Improvement in technology and internet penetration has led to behavioral changes. People now expect things to get done fast, often with the click of a button. Speed and simplicity are the two most desired qualities in any process.
Credit cards are no different. People expect a simple and short application for their credit card, and they also expect to get approval quickly. They want the credit card in their hands by the end of the week or within a few days.
The expectations are the same for credit cards with bad credit. Even though a person with a low credit score tends to find it very difficult to get a credit card, he/she has some options on cards that are available to people with bad credit.
At the same time, the expectation of quick approval and simple application process holds true with even this segment of the consumer. And remember, this is a segment that has very few options when it comes to credit cards.
The reasons for wanting quick approval is not always behavioral. Sometimes, the person applying for the credit card is in an emergency. Perhaps some medical bills need to be paid or a vehicle breakdown has led to unexpected repair expenses that need to be paid in order to be able to drive to work.
There can be plenty of emergencies and other reasons for wanting quick approval and access to credit.
Near-instant approval of a credit card depends on two main factors, identity, and income. The credit card company has to be able to verify your identity and your income. If that part of the application is successful, then your credit card application is essentially being evaluated in real-time. You will most probably be able to see the approval (or denial) decision right away.
However, if the credit card company is not able to verify your identity for some reason, then it might take a few days and some additional documentation from your end to process the application.
The best way to increase your chances of almost instant approval is focusing on your credit score. Try to improve your credit score by as much as you can before applying.
To do so, you can pay off any small debts, pay existing and future bills on time, and clear any outstanding dues if possible. The higher your credit score, the faster the credit card approval.
Thus, keeping in mind the expectations and desires of customers, various credit card companies now offer credit cards for bad credit with fast or near instant approval. There are mainly two types of cards available to consumers with low credit scores, secured and unsecured cards.
There is a third option which is not really a credit card, but it is perhaps the quickest and simplest card to get. That card is the prepaid card. Let us look at each category more closely.
Secured card is great for someone with a low credit score because they have a high approval rate and are normally offered to a consumer who can pay a minimum security deposit.
It works on the principle of surrendering a fully refundable security deposit amount which sits in a protected savings account. This amount serves as collateral for your credit line.
So, while you are expected to pay your monthly bills, anything that does not get paid will be adjusted against the security deposit that you submit. As a result, secured credit cards are much easier to get than unsecured cards.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
Capital One offers a secured mastercard that is a bit different from a conventional credit card. Normally, the security deposit paid is the credit limit on the card.
However, Capital One’s secured mastercard has a variable deposit structure for the same amount of credit limit. For example, you could pay anything from $49 to $200 for a 200 credit limit. The amount you pay is decided by Capital One based on your credit profile and score.
Staying with credit limits, one can hope to see a potential increase in their Capital One Mastercard’s credit limits by making timely payments for at least 5 months. Good financial habits and timely payments can reward you with an increased credit limit.
There are no annual charges with the Capital One secured mastercard, so that is a relief and it lowers the cost of owning and holding the card. However, the APR rates are pretty high at 24.99%.
One important point about the approval process, it is fast and the application can be completed within minutes. There is no detailed credit check (i.e. hard check), so that quickens up the application and approval process.
One downside is the lack of a cashback or rewards program. This credit card is a no-nonsense card that has a fast approval process.
Discover It Secured Card
If cash backs and rewards are your thing, but you cannot get a conventional or an unsecured card because of bad credit, then Discover has “It” for you.
The Discover It card does not go into too much history and depth with your credit report. It also does not charge annual fees. So, easy to get approval and cheap enough to use, the Discover It secured card gives you the chance to build your credit score.
Refundable security deposit is $200 for a credit limit of $200. A high APR of 24.99% is charged when you use this card. So, the benefits do come with costs.
However, the most standout feature of this card is the 2% cashback at select gas station and restaurants. Additionally, a 1% cashback on other qualifying purchases completes an impressive rewards program for a card meant for people with low credit scores.
FICO credit score can be monitored for free while using this card. So, if pushing up your credit profile is the goal, then Discover makes it convenient for you.
Make regular and full payments for 8 months and Discover might just return your security deposit to you as a reward for the steady and constructive use of the credit card.
OpenSky Secured Visa Card
Since we are talking about almost instant approval credit cards, the OpenSky Secured Visa credit card is quite well-known for having a fast approval process. One big reason for the quick process is the fact that there is no credit check involved during the evaluation stage (soft check may be performed).
There is no need to stress out about negatives in your past showing up on your credit report and denying you a credit card. Not having to go through a hard credit check also means that there is no risk of your credit score getting lowered because of frequent credit checks.
The OpenSky secured visa card sends your account information to the three main credit bureaus of the country. Hence, it is no wonder that 99% of people who started using this card without a credit score got one within 6 months of using the card.
This card is excellent to build your credit or to improve a bad credit score. Do keep in mind that these benefits come at a cost as the OpenSky card is subject to an annual fee of $35.
The minimum security deposit to be submitted is $200. The APR rate is actually quite low (relatively) at only 19.14%. So, this card does well among its competition. Just like the Capital One mastercard, this one has no cashback rewards either.
Unsecured credit cards do not involve any security deposit. They are simple like a line of credit that the cardholder gets for a certain annual fee. Since there is no “safety” of a security deposit, the fees and interest rates tend to be a lot higher.
Hence, holding and using an unsecured credit card is more expensive. Additionally, the rates of approval for an unsecured card are not as high as those for a secured credit card.
Many people often start with a secured card and then once their credit has improved up to a certain point, they move on to unsecured cards because they can get back the deposit “float” money.
Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
This is an excellent unsecured credit card for bad credit profiles, it also is one of the lowest cost unsecured cards, and it is a card with a rewards program. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa seems to have it all.
The annual fee on this Credit One card ranges between $0 and $99, and that amount is deducted from your credit card limit. Normally, a $300 line of credit is offered initially. This card is great for someone looking to meet emergency expenses or has bad credit but wants an unsecured credit card.
Your creditworthiness decides the APR that you will pay on the Credit One bank platinum visa card. The range of APR is from 20% to 25%.
The attractive feature of cashback rewards offers you 1% cashback on qualifying purchases from vendors that participate in the program. The option of setting up email and text alerts allows you to seamlessly monitor your account.
Another handy feature is the free online access to Experian’s credit score information. You can check the positive impact of your credit card use on your credit score. Terms and conditions apply for this feature, so read the documentation.
The Credit One bank platinum visa card is a bit of an all-rounder. You can use it to meet short-term expenses and emergencies. You can build up your credit score, or you simply use this card because every other option was closed to you.
Total Visa Unsecured
The Total Visa Unsecured card, being a visa card, is accepted all over the world. It is a simple unsecured credit card with basic features. It will help you improve your bad credit and move on to something with more features and options.
The Total Visa Unsecured has a $75 annual fee during the first year and then $48 thereafter. The APR rate is one of the highest we have seen at 29.99%. There may also be a one-time $89 fee. You must be wondering why to bother going for this card with so many fees and expenses.
First of all, it has a quick approval process. The application is also quite simple. Secondly, this card offers a person with bad credit a chance to rebuild his/her credit score.
Even if you have had a bankruptcy, you may apply for this credit card. A $300 credit limit minus the annual fee is good enough to start creating a credible record of spending and repayment. Credit bureaus keep a copy of your account information. No cash backs and rewards.
This card is just a simple and hassle-free way to get an unsecured card and put your head down towards rebuilding your credit.
Prepaid cards are different from credit cards. But they are cards that can be used for payment and more importantly, they are the quickest approval cards. All you need to do is load the card up with some credit by paying cash and you are good to go.
The credit limit is what’s pre-loaded onto the card. Simple and easy to use, if it has a visa or mastercard logo, then many merchants in the country will accept your prepaid card. Another bonus with prepaid cards is no credit checks at all! Soft checks may be performed. So whether you have good credit or bad, that aspect is simply not a factor in the approval decision.
Brinks Prepaid MasterCard
With a short application process of about 10 minutes, the Brinks Prepaid MasterCard is a decent option among prepaid cards. You can get paid from your work via direct deposit to this card, you can reload money onto this card via machines and ATMs, and you can use it at most places since it is a MasterCard.
There is even a cashback program and a $10 purchase cushion when you are low on balance.
Midnight Prepaid Visa RushCard
The midnight prepaid visa is another great option for a prepaid card. You can pay bills, manage your account online, and receive direct deposit payments with this card. Being a visa, it will be accepted widely across the country. Your loaded funds are insured by FDIC, so there is an added layer of security.