My sister and her husband are currently packing for a big move from New Jersey to Florida with 3 kids in tow. They don’t have much money to make the move and if something should happen on the way down (car brakes down, gas prices are higher than they thought, couldn’t get a cheap enough hotel for the night) they wouldn’t have any way to pay for it. That is because they have bad credit and couldn’t qualify for a credit card. I did a little research for them and found out they can get a credit card. There are some drawbacks, however.
First, you should know what your credit score is before applying for any of these cards. Anyone can get a free copy of his or her credit report once per year from annualcreditreport.com. If your credit is good (in the middle of excellent and bad) you probably won’t want to take out one of these credit cards.
Second, when you have bad credit you will end up paying fees. To get a credit card, I have come across two different options. 1. Pay an annual fee of $48 or 2. Pay between $4-$8 per month. I would personally recommend the annual fee of $48 because that comes out to $4 per month. With the other option you could end up paying the same or twice as much.
Third, check out the APR. They range from 9.9% to 19.92%. Start applying for the smaller APR cards if they have a low annual or per month fee.
Fourth, make sure the card is with a reputable company. Also, if it doesn’t have a Visa or MasterCard label I wouldn’t even bother with it. There are a lot of places that don’t accept Discover or American Express, but I don’t know any who turn down Visa or MasterCard. Don’t forget that you can utilize the BBB. Just go to bbb.org to type in the company you are considering getting a card with. They will give you a detailed report on the company if anyone has registered a complaint. No report is good because that means no one has complained about them.
Fifth, combine all of the above. Here are some sites you may be interested in checking out. I recommended them to my own sister. Orchard Bank Silver MasterCard, Orchard Band Platinum MasterCard, and Orchard Bank Secured MasterCard. Make sure if you don’t use one of the above 3 that you check to see if there are any hidden fees. I found some that didn’t out right say they had a one time processing fee, participation fee, and a program fee. Look for a little sentence that says other fees you should know about above the apply button.