The First Access VISA Credit Card
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If you have little credit history or poor credit, you might consider The First Access VISA Credit Card if you’re confident you can use it responsibly. But be prepared to pay a lot of fees in the name of building your credit.
If you don’t qualify for a better type of credit card, and you don’t want to fork over the cash for a secured card, you might think The First Access VISA Credit Card is your best shot at getting a credit card. You’d be wrong.
This card’s low credit limit and high first-year fees means your credit utilization ratio — how much credit you use versus how much has been extended to you — will immediately be out of whack. That’s bad news for your credit score.
Prior to receiving the card, you’ll have to pay an $89 “processing” fee. Then you’ll be charged a $75 annual fee, which takes a big bite out of your $300 credit limit.
Before ever making a single purchase, you will already have used up one-fourth of your credit on this card, giving you a debt to available credit ratio of 25%. This ratio makes up a big part of your credit score as this card reports to all three of the credit reporting agencies. The only way to come out with an improved score with this card is charging something and paying it off within the short 21-day billing cycle.
Keep in mind that in addition to the processing fee and the annual fee, you’ll also get socked with a monthly servicing fee of $6.25 beginning in the second year of card ownership.
It’s pretty hard to get a handle on your finances with fees like this. You’d be better off getting a secured card that lets you eventually graduate to a better unsecured card with good payment behavior.
Who should own this card
We can’t recommend this card to anyone.
Fees and APR
- The annual percentage rate is a variable 29.9% APR.
- You’ll pay $89 processing fee when you apply.
- You’ll pay a first-year annual fee of $75, $48 thereafter.
- This card has a monthly servicing fee of $6.25, waived the first year.
- Late payments will be assessed a fee of up to $38.
Extras, perks and using points
There are no extras or points with this card.
How this card compares
The Discover it Secured Card packs a powerful punch of attributes not typically seen in secured cards. For starters, you earn cash back with the card—something no other secured card on the market offers. And it will double your cash back at the end of the first year. The bank will also review your account, starting at eight months to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card.
The Credit One Bank Platinum Card offers some rewards, and offers decent APRs for a secured card. A major drawback of the Credit One Bank Platinum Card is that you won’t know the exact terms of your offer until you’ve applied.
You don’t have to be a student to benefit from the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One card. It was designed for people with little credit and with regular on-time payments for five months, you can increase your credit limit. And this card earns 1% cash back on all purchases, boosted to a 1.25% when you pay the bill on time. There’s no fee to own this card and no foreign transaction fees.
The Capital One Secured MasterCard has flexible opening options that other secured cards do
not. If you qualify, you can put down as little as $49 to get a credit limit of
$200. Or, you can pay the $200 security deposit in installments. This card can
give you access to a higher credit line after you make five on-time monthly
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.