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UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card Review
If you have poor credit, the UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card can help you get back on track. The UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card is not a prepaid debit card. Instead, the card’s line of credit — anywhere from $250 to $10,000 — is tied to the amount you have on deposit with OneUnited Bank. The card has a high APR, meaning it is far less likely that the interest rate will increase over time. Unlike a prepaid debit card, it reports to three main credit bureaus, so using the card responsibly will improve your credit score over time.
What we like about the UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card
- The APR is lower than interest rates on many other credit cards for bad credit
- The card’s program for rebuilding credit provides solid financial advice
- UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card reports to three major credit bureaus
- The card carries the Visa insignia and is accepted at millions of stores worldwide
Things to consider
- You must be able to put down a security deposit of at least $250 to open the card account
- You’ll pay a 3% fee to make foreign purchases and for cash advances either a $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- There’s a $10 fee to increase your credit limit
- You cannot pay the card balance online unless you are using your bank’s bill pay service
UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card details
The UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card allows you to open an account with a deposit of as little as $250, but you can put down as much as $10,000, which gives you a lot of purchase flexibility and a lower credit utilization ratio. You’ll then have a line of credit for the amount deposited. If you want to increase your limit down the road, you’ll need to pay $10.
Although some people think there is a stigma attached to having a secured card, that’s not the case. You can use the UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card the same way you would use any other credit card, and unlike prepaid cards, which don’t report to credit bureaus, you are actively rebuilding credit in the process.
Secured cards have fewer fees than unsecured cards, which can help you to maintain both a lower balance and a lower credit utilization ratio. While the annual fee is higher than you would pay for some secured cards, it is balanced by the fact that you can deposit up to $10,000.
The card’s other basic purchase fees are reasonable — up to $10 per late payment and up to $37 for a returned payment. There are no fees to set up or use the card, and no fee when you charge over the credit limit.
You will pay a 3% fee on foreign transactions, though, and the charge for balance transfers and cash advances is also 3% or $10 of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Restricting this card to everyday purchases is the best way to avoid costly fees.
How does it compare to other credit cards for rebuilding credit?
Compared to the Discover it® Secured and Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card offers a lower fixed rate APR. That means you’ll pay less interest if you carry a card balance. UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card also offers the most flexibility when it comes to the amount of credit you can have. If you deposit enough cash upfront, you may lower your credit utilization score with the UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card. However, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One charges an annual fee. In fact, Secured Mastercard® from Capital One approves some cardholders for a deposit lower than their initial line of credit. Discover it® Secured has a different perk — you get 2% cash back on the first $1,000 you spend at gas stations and restaurants each quarter and 1% back on all other purchases.
|Card||Annual Fee||Intro Bonus||Credit Needed||Key features|
|UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card||See Terms||None||No Credit History|
|Discover it® Secured||See Terms||Cash back match on all purchases made at the end of the first year||No Credit History|
|Secured Mastercard® from Capital One||None||None||No Credit History|
Please Note: Information about the Discover it® Secured and Secured Mastercard® from Capital One has been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
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