Your credit score is the gatekeeper for most financial opportunities — financing a car, buying a house, getting a higher credit limit, among other adult things. Unfortunately, a bad credit score can prevent Canadians from being able to make these money-spending decisions.
Rebuilding your credit is the only way to fix this. While you might not qualify for a credit card with big banks and companies, certain cards without strict eligibility and high acceptance rates do exist. If you have poor credit and are looking for easy approval on a new card, check out these four options.
Home Trust Secured Visa Card
It’s easy to get accepted for a Home Trust Secured Visa Card thanks to their 95 percent approval rate. It’s association with Visa increases its appeal, since Visa is a payment method that’s accepted all around the world.
Secured credit cards are a specific method that helps people to build credit. It’s obtained once you pay a security deposit that’s equal to your credit limit. This doesn’t mean it’s a prepaid credit card — you’re still required to make monthly payments to pay off any expense you use the card for. Your activity on the Home Trust Secured Visa Card is reported monthly to the credit card bureau, which will help to reboot your credit history.
The minimum credit limit is only $500 and the maximum can go as high as $10,000. Whether your security deposit is big or small, it’s an easy way to improve your credit score. As time goes on and you’re more comfortable with your financial situation, Home Trust allows you to increase your credit limit by sending additional funds to their institution.
Here’s a look at other costs involved with this card.
- Over limit fee: $29
- NSF fee: $45
- ATM fee: 1 percent of withdrawal amount in Canada, 1.5 percent everywhere else
- Minimum payment: 3 percent of the balance or $10 (whichever is greater)
Canceling your card is also an option. To do this, you would just have to pay off your outstanding balance. Home Trust will then send you back the security deposit you made during the application process and you’re back where you once started, but likely with a better credit score.
Home Trust Secured Annual Fee Visa Card
If interest is a main concern of yours, then the Home Trust Secured Annual Fee Visa Card might be worth the extra cost. It’s the exact same plan as the previous Home Trust credit card, except with an additional fee. You can choose between a monthly fee for $5 or an annual fee of $59. Additional fees also exist if you choose to have a secondary cardholder. The fee is $2 monthly or $19 annually.
This additional cost lowers your interest rate on purchases and cash advances. The interest rate is only 14.9 percent and the cash advance interest rate sits at 19.8 percent. Everything else about these two Home Trust credit cards remain the same.
These two options give you the choice between lower interest rates or no monthly fee. Ultimately, your preference and lifestyle will help you decide which is best for you.
Refresh Secure Visa
Instead of a credit check, all it takes to get approved with Refresh Secure Visa is a security deposit. Your credit limit will depend on how much money is put down on the deposit which can range between $200 to $10,000. This is another type of approved credit card that gives you freedom in choosing how much money you want to invest for a certain credit limit.
Refresh Financial keeps the typical credit card fees affordable across the board. The annual fee only costs $12.95 per year, in addition to a $3 maintenance fee per month. The annual interest rate is 17.99 percent , which seems pretty reasonable given the easy application process.
People hoping to raise their credit scores might also be interested in their learning program. It’s called the Financial Intelligence Training — also known as f.i.t — which is a toolkit for learning about the nitty gritty business of finance. It’s composed of short, informative videos that will teach you all about money myths, building wealth, how to save and more.
If you end up liking this credit card and think it’s worth sharing, there’s a benefit to referring a family or friend. You can get $100 in cash once they sign up and there is no limit on the number of people you can refer.
Overall, the Refresh Secure Visa is a good option if you’re looking to lower your credit rating and learn more about how finances work. This company wants to help their clients not only with their finances, but their knowledge of it works and what they can do to be successful.
Scotiabank Value Visa
Scotiabank has almost 20 different credit cards to choose from. But if you have a bad credit score, you probably won’t qualify for any — except the Scotiabank Value Visa. This basic, low interest credit card is an option for people with a credit score above 600. It’s the next step up in building your credit compared to the previous three options because it doesn’t require a security deposit.
The other requirements to apply for this card are relatively simple. You must be a Canadian citizen, the age of majority in your province and have an annual income of at least $12,000. New Canadians don’t require a credit history to apply. Once you’re approved, you’ll have access to its balance transfer and low interest services.
The annual fee for the Scotiabank Value Visa is only $29. Purchase interest rates, cash advances and balance transfers are 12.99 percent. But for the first six months of having the card, you might be eligible for an introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 0.99%. If you wanted to add a supplementary card to your account, you can do that for no additional cost.
Depending on your score, this might be all you need to start building your credit and improving your history. Even if you’re unable to make a complete payment at the end of the month, the low interest rates make it a feasible option that’s possible to recover from. Scotiabank’s website has more information about the additional saving perks that come along with this credit card.
Getting A Credit Card Doesn’t Have To Be Impossible
If you’re looking for ways to manage your credit and learn more about finances, talk to your bank and see what options they offer. There are lots of free resources online that can teach you better money habits and easy ways to build your credit.
Credit scores can easily drop because of the money burdens Canadians are faced with everyday. While it can be hard to start rebuilding credit and finding a bank that will accept your credit applications, you do have options. Certain businesses work to help people navigate their money that can ultimately lead to a better financial future.
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