First Progress Mastercard Secured Cards: Helping You Build Credit for a Small Fee

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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Whether you’re new to credit or trying to rebuild your credit after making some mistakes, you might find it impossible to get a credit card with amazing rewards and benefits.

First Progress Mastercard secured credit cards can help you get there, though. They have no minimum credit requirements and reasonable interest rates. The only question is, which one should you choose? Find out how you can make your selection below.

First Progress Mastercard credit cards review

For the most part, the three credit cards have the same features. The only differences are their interest rates and annual fees.

Let’s talk about some advantages and disadvantages the three secured credit cards share. Then, we’ll get into the details of each one.

Pros Cons
No minimum credit score required Annual fee
Account activity reported to all three major credit bureaus Security deposit required
Reasonable interest rates No rewards

First Progress Mastercard credit card options

Depending on how you plan to use the card, you can choose between the following options (as of November 2017):

What’s more, if you qualify for one of the three secured credit cards, you automatically qualify for the other two as well.

Each card requires that you put up a security deposit equal to the credit line you want. You can deposit as little as $200 or as much as $2,000 when you open the account.

If you want to increase your credit limit after that, you can do so with the card issuer’s approval and another deposit. The maximum credit limit you can acquire over time is $5,000.

First Progress Platinum Elite

First Progress Mastercard interest rates and fees

In addition to the fees already covered, the First Progress Mastercard secured cards charge the following fees as of November 2017:

  • Cash advance fee: $10 or 3 percent of the amount of the cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3 percent of the transaction amount
  • Late payment fee: Up to $38
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $27

You’ll also pay a higher interest rate on cash advances. Here are the cash advance APRs for each card as of November 2017:

  • First Progress Platinum Elite: 24.99% APR
  • First Progress Platinum Select: 19.99% APR
  • First Progress Platinum Prestige: 18.99% APR

Keep in mind that interest begins accruing on cash advances on the day of the transaction. There’s no grace period like there is with regular purchases.

First Progress Mastercard eligibility requirements

First Progress Mastercard secured cards don’t have a minimum credit requirement. And there’s no stated minimum income requirement on the website.

That said, all credit card issuers are required by law to ensure that you can make the required payments before opening an account, so you do need to have some form of satisfactory income to get approved.

First Progress Mastercard credit cards are available in all states except Arkansas, Iowa, New York, and Wisconsin. In most states, you can apply at age 18, but you must be 19 if you live in Alabama or Nebraska.

In all states, you need a Social Security number to apply, unless otherwise specified.

First Progress Platinum Select

How to apply for a First Progress Mastercard

When you’re ready to apply, you’ll need to share the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Monthly income and obligations
  • Security deposit amount
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth

The application takes just a few minutes. Once you fill it out and agree to the First Progress Mastercard terms and conditions, you’ll enter your bank information to set up the deposit. Then, you’ll hit “submit” and get a response within a few moments.

Once you’ve been approved and open an account, you can manage your card online. First Progress doesn’t have a mobile app, however, so you can’t manage things on the go.

First Progress Mastercard customer service

As you might expect with a credit card with no bells or whistles, First Progress reviews are mixed. For example, the First Progress Mastercard Platinum Elite card has 3.6 out of five stars on WalletHub as of November 2017.

Customers who are satisfied with First Progress appreciate its willingness to approve them when other credit card issuers won’t (reviews edited for grammar and spelling):

“So far so good! Can’t complain. They gave me a chance when others did not.”

“This is a pretty good entry-level credit card because the fees are low and the acceptance rate is high. I love that this card can be used anywhere! It makes it even easier to build up your poor credit back to a point where you can start applying for cards with larger limits. The bottom line is that if you have poor credit, this is a great card to start out with.”

In contrast, some reviewers complained of high interest rates and bad experiences with customer service:

“I will probably get rid of this card soon because of the high APR.”

“I signed up, deposited my funds, and received the card. My only problem is I don’t have the paperwork that came with the card to activate the card. Customer Service cannot help. First of all, they don’t have [a] record of my account, and secondly, it’s Turkey, so I can’t speak with a live agent.”

If you have any questions about First Progress Mastercard secured cards, you might run into some issues. Despite stating “our goal is to help” on its contact page, the only contact method it lists is a P.O. box.

It’s possible, however, that you’ll gain access to a phone number after you’re approved.

Which First Platinum Mastercard should you choose?

If you’re not sure which First Progress Mastercard secured card is right for you, consider how you plan to use the card.

For example, if you’ll pay off your balance in full each month, it doesn’t matter what your interest rate is. Go with the First Progress Platinum Elite because is has the lowest annual fee.

If, however, you think you’ll likely carry a balance, you’ll want the First Progress Platinum Prestige because it has the lowest interest rate.

First Progress Platinum Prestige

Shop other credit cards

First Progress Mastercard isn’t the only credit card issuer that offers credit cards to people with bad credit. Here are a few other options to consider:

  • Discover it Secured: It offers rewards, no annual fee, and a refundable security deposit.
  • OpenSky Secured: It doesn’t do a credit check and has a $35 annual fee.
  • Capital One Secured: You can qualify to get a credit line higher than your initial deposit. Plus, there’s no annual fee.

As you’re comparing different credit cards for bad credit, consider what features are most important to you.

But also keep in mind that these cards aren’t meant to be used indefinitely. They’re stepping stones to help you improve your credit so you can qualify for better cards later on.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Get real rates from up to 4 Lenders at once

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.