Founded in 1999, Green Dot Corporation is an American financial technology and bank holding company headquartered in Pasadena, CA. It is the world's largest prepaid debit card company by market capitalization. Make a security deposit at retail stores for fast access to your credit limit.Highlights: Free 24/7 Online Account Access Available, Use Everywhere Visa Is Accepted
While these cards don’t have any flashy features, they provide a solid way for anyone to build or rebuild their credit, reporting account activity to all three credit reporting bureaus.
For those who would prefer it, MasterCard versions of both of these cards are available as well.
You can use the card anywhere that accepts Visa debit. The card can be used to make purchases online and to pay bills that accept debit cards (e.g., cell phone bill). You can also load the card with direct deposit. With direct deposit you get access to your paycheck faster and don’t have to pay check cashing fees (a reality for many unbanked). You can also use direct deposit for government benefits checks or tax refunds.
Con: These services are riddled with fees.
Pro: Direct deposit is free, and provides a way to dodge expensive cash-checking services.
Con: You can only have $2,500 in your account at a time unless you have filed for a direct deposit exception and been approved.
Pro: Many of these fees can be circumvented if you have internet access.
Con: The very reason you need a prepaid card may be lack of internet access.
Pro: Reasonable limit on fees if your card has a zero balance.
Con: The monthly deposit requirement to avoid a Monthly Charge may exceed your income.
Secured credit cards are a great way to prove that you can manage your finances responsibly. Even more so than with regular credit cards, it’s vital to always pay your bill on time and not to exceed your credit limit.
Since these cards report to all three credit bureaus, your activity will be reported each month. Positive activity will build up your credit score, while negative activity like late payments will bring it down.
Eventually, as you improve your credit report, you’ll be able to qualify for more interesting credit cards that offer rewards for purchases and other benefits.
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