Best “After Bankruptcy” Credit Cards

Best After Bankruptcy Credit Cards

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 their products, which are often the most profitable for the bank.

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 post-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

Best Unsecured Cards For After a Bankruptcy

An unsecured credit card is one that is not backed by a cash deposit. Even if you are just coming out of bankruptcy, you may be able to procure an unsecured card, but be prepared for a high interest rate, high fees, and a low credit limit. But that’s OK; consider it the price of regaining your credit rating.

We’ve evaluated just about every unsecured credit card geared toward those consumers who need to rebuild their credit ratings, and here are some of the best:

  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000* (subject to available credit)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
★★★★★

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
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
★★★★

4.2

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 24.9% Yes 9.0/10
  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Online servicing available 24/7 at no additional cost
  • Unsecured credit card, no security deposit required
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Better Business Bureau In Business Since Free Consultation? Reputation Score
8.0/10

Your strategy should be to pay off your balance each month to avoid interest charges. Avoid tapping more than 30% of your available credit limit to maintain a healthy credit utilization, and never miss a payment due date.

Best Secured Cards For After a Bankruptcy

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 close the credit card or 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 a secured card:

  • No credit check to apply and find out instantly if you are approved
  • OpenSky gives everyone an opportunity to improve their credit with an 85% average approval rate for the past 5 years
  • Get considered for a credit line increase after 6 months, with no additional deposit required
  • You could be eligible for the OpenSky Gold Unsecured Card after as few as 6 months
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly, unlike a prepaid or debit card
  • View your FICO® Score through your OpenSky account, an easy way to stay on top of your credit
  • Nearly half of OpenSky cardholders who make on-time payments improve their FICO score 30+ points in the first 3 months
  • Your refundable* deposit, as low as $200, becomes your OpenSky Visa credit limit
  • Easy application, apply in less than 5 minutes right from your mobile device
  • Offer flexible payment due dates which allow you to choose any available due date that fits your payment schedule
  • *View the cardholder agreement
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 19.64% (variable) Yes 7.0/10
  • Initial refundable deposit of $300 becomes your credit limit
  • 1% Cash Back rewards on every purchase
  • 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 Liability Protection (subject to Mastercard guidelines)
  • Checking Account Required
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 19.99% Variable Yes 8.5/10
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application; No credit inquiry required!
  • Includes Free Real-Time Access to Your Credit Score and Ongoing Credit Monitoring powered by Experian
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card; Try our new Mobile App for Android users!
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
  • Nationwide program; available in all 50 US states *See Card Terms.
  • Get a fresh start! A discharged bankruptcy still in your credit bureau file will not cause you to be declined.
  • ¡Hablamos Español! Nuestros representantes de servicio al cliente hablan Español con fluidez para su conveniencia.
  • Make 6-months of on-time payments & you’ll be invited to apply for an unsecured First Digital Mastercard!
★★★★★

4.5

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 16.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10

The nice thing about a secured card is that the deposit is refundable — you can’t say the same for the annual fees and other fees charged by unsecured cards.

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 over unsecured cards, 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 a bankruptcy. The cards we’ve listed in this article will provide you with 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

Advertiser Disclosure

BadCredit.org is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the financial products listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BadCredit.org does not include listings for all financial products.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.