First Access Credit Card Review (2020)

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The First Access Visa® Card is a unsecured credit card for people with bad credit. However, this card comes with a ton of fees which is why we recommend some better alternatives.

First Access Visa® Card

2.0

Annual Fee
$170 1st yr, $124 after

APR 
34.99%

Credit Needed 
Bad / Poor Credit

EFFECTIVENESS

Adds account to your credit report

PRICE

Tons of fees attached to card

EASE OF USE

Apply in less than   5 minutes

SUPPORT

Fair Support

    Credit Knocks Overall Star Rating:     

  • Easy to qualify
  • Credit building tool
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Super High APR
  • $89.00 Program Fee
  • $48.00 Annual Fee
  • $6.25 Monthly Fee
  • Low Initial Credit Limit

SUMMARY: 

The First Access Visa Card is an unsecured credit card for people who have bad credit.  

This card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted and helps with building your credit; however, you are going to pay out of the (you know what) in fees if you choose this card.  

I created this review so that you can understand how their card works, its benefits and short comings.


What's The First Access Visa®?

The First Access Visa is a unsecured card that allows people with poor credit to obtain a credit card without a deposit.

The card is mainly for helping people with bad credit obtain new credit and re-build their credit profile.

The card is offered by The Bank Of Missouri and has some of the highest fees of any unsecured card.

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In a recent study at Credit Knocks, we found that *48% of clients who used a credit repair company got a credit score increase of 100+ points.

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Who Is The Bank Of Missouri?

Celtic Bank was founded in 2001 and is a leading nationwide small business lender.  

They are headquartered in Utah and are a privately owned industrial bank.   They are also an SBA Preferred lender and was named the largest SBA Lender in the nation.

What Makes Them Different?

In all honesty, what makes the First Access Visa Card different isn't a good thing.

first access card

This card has some of the highest fees when it comes to a credit card for rebuilding credit. 

First Access Credit Card Basics

Below are some of the basic features of the First Access Visa® Card:

  • Card type: Unsecured
  • Interest rate: 34.99% APR
  • Cash Advance Interest rate: 34.99% APR
  • Annual fee: $48.00 
  • Monthly fee: $6.25
  • Rewards: None
  • *Security deposit: N/A
  • Initial Credit Limit: $300.00
  • Foreign transaction fee: N/A
  • Credit reporting: Reports payment information to all three credit bureaus.
  • Cash advance fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39.00
  • Balance Transfer fee: N/A

*There is no deposit required since this is an unsecured credit card for bad credit.

First Access Visa® Features

The First Access Credit Card is packed with several features that make it one of the best secured credit cards for rebuilding credit.

The main features of this card include: 

  • Simple Online Application Process 
  • Easy To Qualify (Perfect Credit Not Required)
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Manage your account 24/7 with online access
  • Get your card more quickly with Expedited Processing (additional fee applies)

The First Access Visa® helps you to establish a solid payment history but comes with high fees.

First Access Comes With High Fees 

So, just in case you didn't get our warning, here it is again.

Not only will you pay out the wazoo in fees for this card, you will also get a very small starting limit.

This means you will probably start off with high credit utilization on the card. 

Just hear me out: 

Your initial credit limit will be $300.00, once you pay the Program access fee of $89.00 your account gets funded.

So, we are already in the negative $89.00 just for being approved. 

You then get hit with a $75 First Year Annual Fee and then $6.25 per month fee.

This means you will start off already using 25% of your balance which could harm your credit score if you allowed it to report to the credit reporting agencies. 

You probably should never use this card because every year you are going to spend about $124.00 in fees alone.

To top this all off, if you do spend on this card you will be hit with a whopping 34.99% APR (...WOW).

If this doesn't scare you away to a better alternative, I don't know what else can.

First Access Visa® Card Pros & Cons

PROS

CONS

Credit building tool

May Improve Credit Score

Reports to 3 credit bureaus

$89 Program Fee

$6.25 Monthly Fee

$48 Annual Fee

34.99% (variable) APR

Better Alternatives To The First Access Card

A secured credit card through First Access can help you with re-building your credit.

However, there are a few other options available for building or repairing your credit that come with much less fees.

I would get all of them and bypass the First Access Card.

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Low Credit Score?

Get a free consultation with a credit repair expert to see how much they can help your credit score.

It's quick, easy, and free.

Secured Card With No Annual Fee

If you are looking for another secured card option that doesn't have an annual fee then you are in luck.

Capital One has one of the best secured credit card options online because it doesn't have an annual fee. 

You also get access to an instant credit limit increase after only making 5 on-time payments.

It's super easy to qualify for and it allows you to establish an account with Capital One.

You can check out our review here or click the button below to learn more.

Credit Builder Loan Through Self Inc.

While these loans have a small monthly fee attached to them,  they also pull your credit report for approval.

Just like with a First Access Visa®, Credit Builder Loans report to all 3 credit reporting agencies.

The major difference is that it is an installment loan and not a revolving loan, but once the loan is paid off, the funds will be sent back to you.

We wrote a detailed guide here and a review of Self Lender here.

Catalog / Merchandise Account Through Fingerhut

Another great alternative are Catalog/ Merchandise Accounts.

While these types of accounts require a credit pull, it is very easy to get an approval and to start building your credit profile.

These accounts will report to all 3 credit reporting agencies; however, you can only use the credit at the Catalog or Merchandise company that gives you the credit.

One of the best catalog accounts comes from Fingerhut, we wrote a detailed review here

Steps To Take After You're Approved

The real work starts once you have been approved for your First Access Visa® Credit Card.

Monitor Your Credit

One of the most overlooked area of building credit, is monitoring your credit. 

This is truly your first line of defense when trying to build or rebuild your credit.

Helpful Tip

If your application goes to "Pending" status it doesn't mean Declined. Usually, more information may be needed.

You should try to find a service that allows you to monitor all 3 of your reports.

Make On Time Payments

Making on time payments sounds like a super simple thing to do; however, we all live in the real world where things almost never go as planned.

Be sure, no matter what, to make your payments on time because it is super important and is one of the largest factors in your credit score.

No matter what, avoid late payments.

Keep Credit Utilization Low

Another factor to consider is credit utilization, you really want to keep this under 3% of total credit if you can but try to never get it over 15%.

For example, if your First Access credit card has a $250 limit and you spend $60.

Spending $60 on a $250 card limit means you are utilizing is around 24% of your credit on that card and it is above the recommend credit utilization percentage, so be mindful of how much you spend.

Use The Candy Bar Method

You have probably seen talk about this method throughout our site because we find it to be the best strategy for establishing a good payment history.

Your goal with the Candy Bar Method is to take your card once per month and purchase a candy bar. 

This should cost no more than $1.00 or $1.50 and after 3 days you should be able to make your payment on the card.

This will show that the card is being actively used and that you are paying your bill.

How To Cancel Your First Access Visa Card?

Cancel By Phone:  You can call (888) 267-7980 to cancel your First Access Card at any time.

Is There A Fee For Closing My Account?

Outside of the fees associated with your remaining balance, there is no fee for closing your account. 

You will also receive your security deposit back that you used to open your account.

I would recommend keeping the card active as long as you can, there really isn't a reason to cancel the card any time soon.

Taking Action On Your Credit

Hopefully, you have taken our warning in this First Access Credit Card review.

While this card is going to be easy to qualify for, it will cost you dearly in the long run and could even hurt your credit if you can't keep up with all the fees. 

There's no better time than now to get your new account setup so that you can begin the process to either repair or rebuild your credit.

Start building your credit today with one of our alternative methods.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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