If you have poor credit, getting approved for a credit card can be a frustrating process. Depending on your specific credit history, it might even be impossible, until you’re able to fix some of your past due accounts and begin repairing your credit. This can be inconvenient if you need a credit card to take care of a certain purchase or transaction—for example, if you want to order something online. A regular credit card can be difficult to qualify for as a consumer with bad credit, and even if you do get one, you might have to pay high interest. If you have poor spending habits, this might not be something you want to do anyway, as it can just put you further in debt. But there are other options for consumers with poor credit who need a credit card. One popular option is a prepaid card; it doesn’t matter what your credit history is like, as all consumers are eligible for prepaid cards. This means that as long as you can make a minimum cash deposit, you’re automatically approved.
What is a prepaid card?
Prepaid cards work similarly to debit cards in the sense that you can only spend money that you already have, rather than borrow money, with the difference being that they are not connected to your bank account. You’re in control of how much you spend by selecting the amount that you load onto the card; you can also reload the card as often as you’d like. At JG Wentworth, we offer prepaid Visa cards, so you would be able to use your prepaid card anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. And because most merchants will accept Visa cards, it will be difficult to find a place where you won’t be able to use your prepaid card.
How prepaid cards are similar to traditional credit cards
Your prepaid card will look like any other credit card and have a 16-digit number. You’ll receive monthly statements that include details of your transactions, and you’ll have the option to receive your statements electronically or through postal mail. Similarly to credit cards, you can also withdraw cash from an ATM with your prepaid card.
How prepaid cards are different from traditional credit cards
Unlike with traditional credit cards, you are not borrowing any money so there is no credit check involved. As such, prepaid cards don’t have any effect on your credit score. When you charge something on a traditional credit card, you’re charging on a credit line and will need to make payments until the balance is fully paid off. When you charge something on a prepaid card, there is nothing to pay back, because you are spending money that you already preloaded onto the card.
How to get a prepaid card
At J.G. Wentworth, we make it easy for customers to open up and manage their prepaid card accounts. First, you’ll fill out our online form, which includes basic information, such as your name and address. This information is used to simply verify your identity; we never run any credit checks. Once you receive your prepaid card, you can also activate it on our website and check your balance. When you’re ready to reload your prepaid card, you’ll have several options. If you’d prefer to load your prepaid card in person, you can do so by visiting one of our load locations. You can also conveniently load your card online, or you can set up your paychecks to automatically deposit into your prepaid card account.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.