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Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Credit Card Review
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Written by: cidermill on 2009-08-08

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cidermill's review: Callout Comment Boy, how I wish I had known about this forum when I helped my son research credit cards to help him rebuild his very poor credit. Bottom line is that he got a $200 line of credit with Applied, with intentions of increasing the line rather substantially. Hasn't used the card yet; brand new. I got nervous as he has never been able to get a real life Customer Service Rep on the phone (numerous tries), so I told him to hold off using the card. Now I'm wondering if he would be better off canceling this card. He's going to have a tough time getting a card anywhere at this point, but a potentially bad card as this one seems to be, might cause even more harm for him. If anybody has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

Two of his scores are 536/534. Three accounts listed as paid off after charge-off. Four accounts in collection (he's slowly paying off these, too) with balances due of 379/405/292/86. Total debt of $1162. No positive credit history established yet as he has never had a credit card, car loan, etc


Comment 1 by charonh
? User Icon on 2009-08-08

Remarks What problems has he encountered besides not being able to get a live rep? That would be of great concern for me too.
Comment 2 by kdb030609
Secured Cards User Icon on 2009-08-08

Remarks Have you tried any banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank. They all have secured cards too. Which with a good payment history over time they can become unsecured. On the plus side you can talk to a real person in customer service. Also what is your definition of poor credit? Do you know FICO scores? Maybe its not as bad as you think. If you can post a little more info such as FICO scores or any lates, charge offs on credit report. Someone can put you in the right direction.
Comment 3 by cidermill
Thanks For The Replies... User Icon on 2009-08-08

Remarks Two of his scores are 536/534. Three accounts listed as paid off after charge-off. Four accounts in collection (he's slowly paying off these, too) with balances due of 379/405/292/86. Total debt of $1162. No positive credit history established yet as he has never had a credit card, car loan, etc. He's back in school. BOA denied a Student Card. Will retry a Secured Card with them. Again, thanks for any ideas or thoughts. Big question is still whether or not he should bail out quickly on the Applied Bank credit card. And btw, to answer the question of what other problems he has encountered with them - none. Just can't get a human being on the phone and it did take twice as long on approval as they originally said it would, but that wasn't really a problem.
Comment 4 by jerica
Applied Bank User Icon on 2009-08-09

Remarks Hi, does this card have a web address to email any concerns, like other credit card sites do, if not that is an issue also.
Comment 5 by colonative
Options User Icon on 2009-08-09

Remarks Hello and welcome to the board.

A few options to consider: while his debt might be a lot for a 19 year old, $1100 is not bad at all. Is there anyway you could pay off his debts for him? Make arrangements that he would owe you the money, but that would certainly fast track things.

Once his debts are paid off, I highly recommend joining a credit union (most universities have one or allow you to join one just by being a student of a university or college). Then he could deposit $500 into a share account (savings) and then apply for a share secured loan. It is basically the same concept as a secured credit card except that it will be an installment loan. Within a year and a small amount if interest paid, he could apply for a credit card through the credit union.

Another option is if you have good credit maybe you could add him as an authorized user to one of your cards, that will help build his credit to a point; however, the way scores are calculated are always changing and authorized users piggybacking on other peoples credit may come to an end soon.
Comment 6 by cidermill
Thanks! User Icon on 2009-08-09

Remarks Thank you so much for the thoughts, Colonative. Actually he's not 19 - add 10 years to that. And we are helping with the payoff, but are making him do all the legwork and he's choosing to work with the payoffs slowly, but steadily. The credit union idea is a good one, thanks. Any thought as to whether or not he should cut up that Applied Bank card now?
Comment 7 by colonative
Applied User Icon on 2009-08-10

Remarks Well he already took the hit with the new account and inquiry. It couldn't hurt to keep it for a year as a positive tradeline.

I don't think he should use it for more then a soda here and there from the 7-11. And he will want to pay it off right away (known as "sock drawer"). This is a bottom feeder bank but they have been around for years (they were previously known as Cross Country Bank) so I don't think he will have too many problems with them. But he will really want to get rid of it after a year.

Once his charge offs are paid he might want to try for a Capital One card. If Capital One denies him, then maybe go the credit union route.
Comment 8 by meya
Hummm User Icon on 2009-08-11

Remarks When I first saw your title, I was like "What the...!" Seems like you applied for the card... Lolz. I agree with you, but what about all the maintenece fees and annual fees, do you still think it is good to sock-drawer it then?
Comment 9 by colonative
Oh Heck No User Icon on 2009-08-11

Remarks I meant Applied Bank.

I did not know that it had other fees. Sometimes, as others have said, the fees are the price to pay to get credit again. I firmly believe there are better solutions, but some people like to take this route instead.
Comment 10 by cwarr09
Scared... User Icon on 2009-08-12

Remarks I'm young, working fulltime, with utilities in my name but no credit. I applied for, and was approved for the applied bank secured card today. This was BEFORE reading any reviews. I fear I may have made a mistake. I think I may be able to be approved for a BofA secured card, and will be applying tonight. If I am approved, does anyone suggest closing the applied card as soon as possible? I was only approved for this card today- nothing has been processed yet I'm sure, and there are still many steps until I can receive the card. I know closing a card out does negatively effect credit, but is it just a smart loss to take if I can be approved for the BofA card? Help!
Comment 11 by colonative
You've Got Nothing To Lose User Icon on 2009-08-12

Remarks If you can get approved for the BofA secured Visa then by all means, close this account.

I went to Applied Bank's site and after hunting for the terms and conditions, it appears that the only fee is a $50 annual fee. No 800 customer service number, you have to call a 484 (Pennsylvania) phone number. Some people have had good luck with this card and many more have not.

Good luck with the BofA.
Comment 12 by charonh
I Agree! User Icon on 2009-08-12

Remarks With ColoNative, if you're approved for the BOA card, dump this one ASAP.
Comment 13 by cwarr09
Thanks... User Icon on 2009-08-13

Remarks I cant seem to even find a working number to call them- that should be a first sign. I want to cancel this card before anything can be processed- wether or not I am approved through BofA. Thanks for the advice.
Comment 14 by cidermill
Thank You! User Icon on 2009-08-16

Remarks The thoughts and guidance are much appreciated. I figured that the damage was already done by making the application, paying the fee and having the inquiry on his file. Will follow sage advice and just use it on occasion for a very very minor purchase and will hopefully be able to dump it in a year if all goes according to plan. THANK YOU!!
Comment 15 by marie7
Recommendation User Icon on 2009-09-06

Remarks This card isn't good to have long term. There is NO grace period for purchases... Finance charges start right after purchase.

Check into Orchard Bank Secured, Public Savings Bank Secured, or U. S. Bank Secured. These are all acceptable options, especially if you can't get Wells Fargo or BoA secured.
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