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If you have bad credit, one step to rebuilding it is showing that you can manage credit cards responsibly. The First Access VISA® Credit Card is designed to help you do that. It reports to all three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), so paying your balance on time can help to improve your credit score. As with many credit cards like this one, the downside includes lots of fees, a high APR and a low initial credit line.
First Access VISA® Credit CardApply
on First Access's website
Intro APR: N/A
- Checking account required
- Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you even if you’ve been declined elsewhere
- $300 Credit Line (subject to Available Credit)
- Easy and secure online application
- Get a result in as little as 60 seconds upon completion of application
- Get the security and convenience of a full-feature VISA? Credit Card that reports to all three major credit bureaus!
|Available to those with poor credit||High APR|
|Reports to all three credit bureaus||Numerous fees|
|Low initial credit line|
|Customer service contact info|
(888) 267-7980 First Access Card
PO Box 89028
Sioux Falls, SD 57109-9028
Designed for people with bad credit (also called subprime users), the First Access VISA® Credit Card reports to all three major credit bureaus, so a history of on-time payments will be reflected in your credit score. But like other cards for the subprime market, it has a high interest rate and charges lots of fees. Those costs help credit card issuers defer some of the risk they take when they open accounts for those with poor credit scores, but if you aren't careful, the extra costs can quickly add up. That's why you need to read the fine print when considering any credit card. We've done it for you here; keep reading to see if the First Access VISA® Credit Card is right for you.
Qualify With Less-Than-Stellar Credit
You don't need good or even fair credit to get approved for the First Access VISA® Credit Card. Those with poor credit may be able to qualify—and you can find out fast if you do. As long as you have a checking account, you can apply online in minutes and get an answer in as little as 60 seconds. (If you want to get the card itself rushed to you as well, though, be ready to pay a $35 fee.)
There are plenty of times when you may not want to use a debit card, prepaid card or cash for a purchase. Unfortunately, if you have poor credit, these may be your only options. But with the First Access VISA® Credit Card in hand, you can make secure purchases online and in person at merchants worldwide. This gives you more flexibility in managing your money.
More important to those with poor credit, responsible use of the First Access VISA® Credit Card can help to improve your credit score—something debit or prepaid cards generally can't do. Make small purchases with this card every month and always pay your balance on time and in full, and you can gradually build your positive credit history.
High Annual Fee the First Year
Credit cards for subprime users generally charge higher-than-average fees, and the First Access VISA® Credit Card is no exception. The annual fee is $75 for the first year and $48 after that. Beyond the annual fee, expect to pay several additional fees that can really add up. To start, there's a one-time $95 fee to open your account. After the first year, you'll pay a servicing fee of $75 per year, which is billed to your card at the rate of $6.25 a month. If you want to add another card to your account, you'll pay an additional $29 annual fee.
Your annual fee will be deducted from your initial line of credit. Once you open an account, your credit limit will be $300 to start; after the $75 annual fee, your initial available credit will be $225. If you add a second card to the account, the $29 annual fee for that card means you'll start out with just $196 in available credit. All this is important to know so you don't assume your credit limit is $300 and go over it by mistake.
Because the First Access VISA® Credit Card is designed to help people with poor credit improve their credit scores, that small credit limit can actually be a good thing. It helps keep you from getting in over your head while giving you enough leeway to make small purchases. Pay off those small purchases on time and in full each month, and your credit score should start to rise.
After your account has been open for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for a higher credit limit—but it comes at a cost. If you're approved, you'll be charged a fee that's 20% of the credit limit increase amount. If your credit limit increases by $100, for instance, you'll pay a $20 fee, so you actually have $80 in additional credit until you pay off the fee.
Pay Off Your Balance Each Month to Avoid Interest
High APRs are typical of subprime credit cards; however, the First Access VISA® Credit Card's 34.99% APR is substantially higher than the 22.38% average APR on cards for those with bad credit. If you carry a balance on this card, the interest can quickly add up. Fortunately, it's easy to avoid getting hit with high interest charges. Simply pay your balance in full each month, which will also help to improve your credit score.
|Purchase APR: 34.99%||Grace Period: 21 days|
|Transfer APR: N/A||Annual Fee: $75 for first year, then $48|
|Cash Advance APR: 34.99%||Balance Transfer Fee: N/A|
|Minimum Interest Charge: $0.50||Cash Advance Fee: $0 for first year; thereafter, $10 or 3% of advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign Transaction Fee: N/A|
|Late Payment Fee: Up to $40|
|Returned Payment Fee: Up to $40|
Is This Card Right for You?
The First Access VISA® Credit Card gives you access to a small credit line at a price—a very high APR plus plenty of fees. If you've had trouble getting approved for credit, these tradeoffs may be worth it to you. If you'd like to explore other options, check out a secured credit card, which may offer a higher spending limit, a lower APR and even some perks.