2020‘s Best Reviews: Credit Cards After Bankruptcy

While no one likes to admit defeat, sometimes our debts simply get the better of us and bankruptcy may become the only option for a better financial future. Unfortunately, your credit will see lasting negative impacts from a bankruptcy, but you can repair your credit with some hard work and a lot of patience. Below are the top cards on the market for those recovering from a bankruptcy. Our reviews follow strict editorial guidelines.

All Results | Unsecured Cards | Prepaid Cards | Secured Cards | Bankruptcy OK

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Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
5 Minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10
  • 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
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Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10
  • Checking Account Required
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
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  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • The First Access Visa Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.
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Overall Rating

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

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 Minutes 17.99% - 23.99% Variable Yes 9.0/10

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Review Breakdown: Credit Cards After Bankruptcy

If you've previously filed for bankruptcy and are seeking a new credit card, your options can be very limited. However, there are several major banks that issue credit cards for applicants who are post-bankruptcy. By keeping your balance below its limit and making your payments on time, you can earn positive marks on your credit history and start rebuilding your credit score, one month at a time.

Here are 2020's best credit cards after bankruptcy:

Bankruptcy Credit Cards
Rank Credit Card Interest Rate Reports Monthly Our Rating
1 Fingerhut Credit Account See issuer website Yes ★★★★★4.8
2 Total Visa® Card See terms Yes ★★★★★4.7
3 First Access Visa® Card See Terms Yes ★★★★★4.7
4 Credit One Bank® Visa® with Free Credit Score Access 17.99% - 23.99% Variable Yes ★★★★4.3

4 Common FAQs About Credit Cards for Bankruptcy Filers

Ashley Dull

Expert Guide By:

Ashley Dull, Finance Editor


While the harsh reality is that bankruptcy is the lowest point your finances can reach, it can also be the light at the end of the tunnel. Clearing your unpaid debts through a bankruptcy discharge is like pushing the hard “reset” button on your finances.

Whether due to an unforeseen circumstance, such as a job loss, a medical emergency, or even serious overspending, choosing to file is choosing to start over.

Thankfully, some credit card issuers understand that you want to work hard to rebuild your credit after the tough decision to file bankruptcy, and being approved for a credit card may be easier than you think.

Here we’ll answer four common questions about getting a credit card after bankruptcy.

1. How Long After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge Can I Get a Credit Card?

After filing for bankruptcy and going through all the motions of credit counseling and court judgments, your discharge will come through typically within a couple of months. After you receive your discharge and your debts are free and clear, it’s time to begin rebuilding your credit.

Though there are no specific guidelines as to when one should begin, about half of bankruptcy filers apply and are approved for new lines of credit within one year of filing, so it is safe to assume many apply — and are approved for — a new line of credit fairly quickly.

It’s more about when you feel ready to take on the responsibility of credit card ownership again and finding the right card to help you rebuild your credit.

2. Can a Bankruptcy-Friendly Card Help Me Rebuild Credit?

A credit card is a great way to begin rebuilding credit. Just be sure to choose a card that reports to all three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, TransUnion — so that there’s a record of your credit card usage and payments on file, also known as your credit report.

While most credit cards do report to the major bureaus, some, like prepaid cards, do not, so be sure to read the terms and conditions before applying.

To use the card as a tool to rebuild credit, you must follow a few rules:

  • Always pay your bill on time. On-time payments account for 35% of your FICO credit score.
  • Keep your credit utilization ratio low. Most experts recommend 30% or lower. This is your debt-to-credit ratio. So, for example, if you have a credit limit of $1,000, never keep a balance of more than $300 unless you intend to pay the balance in full at the end of the month. Your credit utilization accounts for 30% of your FICO credit score.
  • Be sure to use the card — just applying for the card and having the open line of credit available is helpful, but if you’re not using the card, you’re not creating a positive payment history. Again, your payment history is the most important factor when calculating your credit score. Furthermore, the card issuer can close the account for non-use. Once an account is closed, it will affect your average age of accounts (the longer an account is kept in good standing the better), which accounts for 10% of your FICO credit score.

Maintaining on-time payments and keeping a low balance on your new credit card are two proven ways to help you rebuild your credit.

3. What Are the Best Post-Bankruptcy Discharge Credit Cards?

Our experts have rated and reviewed the top credit card offers for those who have experienced a bankruptcy, as listed above. While First PREMIER Bank’s credit card offers top our list, the best card for one person may not be the best for another.

The Fingerhut Credit Account on this list, for example, will approve most applicants regardless of credit issues, and it reports to all three credit bureaus to help you rebuild your credit.

However, it can only be used at Fingerhut and its few selected partners. For someone with a singular goal to rebuild credit, this may be a good choice. For someone who wants the ability to use their new credit card anywhere, not so much.

There’s also the consideration of an unsecured card versus a secured card — the best option for you depends on, well, you. In addition to the above list, you can see a comparison of the best bankruptcy-OK credit cards here.

Unsecured Credit Cards After Bankruptcy

The term unsecured just means that a security deposit is not required to open the account and any balance on the card will be an “unsecured” form of debt. Most credit cards are unsecured.

Unsecured credit cards for bankruptcy still have eligibility requirements that must be met, though, and expect to pay high interest rates because of your poor credit standing.

Typical requirements include an active checking account, an application fee, and in some instances, a minimum monthly income.

Most issuers will let you check to see if you pre-qualify for an unsecured credit card offer before you apply with no impact to your credit — simply click the “apply here” button of an offer above to be directed to the issuer’s website, where you may be asked to fill out a pre-qualification form to find out if you qualify to apply.

Understand, however, that being prequalification does not guarantee approval. Details provided in the application, such as your employment status and income, will greatly affect the approval decision.

Secured Credit Cards After Bankruptcy

Getting approved for a secured card after bankruptcy will be easier than being approved for an unsecured credit card.

This is because a secured credit card requires a deposit to secure the line of credit. The deposit amount is usually equal to the amount of your new credit limit.

If the required deposit is less than the credit limit given to you, that is called partially secured. Deposit amounts and credit limits are based on creditworthiness, and you may not know either amount until after you apply and are presented with an offer.

The deposit protects the card company if you miss a payment, as the company will deduct the owed money directly from the deposit. So long as your account is kept in good standing, the deposit amount can be refunded upon closing the account and graduating to an unsecured credit card.

Oftentimes, secured cards allow you to graduate to an unsecured card after you’re able to show responsible credit behavior for a period of time.

4. Will Taking on Debt too Soon After Bankruptcy Hurt My Credit?

Not necessarily. While taking out a new credit account may improve your credit, accumulating a lot of debt on the card is not a good idea.

This is true for everyone, not just bankruptcy filers. This ties back to the credit utilization ratio mentioned earlier.

If your utilization rate is kept at a healthy level, such as the recommended 30% or lower, lenders won’t consider you to have unmanageable amounts of debt. It’s when your utilization rate shows that you have more debt than available credit that your credit score begins to see negative impacts.

It really is as easy as paying your bill on time — even better if you can pay it off each month — and keeping your credit card balance low to keep your new credit account in good standing. A little credit card debt will not hurt your credit, so long as it’s manageable.

About The Author

Ashley Dull Finance Editor Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull is a finance editor for BadCredit.org, where she works with a team of finance experts and journalists who develop in-depth industry profiles and advice articles read by more than 15 million Americans. Her years of experience reporting on consumer credit scores and reports positions Ashley to make smart recommendations on ways to improve one’s credit and avoid predatory lending. She often serves as an expert source on financial topics for national media outlets, including CNN Money, MarketWatch, Money Matters, ABC News, Kiplinger, and NBC News. Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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