New Green Dot Visa Secured Card Lets Members Build Credit
For people with limited credit, bad credit, or no credit history at all, secured credit cards are a huge help. They let folks who might otherwise have trouble getting a credit card be approved for a card and rebuild or establish credit.
Now Green Dot has launched a Visa credit card that does exactly that. Applicants do not have to have a bank account to qualify for the card, and payments will be reported to all three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Over time and with a good track record of on-time payments, cardholders’ credit scores will begin to climb.
Millions of Americans have compromised credit
The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) has estimated that about 108 million Americans are affected by having bad credit or nonexistent credit. This means they may have trouble being approved for a credit card, and therefore they are unable to establish or improve their credit scores.
Lew Goodwin, president of Green Dot Bank, said the new card is designed to help exactly these people. “The Green Dot Platinum Visa Secured Credit Card is just another way Green Dot Bank is helping to open the door to financial inclusion for millions of low and moderate income Americans.”
Designed for easy use
Cardholder will be able to put down a security deposit with cash and make card payments at any of Green Dot’s locations. There are about 100,000 retail Green Dot locations across the country, making it easy to find a payment station.
Card benefits include free online account management and bill pay. Fees, terms and conditions can be found in the cardholder agreement. Generally, fees for secured credit cards tend to be a little higher than for unsecured cards. However, this can be mitigated with careful use. If the APR is high, as it might be for a secured card, customers can avoid paying interest by paying their balance off in full each statement cycle.
To improve credit, it’s important that cardholders make all payments on time and pay at least the minimum due. They also should not charge an excessive amount to the card, so their credit-to-debt ratio remains healthy, with plenty of available credit.