A way out from bad credit history
It is quite some time now that Simon had been trying to get a credit card as his applications had been getting rejected by the banks. Since he had defaulted on his mortgage repayments in the recent past, due to the recessionary pressure, his credit score had taken a plunge. There are many people who find themselves in this kind of untoward situation. The stigma of bad credit rating seems to haunt them and hinder their progress. They look forward to building their credit history and this is what Merrick Bank’s secured credit cards help them to do.
Merrick Bank helps to build or re-establish your credit
If the card holder makes payments (ALL payments) on time, he/she can rebuild his/her credit history. This happens because Merrick Bank reports about the promptness with which the card holder makes the payments. The report goes to all three major credit reporting bureaus. This also helps in increasing the credit limit thereby raising the cardholder’s status and making him/her eligible for premium cards with the passage of time.
Merrick Bank’s Credit Card – Types and benefits
Types of credit card that the bank provides are Visa Card and Master Card.
Secured Visa Card – Secured cards are those which are issued against a security deposit maintained with the bank. There are a variety of options for depositing the security money – transfer from other bank accounts, Money Gram and Western Union.
Unsecured Cards – These are the most common type of credit cards that are issued without any security. These are available to customers with good credit rating. As the cardholder starts establishing his/her credit worthiness, he/she is upgraded to unsecured cards (no security deposit needed).Gold and Platinum are such cards that provide a lot of privileges and benefits.
Merrick Bank credit cardholders enjoy the following benefits:
- As the card application is approved, the cardholder gets a credit limit ranging from $200 to $3000. The limit on the card is determined by the security deposit held by the bank. Although the deposit does not earn any interest it is FDIC insured.
- This card has international recognition and is accepted all over the world for shopping and cash withdrawals at ATMs.
- Online access provides ease of account operation from anywhere and a toll free number is available for 24/7 customer support.
- A secure card has a nominal annual Fee of $36 for the first year and $3 as monthly fee in the successive years.
- Additional cards can be had of for a charge of only $12 per year and $1 as monthly fee in the successive years.
- Grace period and APR (Annual Percentage Rate) – if payment is made within 25 days (which is quite a long time!) then there is no interest, else 17.45% interest is levied. This APR is also competitive for this card category.
- Free Fraud Liability – Customers enjoy the benefit of safeguard against unauthorized card usage.
- Double credit limit – If the customers make the payments – at least the minimum monthly amount by the due date, for the first 7 months, the credit limit is automatically increased. No need to increase security deposit!
Other benefits for the cardholder
Credit Manager – This is a unique benefit of monitoring the credit report which enables checking for inaccurate information, knowing the credit score, safeguarding against identity theft and finding out which parties had checked the credit rating of the cardholder. These all are available at a nominal fee of $5.95 per month and that too without any negative impact on the credit score.
P.A.Y.S – This feature provides a kind of insurance for any adverse eventuality when the cardholder cannot make the monthly payments. If the cardholder is enrolled in this program then payment is made when he/she cannot do so. This strategic decision helps to tide over unfavourable circumstances.
How to apply
Secured cards can be applied online after the security deposit is paid. For applying for unsecured cards, the customer needs the ‘Acceptance Certificate Number ’that is mailed to the customer. The customer can then apply online by entering this number and his/her last name.
A Note on Responsible Card Usage
Now that you are on the road to building or re-establishing your credit history, the following tips may be helpful in sustaining that success.
- Please read the agreement document along with the fine prints.
- Kindly endeavour to pay the whole amount within the due date.
- Using several cards can provide financial cover during emergencies, but they can be a temptation to spend more. So one need to judiciously select useable number of cards.
- Any discrepancy in the monthly bill should be reported to the card company. Same action applies for lost or stolen cards.
- If experience falls short to decide the way out, seeking the help of a credit counsellor might help. A reliable service can be obtained for a little cost if not for free.