There’s nothing fun about declaring bankruptcy, but those who emerge from it can be thankful for the opportunity to rebuild their personal finances without the burden of debt. Unfortunately, bankruptcy also does damage to your credit, making it difficult to get approved for credit cards and other lines of credit. Since credit cards are a good way to build or rebuild credit, we have the details for some credit cards to get after bankruptcy.
Secured Credit Cards
Secured credit cards generally have lower credit score requirements and often can be obtained post-bankruptcy. While they do require an upfront security deposit to open, they otherwise work just like traditional credit cards and can help you rebuild your credit. When choosing a secure credit card, look for one that lets you build toward unsecured credit status and reports to all three credit bureaus so it helps you positively impact your credit.
Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Secured credit cards are often considered bad debt credit cards because they’re targeted to people with poor or no credit. But you can also find credit cards that are approved for people with less-than-stellar credit and don’t require a security deposit. In return for the chance to get positive reporting on your credit report via one of these cards, you might have to pay an annual fee or deal with a high interest rate.
Credit Card for After Bankruptcy
There’s no single best credit card to get after a bankruptcy, but there are many options to consider. Carefully review the details of relevant credit card offers before making a decision for yourself.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
- Limited Time Offer: $51 funding voucher applied for all new accounts. Get a $200 credit line for $149. Click “APPLY NOW” to see additional terms and conditions.
- No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
- Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2/3 of cardholders receive a 48+ point improvement after making 3 on-time payments
- Extend your $200 credit line by getting considered for an unsecured credit line increase after 6 months
- no additional deposit required!
- Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application
- Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion
- Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
- Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
- Join over 1.2 million cardholders who’ve used OpenSky to build their credit
Annual Fee: $35
APR: 25.64% (variable)
Why we picked it: This card helps you build credit while still offering a fairly low interest rate and a refundable deposit for as little as $200 (some restrictions apply; see cardholder agreement for details).
The details: There is no credit check necessary to apply, and you can apply in less than 5 minutes. Your responsible use of the card is reported to all three credit bureaus each month. And when you need extra credit, you may be eligible for a credit line increase.
Drawbacks: There is an annual fee, which isn’t necessarily bad in exchange for building credit.
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- Choose your own credit line - $200 to $2000 – based on your security deposit
- Build your credit score.¹ Reports to all 3 credit bureaus
- No minimum credit score required for approval!
- ¹ Cardholders who keep their balance low and pay their credit card bill on time every month typically do see an increase in their credit score.
- Secured Cards are a great way to start establishing credit for people with low/no credit scores¹
- Past credit issues shouldn’t prevent you from getting a credit card with great benefits & rewards!
- Accepted wherever Mastercard® is accepted
Annual Fee: $29
APR: 25.24% Variable APR for Purchases
Why we picked it: With responsible use, this card can be a good place to start working to rebuild your credit. There is no minimum credit score required for approval, and it also reports to all three credit bureaus each month.
The details: You can secure your credit line by putting down a fully refundable deposit of $200 to $2,000 during the application process. When you pay off your balance, you can receive your deposit back. Its expedited processing option lets you receive your card more quickly, and you can apply in minutes with no negative impact to your credit score.
Drawbacks: While the APR isn’t super high for a bad-credit credit card, it’s still high enough to run up hefty interest charges. You’ll want to pay the balance off as often as possible to avoid that extra expense. The card is not yet available in all states.
Why we picked it: It is possible to be approved with poor credit and a bankruptcy on your credit report, but you don’t have to start with a security deposit. Plus, you can choose your card image at no extra charge!
The details: Prequalification doesn’t require a hard credit inquiry, so you can find out if you’re a likely candidate for this card without impacting your credit. You can access your account via mobile to manage it, helping you stay on track with positive payment history and balance management, and the card comes with decent fraud protection.
Drawbacks: The annual fee can be pretty high depending on the terms you’re approved for. The interest rate is also fairly high, so you might not want to carry over large balances between statements.
Why we picked it: You can prequalify for this card without impacting your credit, and there’s no security deposit required.
The details: The APR is fairly steep, so you probably want to limit what balances you carry over each month. How much the annual fee is depends on your credit profile. However, it doesn’t require a security deposit.
Drawbacks: A potentially high annual fee and less-than-stellar APR make this a potentially expensive way to build credit.
- Fast and easy application process
- We may periodically review your account for credit line increases
- Help strengthen your credit history with responsible use
- No hidden fees
- Use online banking to conveniently pay your card through our online portal, 24/7
- Zero fraud liability for unauthorized charges
- Checking your eligibility does not affect your credit score
- Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC
- Disclosure: If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00. Cash Advance Fee: 3%, Min $10 Late Fee up to $39
Annual fee: $39
APR: 31.24% Variable
Why we picked it: There’s no deposit required, no penalty APR, and no hidden fees.
The details: What you see is what you get with this card. With responsible use, you can strengthen your credit history.
Drawbacks: There is an annual fee and the variable APR can be a bit steep. You may also need fair credit to qualify.
Surge Mastercard® Credit Card
- Up To $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
- See if you Pre-Qualify with no impact to your credit score
- Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
- Access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian (When you sign up for e-statements)
- Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
- Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
- All credit types welcome to apply
- Checking Account Required
Annual fee: See Terms*
APR: See Terms*
Why we picked it: All credit types are welcome to apply, and the pre-qualification process won’t impact your credit score.
The details: Surge can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. , and the card reports to all three major credit bureaus.
Drawbacks: You need a checking account to apply. Because the card is specifically for people with less-than-perfect credit scores, interest rates and terms may be a bit high.
How to Choose a Credit Card After Bankruptcy
After a bankruptcy, improving your finances and rebuilding your credit should be a priority. Do some research and pick a credit card that helps you achieve that goal. If you feel that you can’t responsibly manage credit right now, you should wait until you’re in a better place to submit a credit card application.
Since secured credit cards require an upfront security deposit, you’ll need to determine how much money you can afford. Most secured cards will give you a credit line that equals the amount of your original deposit.
While high APRs and annual fees are common with all of these credit cards, you should compare rates across several cards to find the ones that are best for your spending habits.
Some cards for bad credit are designed to exploit people using unfair terms or policies that make it difficult to rebuild your finances. You may even start receiving multiple credit card offers in the mail after your bankruptcy is discharged. Watch out for red flags to avoid getting burned.
And remember: A credit card can only build credit if you use it correctly. You should keep your credit card balance below 30% of the available credit limit and make all your payments on time to help build your credit.