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If you have a low credit score, it can be challenging to qualify for a credit card. At the same time, a new credit card can be essential to establishing good credit. In this catch-22 situation, it may seem like your options are limited.
Fortunately, there are credit cards on the market designed for people in these situations.
What is Genesis Financial Solutions?
Genesis Financial Solutions was founded in 2001 by a group of financial services experts. Their focus at first was on consumer loans. After the financial crisis of 2008, the group realized how much demand there was among consumers with low credit scores or limited credit history.
As a result, the company began offering credit cards for these types of consumers. Today, Genesis Financial Solutions provides three card options to help people in difficult credit circumstances get on their feet.
Comparing Genesis credit cards
|Card||Annual fee||style=”text-align: center; background-color: #00143D; color: #FFFFFF”Ongoing APR|
|Indigo® Mastercard®||Up to $99||24.9%|
|Milestone® Mastercard®||$35 to $99||24.9%|
When your credit isn’t in the best shape, many of the credit card options available to you may be secured cards, which require a security deposit at the time of application. Genesis Financial Solutions, on the other hand, offers unsecured options, but all of them come with rather hefty annual fees.
The Destiny Mastercard offers a $300 credit limit if you’re approved, no deposit required. The card charges a $75 annual fee in the first year and a $99 annual fee after that, or an ongoing $59 annual fee, depending on the offer you qualify for.
Further, you’ll be responsible for an up to $40 overlimit fee if you opt in to overlimit coverage and go over the credit card limit. Late payment and returned payment fees are also up to $40.
The high costs aside, the card can still deliver on its promise to help build your credit with responsible use. It reports to all three credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—and with time, as your credit score improves, you could be eligible for more exciting credit card products.
The lack of cash advance fees in the first year with the card is another advantage of this product and a rare credit card benefit. Still, considering the high cash advance APR (29.9 percent) that kicks in immediately when you borrow cash against your credit line, you’ll want to avoid use this feature sparingly.
In many ways, the Indigo® Mastercard® is similar to the Destiny Mastercard. It’s an unsecured card that comes with a $300 credit limit if you’re approved and charges up to $40 for going over your credit limit, up to $40 for returned payment and up to $40 for late payment.
The main difference is there’s a chance you won’t have to pay an annual fee. Depending on the offer you qualify for, you may be required to pay:
- $0 annual fee
- $59 annual fee
- $75 annual fee after the first year, $99 thereafter
You might not need to pay an annual fee, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get this offer, especially if you have a low credit score. For that reason, if the lack of annual fees is a crucial factor for you, the Indigo Mastercard might not be the best choice.
The terms of the Milestone® Mastercard® are identical to those of the other two Genesis Financial Solutions cards. Your annual fee will also depend on your credit profile and can be $35, $59 or $75 in the first year and $99 thereafter.
Besides the terms these cards share, they also all offer free custom design options and a quick pre-qualification that doesn’t impact your credit score. This allows you to see the terms you can expect before you apply.
Note, however, that once you apply, a hard inquiry will appear on your credit report.
Who is eligible for Genesis Financial Solutions credit cards?
Since Genesis Financial Solutions designs its products for subprime and non-prime consumers (those with credit scores under 669), there’s a good chance you can qualify no matter what your credit situation is. In case you don’t qualify, the issuer may suggest card options from a partner bank.
The bottom line
Genesis Financial Solutions offers a line of credit cards designed for consumers with low credit scores or limited credit history. If you’re in this category, these cards can be an option for you, but consider the high fees and research other credit cards before you apply—you’re likely to find products with better terms targeting the same consumer category.