Best Credit Card After Bankruptcy

Look no further. The best credit card after bankruptcy can easily be found if you know what you’re searching for. Here you can find out how I began to reestablish my credit after bankruptcy and see what credit card issuers to avoid when you apply for your first credit card after bankruptcy.

My Story

In July of 2010, I made the hardest decision of my life. I worked a full time job, had a failing internet mail order business, and also a rental property with bad tenants. With accumulating, what I thought were great assets, I also had an enormous amount of debt. My net worth was well beyond negative and I assumed everything would eventually work out in the end.

Finally it got to the point where I was playing the fools game. I had to start transferring balances from credit card to credit card to just keep up with my minimum payments each month. I lost my bad tenants in my rental house totally, they just up and left without any warning. Afterwards, I was attempting to do repairs on the rental property, I broke down. I realized at this point, I could no longer kid myself. I decided to take out bankruptcy.

At my first appointment with the lawyer, I had to gather all my financial information, choose which type of bankruptcy I would file, and learn about the repercussions of filing. It was a nerve racking experience. I got through it and chose to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy, where all my debt would be written off.

Bankruptcy

After I arrived home, I was required to pull a free copy of my credit report so I did not miss any accounts that I needed to include in the bankruptcy. I used www.annualcreditreport.com to download it right offline. At that time my credit score was 654, not horrible, but not great either. I had an enormous amount of debt, not including the mortgage on my primary residence, totaling over $140,000. I did not surrender my home in the bankruptcy, only the rental house and everything else.

Several months passed with visiting my attorney and going to court once during that time. Finally, I received my discharge papers in the mail in March of 2010. A month later I decided that it was time to start reestablishing my credit. I still had my home mortgage, which was a start, but I wanted more. I chose to apply for, what I now consider to be, the best credit card after bankruptcy, an Orchard Bank Classic MasterCard.

For the last year, I have charged small amounts on the credit card and paid it off in full each month. I’ve also acquired two additional credit cards since then, paying the second card also in full each month, and carrying a small balance on the third. Hesitantly, I decided to pull another copy of my credit report and credit score in December of 2011. To my surprise, my credit score turned out to be 630, only 24 points less than before the bankruptcy!

Best Rewards Card For After Bankruptcy

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it Secured Credit Card
Regular APR:
22.99%-
24.99%
Variable
Annual Fee:
$0
Balance Transfer Fee:
Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit:
Poor

Top Benefits

If it weren’t for the security deposit (which could be returned in as little as eight months), it’d be easy to mistake this card for an unsecured credit card because of its rewards. Not only can you earn 2% cash back on select purchases, but you’ll also have all of your cash back rewards matched at the end of your first year as a cardholder, which is a great perk for a secured credit card.

More Information

  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Using your secured credit card will build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

Secured Mastercard® from Capital One

Secured Mastercard from Capital One
Regular APR:
26.99% variable
Annual Fee:
$0
Balance Transfer Fee:
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit:
Poor

Top Benefits

f you’re worried about attaining a higher level of credit but don’t have a huge deposit to put down, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One might be a good option for you. With this card, a deposit as low as $49 (and up to $200, see below) can establish your line of credit. Plus, cardholders will also have access to many of the great rewards unsecured Capital One credit cards offer, like extended warranty and price protection, as well as auto rental and travel accident insurance.

More Information

  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you’ll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • We will monitor your account, and as you use it responsibly by doing things like making on-time payments, you may be able to earn back your deposit as a statement credit
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you’ll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • We will monitor your account, and as you use it responsibly by doing things like making on-time payments, you may be able to earn back your deposit as a statement credit
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Indigo Platinum Mastercard
Regular APR:
24.90% Variable
Annual Fee:
$0 – $99 
Balance Transfer Fee:
N/A
Recommended Credit:
Poor

Top Benefits

The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® offers consumers with poor credit the opportunity to use a credit card for everyday spending. Pre-qualification is quick and easy and if you have the credit profile needed, you might be able to secure a credit card with no annual fee. 

More Information

  • Pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
  • Previous bankruptcy OK
  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • Free online account access (mobile friendly)
  • Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
  • Accepted at over 35 Million Locations Worldwide!

OpenSky® Secured Credit Visa® Card

OpenSky Secured Credit Visa Card
Regular APR:
17.39%* Variable
Annual Fee:
$35
Balance Transfer Fee:
N/A
Recommended Credit:
Poor

Top Benefits

With the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, no credit check is required to qualify, meaning the amount of your security deposit doesn’t depend on your creditworthiness, but instead, you have total control over the amount of your deposit from $200 to $3,000 (with approval). That also means your credit won’t take a hit when you apply.

More Information

  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® with Cash Back Rewards

Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
Regular APR:
23.99%* Variable
Annual Fee:
$0 – $99
Balance Transfer Fee:
N/A
Recommended Credit:
Poor

Top Benefits

f it’s an unsecured credit card that you’re after, the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® card is a good card to consider as it’s designed specifically for people looking to rebuild their credit. There’s no security deposit with this one; however, there is potential for an annual fee (depending on your creditworthiness), but we think the 1% cash back that can be earned on eligible gas, grocery and telecommunication purchases, which include internet, cellphone, cable and satellite TV services helps to outweigh this cost, especially since unsecured credit cards that offer good rewards can be harder to qualify for.

More Information

  • Receive 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increases give you opportunities to get even more credit
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • View updates to your Experian credit score with free online access, terms apply
  • Access your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Never miss an account update with customizable text and email alerts.

Cards To Avoid When Searching For The Best Credit Card After Bankruptcy

When searching for the best credit card after bankruptcy, you’ll want to be selective about what credit cards you apply for. Follow these guidelines so you don’t get too many inquiries on your credit report.

  1. I would not suggest applying for an account through any credit card issuer that you had an account with before the bankruptcy, especially if it was included in the bankruptcy. I tried this with Capital One and, well, I didn’t get approved.
  2. You’ll receive many solicitations by mail after your bankruptcy, watch out for unreasonable annual membership fees.
  3. Finally, stay away from credit card issuers that don’t cater to people with poor credit such as American Express and Citicards.

Throughout this experience, I have learned that credit is an important tool in life. If you take care of your credit, it will take care of you, allowing you to do many things that you could not do without it. Take the plunge, and find the best credit card after bankruptcy for yourself.

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