While the St. Louis economy has rebounded considerably since the Great Recession, the local unemployment rate reached double digits for 12 months spanning from early 2009 through mid 2010. If you were one of the many residents who lost their jobs, your credit score likely took a major hit. Fortunately, by using one of the following credit cards, you can rebuild your credit safely.
1. First Community Credit Union’s Visa Classic Secured Card
Compared to other secured cards and even many traditional cards, the First Community Credit Union Visa Classic Secured card offers a low APR of 9.9%. If you’ve had difficulty paying your entire bill off every month in the past, this is an excellent card to consider for that reason alone.
Also, there’s no annual fee, which is almost unheard of with this type of card.
As a bonus, this card includes membership to Verified by Visa, which helps secure certain online purchases. Thus, you’ll reduce your risk of future credit problems caused by a compromised credit card.
2. Electro Savings Credit Union’s Share Secured Credit Card
The Electro Savings Credit Union Share Secured card comes with a reasonable 14.99% APR and a $25 annual fee. Cardholders enjoy a credit limit of up to $1,500, secured by a deposit in your savings account.
And unlike many secured credit cards, it offers travel accident insurance – $500,000 of it, which should give you peace-of-mind when you’re away from home. Another key perk is that, like the First Community Credit Union Secured Visa card, it comes with Verified by Visa online shopping protection.
3. Capital One’s Secured MasterCard
Like all cards on this list, the Capital One Secured MasterCard reports to the three major credit bureaus. This puts the ball in your court because all you have to do is spend responsibly and pay your bills on time to move your credit in the right direction.
Capital One also has the simplest terms around, which should provide comfort if you’ve had trouble with confusing or hidden terms with other cards in the past.
The annual fee is a fair $29 for this card and the purchase APR is 22.9%, which is on par with other secured credit cards.The refundable minimum security deposit will be $49, $99 or $200 based on your creditworthiness, and you can receive a credit line up to $3,000 based on how much you deposit.
Note that the Capital One Secured MasterCard also includes Capital One’s free Credit Tracker, a credit monitoring service that allows you to monitor your progress.
4. CreditOne Bank’s Platinum Visa
For a card that is designed to rebuild credit, the CreditOne Bank Platinum Visa is unique in that it offers 1 percent cash back on gas purchases. Unlike its peers, it also has no initial deposit requirement. And, like the Capital One Secured MasterCard, this card comes with free monthly credit tracking.
However, the annual fee can be as high as $99, depending on your credit. The purchase APR is variable and currently ranges from 17.9 to 23.9%, which is comparable to other secured cards. The minimum credit line is $300.
5. First Progress’ Platinum Prestige MasterCard
That most difficult step to qualify for the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard is filling out the application. Your credit line is based on your security deposit in a non-interest bearing deposit account at Synovus Bank rather than on a credit score.
Better yet, this card’s purchase APR is currently 11.99%, which is a steal for this type of card. The annual fee is affordable, at $44, and your initial credit limit will range from $300 to $2,000. This is an excellent card for rebuilding your credit with minimal financial risk.
The Bottom Line
The First Community Credit Union Visa Secured card and Electro Savings Credit Union Share Secured cards are the best credit cards for rebuilding credit in St. Louis. That said, if you’re looking for simple terms, the Capital One Secured MasterCard is a strong option to consider.
Photo credit: 401(K) 2012