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Last updated on March 12th, 2021
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At a Glance
The Sterling National Bank Visa® Secured Card offers cardholders a $5,000 credit limit. Applicants must submit a security deposit that will equal the amount of the credit limit. This card features one flat interest rate for all cardholders. Additionally, cardholders must pay a $35 annual fee to use this card.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Have poor credit or no credit
- Need to build or repair their credit
- Prefer to know what their APR will be before they apply
- Do not need a high credit limit
Sterling National Bank Visa® Secured Card Review
The Visa® Secured Card from Sterling National Bank is intended for people who have no credit history or a poor credit rating. These types of cards can help you build a credit history or repair negative credit.
Secured credit cards like this one have certain features to protect you from falling into further debt. As well, these features protect the bank in case you cannot pay off your credit card balance. Applicants benefit from a single annual percentage rate (APR) without the worry of guessing what their interest rate will be. The card also features a modest $35 annual fee.
As with most secured credit cards, the security deposit amount is equal to your credit limit. The SNB Secured Visa® has a high enough credit limit to give you enough credit to make important purchases. To learn more about how this secured credit card can help you, keep reading the sections below.
How the SNB Visa® Secured Card Can Help You
The Visa® Secured Card from SNB can help build or repair your credit if a bank won’t approve you for a regular credit card.
A secured card can help you get back on your feet. First of all, your credit rating doesn’t factor into getting approved. As such, it doesn’t matter what your experience with credit has been. You can still get approved for a credit card. Once you have your credit card account set up, SNB will report to the three major credit bureaus about your credit activity. These credit bureaus are the ones who determine your creditworthiness. If you use your card responsibly, make minimum monthly payments every billing cycle, and pay off your debt, you’ll see your credit rating gradually improve.
Related Article: What Are the Easiest Credit Cards for Bad Credit to Get?
A Single APR
With the Sterling National Bank Visa® Secured Credit Card, you only have one APR to worry about. If you’re not experienced with applying for credit cards, most other cards feature an interest rate range. The interest rate you receive depends on your creditworthiness. Since SNB doesn’t look at your creditworthiness when approving you for a secured card, there isn’t a range of APRs you can qualify for. Rather, every applicant receives the same APR. This removes one of the most anxiety-producing parts of applying for a credit card – wondering what interest rate you’ll get. Now, this is higher than the national average APR. However, this is common with most (if not all) secured credit cards. This is also the price to pay for a secured credit card.
Security Deposit = Credit Limit
So, the Sterling National Bank Visa® Secured doesn’t look at creditworthiness to determine eligibility. But there must be some other qualification, right? That’s where the security deposit comes into play. You must submit a security deposit for almost every secured credit card you apply for. And Sterling National Bank is no different from its secured card. The security deposit serves as collateral in case you cannot pay off your balance. When you open an account, SNB places your deposit in a secured savings account. This deposit remains untouched until one of two things happens:
- You close your account, in which case SNB returns the deposit to you
- You default, in which case SNB uses your deposit to cancel your debt
The minimum deposit you need to make to get a credit card is $300. Remember also that your security deposit is equal to your credit limit. If you deposit $300 to open an account, your credit limit is $300. You may be able to increase your credit limit over time by adding to your security deposit. However, this is determined on a case by case basis. After a period of time has passed (at least a year), contact Sterling to see about raising your credit limit if you need more credit. The call won’t harm your credit score, and you can gain some valuable information as to where you are on your road to financial recovery.
Should You Apply for the Sterling National Bank Visa® Secured Card?
The SNB Secured Visa® Card can help you build or repair your credit. However, keep in mind that this will take some time. While some people keep their secured credit cards for a very long time, this may end up hurting you in the long run.
There are plenty of better secured cards that have a lower annual fee, a lower interest rate, or rewards points. The discover It, for instance, offers the rewards program that comes with all Discover It credit cards.
Ultimately, the SNB Secured Visa® is let down by its fees and APR. The card is more akin to the Citi Secured Mastercard or the Capital One Secured Mastercard in its high rates. Those cards, however, have no annual fee.