see your credit score start to improve. Keep reading for a selection of what we believe to be the best bankruptcy credit cards available today and learn how to use these cards for a fresh start and a fresh credit score.

Unsecured | Secured | Post-Bankruptcy Advice

10 Unsecured Cards to Help Rebuild Your Credit

An unsecured credit card is one that is not backed by a cash deposit. Even if you are just coming out of bankruptcy, you might be able to procure an unsecured card, but be prepared for a high interest rate, high fees, and a low credit limit. That’s OK; consider it the price of regaining your credit rating. We’ve evaluated unsecured credit cards geared toward those consumers who need to rebuild their credit ratings, and here is our list of the 10 best.

Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card

The Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card is available to anyone with no, poor, or limited credit.

  • Checking account required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa® card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Multiple card designs available
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Rebuilding credit depends on factors like making on-time payments, keeping balance below credit limit and paying at least the minimum monthly payment
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.5

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes See Terms Yes 8.5/10

Applicants will receive an approval decision in seconds. Visit the card’s terms and conditions to learn more.

Credit One Bank

Credit One is the fastest-growing credit card issuer in the US, with over 7 million card members nationwide. All Credit One members receive free monthly credit score tracking, and most cards come with cash back rewards.

  • See if you Prequalify without harming your credit score
  • Earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible gas, grocery purchases and mobile phone service, internet, cable and satellite TV services, terms apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • View your free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • This unsecured card requires no deposit and can help build your credit
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • Never miss an account update with customizable text and email alerts
  • Manage your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Show off your personality by selecting from a variety of card designs, a fee may apply
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 23.99% Variable Yes 9.0/10

Credit One is popular among its members, as 85% of surveyed cardholders would recommend them to a friend.

Best of the Rest

If any of the above offers don’t suit your needs, the following three cards are great choices for anyone looking to rebuild their credit after bankruptcy.

  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified with no impact to your credit score
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
  • Mastercard Zero Fraud Liability Protection (subject to Mastercard guidelines)
  • Checking Account Required
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 24.99% - 29.99% (Variable) Yes 8.5/10
  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • 24/7 access to your account information, even on mobile
  • Card designs to fit your personality at no extra charge
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.2

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 24.9% Yes 9.0/10

Your strategy should be to pay off most, but not all, of your balance each month, avoid tapping more than 20% of your credit limit, and never miss a payment due date.

3 Secured Cards to Help Earn Your Credit Reputability Back

A secured credit card requires you to deposit funds in an account that acts as collateral for your card balance. The deposit is usually equal to or greater than your card’s credit limit, and you can’t withdraw the deposit unless you either decide to drop the credit card or you are upgraded to an unsecured card.

You might choose a secured card if you can’t qualify for an unsecured one, or if you want to pay a lower interest rate than that charged on unsecured cards. These are our three top picks for an unsecured card:

  • Earn 2% cash back on everyday purchases at Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats, Whole Foods, Netflix, Spotify, and more! And 1% cashback on everything else.
  • No credit check or U.S. credit history required. No SSN required for non-US citizens.
  • Build U.S. credit history from day 1 at major credit bureaus (get $25 when you build your credit score to a 700+ credit score within 12 months of use).
  • Get unsecured in as little as 4 months!
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no minimum security deposit.
  • Premium benefits like Cell Phone Protection (including cracked screens) and Car Rental Insurance coverage.
  • Click here for terms and conditions.
  • Click here for official site and application.
   
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
10 minutes 10.24% (Variable) Yes 7.0/10
  • If approved, fund your Security Deposit to open your account.  Once open, you will have the opportunity to build your credit limit up to $5,000.
  • Opportunity to build your credit card limit over time by adding funds to your Security Deposit.
  • Reports to consumer reporting agencies help you monitor your financial progress to begin your credit building journey (build credit by keeping your balance low and paying all your bills on time every month)
  • You don't need perfect credit for a First PREMIER® Bank Secured Credit Card
  • Make your payments on time each month, and keep your balance low relative to the credit limit, for positive marks on your credit report.
  • If approved, make your first six monthly minimum payments on time and we may send you an offer to apply for an unsecured credit card. Some restrictions apply.‡
  • ‡If you apply for the second account, which is unsecured, you will be approved if you can demonstrate the ability to pay your bills, meet our minimum income requirements, do not reside in New York or Wisconsin and are not covered under the Military Lending Act.
  • FICO scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any First PREMIER® Bank product.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
4 minutes See Issuer Website Yes 9.0/10
  • Better than prepaid...Go with a secured card! Load one time - keep on using
  • Absolutely no credit check or minimum credit score required
  • Automatic reporting to all three national credit bureaus
  • 9.99% low fixed APR - Your rate won’t go up even if you are late
  • Activate today with a $200 minimum deposit - maximum $1,000.
  • Increase your credit limit up to $5,000 by adding additional deposits anytime
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.4

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
10 minutes 9.99% Fixed Yes 7.5/10

Make sure to only choose a secured credit card that reports your activity each month to the three credit bureaus or you will not receive any positive credit impacts.

Restoring Credit After Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates your debt, but you may lose most of your property in the process. In a way, Chapter 7 cleans the financial slate, although the black mark remains on your credit report for many years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes your debt, which means you are expected to pay back at least some of it. In return, you get to keep your property.

Primary differences between Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Under Chapter 13, secured credit cards receive preferential treatment to unsecured ones, which means you have to pay off your secured cards first, along with other collateralized debts, like your home and car loans. Here are some tips for restoring your credit after bankruptcy:

  • Review your credit reports: You can get free copies of all three reports once a year on AnnualCreditReport.com. Go through each one to find any mistakes, which you can rectify by following the procedures set out by each of the credit bureaus. You can also add comments to explain your side of any issues.
  • Open one or two credit accounts: We’ve mentioned credit building accounts from credit unions and secured/unsecured credit cards. Even if you are allowed to open multiple accounts, go slow — the credit bureaus will mark you down for opening too many accounts all at once. Be scrupulous about making your payments on time every month.
  • Pay down debt: If you underwent a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, pay down your leftover debts as quickly as possible. The sooner you repay them, the sooner your credit rating will begin to recover. For new credit cards, don’t pay the full balance each month; rather, pay down your balances on a rolling two-month schedule. Sure, you’ll be paying interest, but you’ll also be restoring your creditor’s confidence in your creditworthiness.

Credit cards are a primary tool for restoring your credit rating following bankruptcy. The ones we’ve listed in this article will provide you the best deals and the greatest access to credit. Use your cards responsibly, and over time you’ll reestablish your financial reputation.

Photo credits: totaldebtnet.com

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