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

9 Best “After Bankruptcy” Credit Cards (Unsecured + Secured)
GUIDE
Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Updated: January 24, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

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® Card

The Total Visa® 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 credit card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

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.

  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Eligible purchases earn 1% cash back rewards automatically, terms apply
  • Get a credit line between $300 and $3,000 based on your credit history
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Manage your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • View your Experian credit score online for free, terms apply
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 17.99% - 23.99% Variable Yes 9.0/10
  • See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds—without affecting your credit score. It's fast, easy, and secure.
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. Terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card—not a debit card, prepaid card, or secured credit card with deposit requirements.
  • Credit One Bank evaluates every account for credit line increase opportunities. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line.
  • Take advantage of free online access to your Experian credit score and credit report summary so you can track the key factors impacting your credit health. Terms apply.
  • Zero Fraud Liability protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen. Rest easy knowing you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  • Access your account easily from your computer, smartphone, or tablet at CreditOneBank.com or the Credit One Bank Mobile App. You can make payments, see recent transactions, and update your account preferences all at the click of a button.
  • Carry a card that makes you smile by choosing from over 20 unique card designs in Credit One Bank’s card gallery. 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 17.99% - 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.

  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • 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
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See website for Details* 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:

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000. Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate.
  • No minimum credit score requirements. We invite all credit types to apply. No processing or application fees.
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus.
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 9.99% Yes 9.0/10
  • Invest your tax refund to improve your credit by making the refundable deposit for your new secured card today
  • 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
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI *See Card Terms.
  • Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★

3.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 19.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10
  • Invest your tax refund to improve your credit by making the refundable deposit for your new secured card today
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • 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
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI *See Card Terms.
  • Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
  • Click for for official site, terms, and details.
★★★

3.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 9.99% (V) 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

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.