First Progress Credit Card Review

first-progress-platinum-selectFirst Progress offers a starter or second-chance credit card that is tailored towards individuals with no or low credit. As such, it doesn’t have many of the features or benefits of a typical, or unsecured, credit card. At the same time, this might be the right card for you if you’re just looking for something basic and easy to obtain.

Credit Limit
Secured cards are like debit cards in some ways. They require you to fund the card directly before purchases are made, but most secured cards do have a strict maximum limit. The First Progress card has a minimum of $300 and an overall maximum of $2,000. Your actual maximum will be determined during the approval process. It can be as low as $500, or it might reach the full $2,000.

Before getting this card, you must send the minimum deposit along with your application. Though very unlikely, if you’re declined for some reason, then the deposit will be send back to you in the form of a check. You can also request your money back at any time if you wish to close the card.

According to many reviews, First Progress used to offer online payments that allowed you to send the money electronically, but it seems like they recently changed to physical mail only.

APR and Fees
There are no one-time or monthly fees, but you will have to pay $39 a year to keep the card active. The APR is 14.99 percent, which is fairly standard for secured cards. All purchases, except for balance transfers and cash advances, have a grace period of 25 days. This means that you have 25 days to pay off the balance before it starts accruing interest.

Credit Reporting
If you are trying to establish or reestablish your credit score, then you need a secured card that reports to the three major credit bureaus. Cards that fail to do this won’t affect your credit score at all, so there’s no way of it increasing regardless of how good you are about paying the balance.

The First Progress card does monthly reporting. If you take care of the card and pay off your balance, then this should improve your credit score. This gives you the opportunity to show that you are responsible with credit and finances, which can lead to better credit cards in the future.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that almost anyone can get this card. It doesn’t matter how bad your credit is. If you can prove your identity, either electronically or over the phone, then you will most likely be approved for the card.

All deposits are held at an FDIC-insured bank, which ensures that your money is safe. You also have electronic access to your account, which allows you to keep an eye on your balance.

The two major problems with this card are customer service and reliance on physical mail. Many people feel that the customer service department is rude and callous, and that most calls go through several transfers before you are directed to the right person.

If you want to increase your credit line or pay bills, then you need to physically send the money to First Progress. There used to be an electronic payment method, but that was recently removed. This increases the likelihood that you will incur interest fees unless you mail the payment as soon as possible.

If you are having a hard time being approved for credit cards, then First Progress gives you the opportunity to get a card and improve your credit score. While the reliance on physical mail is problematic, this can be a good card for those who just want to reestablish their credit because nearly everyone is approved. Just be sure to send payments as soon as possible to keep the interest charges at a minimum.

 For over a decade, Natalie Cooper has been writing informative content on a variety of topics. She is a contributing writer to this and other blogs and also writes email newsletter articles, press releases and web content. Prior to her writing career, Natalie worked in various fields including real estate, equipment leasing and banking. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. Natalie lives in the Memphis area with her husband and three children.