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First Access Visa® Card Review

People with credit scores below 600 find themselves not often able to receive credit cards. Still, in order to improve one’s credit, a credit card with on-time payments is exactly what you need.

The First Access Visa® Card is a credit card that helps those who have been declined credit get back on their feet, albeit with some hefty fees.

How do you know if the First Access Visa® Card by the Bank of Missouri is right for you? I take a look here.  

First Access Visa® Card key facts

  • Best for people with poor credit – If you have a credit score under 600, considered fair or poor, you can improve your credit with the First Access Visa® Card that reports to all three credit bureaus. 
  • Best for people who pay on time – Late fees are up to $41, as are returned payments. Be on time and you won’t pay.
  • Best for people who need a small line of credit – Credit limits are just $300, starting you out small as you work your way back to good credit.

First Access Visa® Card in-depth analysis

Read on to know what to expect with a First Access Visa® Card. 

First Access Visa® Card

  • Earn 1% Cash Back on Every Payment with First Access!
  • Need Access to Credit? Try First Access!
  • If approved, pay the $95 Program Fee to open your account
  • Most Credit Decisions in 60 Seconds or Less
  • Accepted by Merchants Across the US and Online
  • Choose between 2 free card designs and 4 Premium designs
  • Free VantageScore and Credit Education*
  • Reports Payment History to All Three Major Credit Bureaus Monthly
  • Eligible for a Credit Line Increase after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Easy-to-Use Mobile App
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$75 the first year; $48 after* N/A N/A 35.99%* Limited - Fair

Quick approval

The First Access Visa® Card prides itself on offering credit cards to those who have been denied credit in the past. In mere minutes you can expect to be approved for a $300 limit.  

Introductory offer

First Access Visa® Card rarely declines applicants and can do so by charging a one-time fee at application, of $95. Pay to get a credit card? Yes, when you need a credit card and cannot get approved, it may be worth it.

Annual fee

With poor credit, it can be hard to find a credit card that doesn’t charge you a fee to carry it. First Access Visa® Card is no different. It offers credit to people with scores under 600, but for a $75 annual fee. After the first year, your annual fee will drop to $48. 

Interest rates and fees

Poor credit also means horrible interest rates, and you’ll find that with First Access Visa® Card. You’ll pay 35.99% interest on your purchases. However, if you pay off charges within 21 days, you won’t be charged with interest. 

Cash advances

You can use your First Access Visa® Card to receive cash advances with the same APR as purchases. For every transaction, you will also pay the greater of either $10 or 3% of the amount of cash you have taken. So cash advances are definitely not recommended with this card.

Additional fees

There isn’t a credit card out there that won’t charge you for a missed or late payment. First Access Visa® Card will charge you up to $41 if you do, along with up to $41 if a payment is returned.

Since you are applying for this card in order to improve your credit, you wouldn’t want to do that anyway, as it would only hurt your credit more.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Build credit — Your credit will be reported to all three credit bureaus
  • $300 credit limit — You’ll have a $300 credit limit, despite your credit history.
  • Annual fee drops after the first year — The annual fee drops to $48 in the second year.

Cons

  • High one-time fee — You’ll pay a $95 one-time fee.
  • High first-year annual fee — You’ll pay $75 annual fee the first year.
  • High APR — You’ll pay 35.99% APR.

First Access Visa® Card compared to the competition 

Credit cards servicing people with poor credit do not vary greatly. Here is a look at First Access Visa® Card and its competitors, First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card and Milestone® MasterCard®.

  First Access Visa® First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Milestone® MasterCard®
APR 35.99% 24.49% Variable See terms.
Annual Fee $75 the first year; $48 after $25 the first year, then $35 after See terms.
Late Payment Fee Up to $41 Up to $41 Up to $41

You’ll find a lower annual fee with the First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card along with lower cash advance fees and the one-time program fee. Alternatively, the Milestone® Mastercard may have a higher annual fee, but the monthly program fee will vary depending on your current balance. 

Should you get the First Access Visa® Card?

When you have poor credit, it may seem you cannot catch a break. How do you improve your credit if you don’t have a credit card? Applying for a card like the First Access Visa® Card, which targets people with poor credit, you can get a low credit limit and prove yourself worthy of having better credit.

The card reports to all three major credit reporting agencies. While you will pay hefty fees to start, once you pay bills on time, your credit score will begin to improve and you can become eligible for lower-fee cards.

How to apply for the First Access Visa® Card

The First Access Visa® Card is easy to get approved for. Without perfect credit, you can fill out a simple questionnaire with your name, address, phone number, and select the style card you’d like. On your second page, enter your date of birth, social security, and if you rent or home a home.

You’ll add your employment status, monthly income, and monthly expenses, followed by a few “yes” or “no” questions on how you will use your card. Once you hit submit, you’ll receive your answer within 60 seconds.

Most people are approved, even if they have been declined recently. The First Access Visa® Card charges a one-time $95 fee at the time of accepting their credit card. You will also be charged a $75 annual fee, taken directly from your credit limit. New cardholders typically receive a $300 credit limit, so after the annual fee, your credit limit will be $225.

It seems like a low amount, and if you do not pay that fee off before the billing statement, you will be charged interest, which will take away from your credit limit. Before you know it, you can have less than $200 credit and have paid nearly the same in fees.

Alternatives to the First Access Visa® Card

Not sure this credit card is right for you? There are other options for people with poor credit. 

Secured credit cards

Rather than pay fees for a credit card, a secured credit card also you pay a refundable deposit to receive a card. First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard®, for example, doesn’t charge a fee, doesn’t require a minimum credit score, and only requires that you connect your credit card to your bank account to make your monthly payments.

Prepaid Credit Cards

Another option is a prepaid credit card, which is secured as you are putting your own money onto the card and then withdrawing with your own funds. When you are out of money, your card won’t work, so it stops you from using funds you don’t have — no over-the-limit or late payment fees. Walmart’s MoneyCard is one example of a prepaid card, and they even provide 3% cash back to users. 

Loans

If the reason you are considering a credit card is that you need fast cash, there are companies providing loans to people with poor credit.

CashUSA and Badcreditloans both provide loans with rates between 5.99 to 35.99% for loans from 90 days to 72 months.

Summary

The First Access Visa® Card is a credit card perfect for helping people with poor credit repair their scores. Because you have poor credit, expect to pay high interest rates and fees in exchange for the opportunity to show you can manage your credit and payments.

As you do well, your credit limit will increase and your FICO score will improve.

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