LAST UPDATED: June 5th, 2020
Issued by FDIC member Synovus Bank in Columbus, Georgia, First Progress credit cards cater to consumers wanting to build or rebuild their credit. Each card holder’s revolving credit line is based on a refundable security deposit rather than a credit score.
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- Easy Application and Approval
- Credit Building Efforts
Easy Application and Approval
First Progress serves a broad applicant pool. It is ideal for people who either have a poor credit history and credit score they want to improve or who are just starting out and want to establish a credit history.
As such, there is no minimum credit score or credit history requirement. Those interested can apply over the phone or online and can expect to hear a response within three weeks.
Credit Building Efforts
First Progress aims to improve card holders’ credit by reporting monthly to all three national credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. By adding new information to each card member’s credit file, First Progress has the potential to improve or establish positive credit history.
However, this can also work in reverse, negatively affecting your credit if your have poor payment performance. The company reports all usage and payment activity, so using a secured credit card only works in your favor if you consistently pay off your account balance on time.
- Annual Fee
- Deposit Required
- Unavailable in Some States
Though you don’t need a credit history to qualify for a First Progress card, you do need to pay an annual fee of $29-$49 regardless of which card you use:
Platinum Prestige MasterCard: $49
Platinum Select MasterCard: $39
Platinum Elite MasterCard: $29
To be granted a card, you need to maintain a security deposit of at least $200 in a non-interest bearing Deposit Account at Synovus Bank, which issues the cards. You also need a bank account from which to make monthly payments on your new card.
Unavailable in Some States
Secured MasterCards with First Progress are available in all states except Arkansas, Iowa, New York, and Wisconsin.
The Bottom Line
A First Progress secured credit card is a good alternative to a prepaid or debit card because the company will report to the credit bureaus — you can build or rebuild your credit while getting access to the funds you need each month.
The downside is the lack of cash back and other rewards offered by credit history-based credit cards, but you can look forward to that once you’ve established your credit with a secured card.
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