First Access Visa® Credit Card

Robin Saks Frankel  in  Bad Credit Advertising Disclosure
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Recommended Credit Score

Bad Credit to Fair (300 - 740)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

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Annual Fee:
See Terms*
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
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Terms and Restrictions Apply

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Score Breakdown

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Rewards
Annual Fee
Variable APR

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.

Review

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 “program” 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 program 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.

Advantages
  • Easy approval as it's designed for people with poor or limited credit history.
  • Not a secured card, which requires a collateral deposit.
Disadvantages
  • Comes with a high APR of 34.99%.
  • Has an extremely low credit limit of $300.
  • Charges an $89 "program" fee to open the account, plus a $75 annual fee the first year and $48 annually after that. This affects the amount of useable credit you'll actually have.
  • The payment due date is only 21 days after the close of each billing cycle; many other cards give you 24 or 25 days before your payment is considered late.
  • There’s a late payment fee and a returned payment fee of up to $39.

Fees and APR

  • The annual percentage rate is a variable 34.99% APR.
  • You’ll pay $89 program 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 $39.

Extras, perks and using points

There are no extras or points with this card.