2018 First Access Credit Card Reviews

[current_year] First Access Credit Card Reviews
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Adam West
By: Adam West
Updated: October 12, 2018
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

Having bad credit is tough. Obtaining new credit lines is difficult, and what credit you do obtain is typically expensive or full of restrictions.

And, while the modern credit card marketplace offers more options for unsecured subprime credit cards than ever before, combing through the seemingly identical high-priced offerings can be a chore.

Take the First Access Visa Card, for example. On the surface, it appears to have many of the same high fees and rates as its competition. However, looking closer at the customer reviews shows a well-reviewed card that stands out from the crowd.

Our Take | Consumer Reviews | Additional Options

Our Take: A Subprime Card with Flexible Credit Req’s

As with any unsecured credit card designed for subprime or bad-credit consumers, the First Access Visa Card isn’t the cheapest product on the market. It has a high APR, a fairly high annual fee, and a one-time processing fee that eats into your initial available credit.

That being said, the First Access Visa Card is a subprime card. As such, it has extremely flexible credit requirements, which makes it accessible to a wide variety of credit types. Plus, the online application is quick and easy, with decisions available within minutes of submitting your application.

  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
  • You may be eligible for a Credit Line Increase after six months
  • Easy and secure online application
  • If approved, pay a Processing Fee and you can access the $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Get the security and convenience of a full-feature, unsecured Visa® Credit Card – accepted at millions of merchant and ATM locations nationwide and online
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.6

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
10 Minutes See Terms Yes 8.0/10

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about the First Access Visa Card is that it isn’t meant to be your forever card. The card is aimed at consumers with bad credit and low credit scores — consumers who are notoriously high risk and more likely to default on their debts.

The high rates and fees charged by the First Access Visa Card are intended to balance out the high risk of its applicant demographic. In other words, they’re the cost of having bad credit.

The First Access Visa Card clearly lays out its costs in a fairly easy-to-find Rates & Fees documentation at the top of the application page. It also highlights its processing fee on the main application page for double awareness.

Screenshot of First Access Application Page

The Rates & Fees documentation can be found through a link at the top of the First Access Visa Card application page.

And while the card’s processing, annual, and (if you have it a second year) monthly fees are unavoidable, users can easily avoid expensive interest fees by taking advantage of the card’s interest fee grace period. Just pay your balance in full before your due date and you won’t be charged interest on those transactions.

Note that the processing fee will be charged when you open your account. And, like most credit cards, the annual fee will be charged shortly after you activate and begin using your new card.

New cardholders start out with a fairly low $300 credit limit, but many reviewers report being provided with a credit limit increase after six months. Several reviews also indicate that requesting a credit increase can have a positive result.

Beyond interest rates and fees, the First Access Visa Card is reported to have decent customer service, though the online system may be hit and miss for some. Many reviewers also give it high marks for ease of application, flexible credit requirements, and positive impacts on their credit scores.

Well Rated by Most Reviewers

One common thing among nearly all unsecured subprime credit cards is a mixed bag of reviews. These cards need to charge high rates and fees to offset the high credit risk of its users, but those costs also buy it a bad review from customers who don’t do their research before applying.

In fact, the extent to which the reviewer understood the fees they’d be charged ahead of time seems to correlate pretty closely to the rating they give the First Access Visa Card. Customers who read the disclosure and knew what they were applying for were usually quick to positively review the card.

Got approved on the 22nd and received my card on the 28th. I don’t have an issue with paying $150+ for the first year or the annual fee as I know there is a price to pay for having a credit score below 550 across the board. Six to 12 months from now I’ll have good credit to buy a car and get better cards anyways, so no biggie 🙂 — First Access Credit Card Reviewer

Informed consumers were also the most likely to report seeing positive credit score results from using their First Access Visa Card.

I like this card. I don’t use it much. It has helped my credit. It’s a good card if you’re rebuilding your credit. It’s a good card to start with. Just use it wisely and keep what you spend low. They raise your credit limit every six months, as well, as long as you’re in good standing. — First Access Credit Card Reviewer

Similarly, many of the negative reviews seem to be from consumers who didn’t read the First Access Visa Card’s Rates & Fees documentation or application page and were unaware of the costs associated with the card.

The card’s fees are way too high! The credit limit is low. The processing fee and the annual fee is ridiculous for a $300 limit. I’d say the best thing about this card is that it’ll report your payment history to the bureaus. I plan on closing it out in a year. I would definitely recommend shopping around for other cards and using this as a last resort. — First Access Credit Card Reviewer

That being said, not every negative review was someone who failed to do their homework. There are some reviewers who reported general technical problems, such as the online application being down, as well as those consumers who felt their card took too long to arrive.

Other reviews report problems with payments taking a long time to post, though these reviews seem to specifically reference payments made by check. Several reviewers report debit card payments to be smooth and quick ways to pay their First Access Visa Card balance.

Alternative Card Options for Consumers with Bad Credit

While the First Access Visa Card is more transparent and better reviewed than many of its direct competitors, it certainly isn’t the only credit card option for consumers with troubled credit histories.

Alternatives to the First Access Visa Card include other unsecured subprime cards, closed-loop store credit cards, and secured credit cards. Before applying for any new credit product, it’s wise to compare your options to find the right fit for your situation.

  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
5 Minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere that Mastercard® is accepted
  • 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 terms Yes 8.5/10
  • 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
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a processing fee to open your account and access your 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

+See More Credit Cards for Bad Credit

On-Time Payments Are the Key to Success

While certainly not inexpensive, the First Access Visa Card is no more costly than most other unsecured subprime cards, the majority of which charge similar rates and fees.

If you want to avoid the high rates and fees of the First Access Visa Card, your best bet is likely to check with your local credit unions or community banks, or you can make a deposit and open a secured credit card.

Regardless of which path you take, the keys to successfully rebuilding bad credit include paying your debt on time every month, keeping low debt balances, and being conservative about how much new credit you establish. With time and diligence, credit success is possible.