The First Savings Credit Card is an unsecured card that can help you rebuild bad credit. While it doesn’t require a security deposit, like a secured credit card does, the First Savings Credit Card still comes with plenty of costs—especially if you carry a balance. Additionally, you can only apply for the card if you receive a pre-qualified offer in the mail; if you haven’t, you won’t be able to apply. Read our full review of the First Savings Credit Card to see if it makes sense for you—even if you think it does, be sure to try our the CardCruncher tool before you apply to be sure you’re getting the most rewards you can.
First Savings Credit Card Review
Here’s a brief overview of the First Savings Credit Card:
Annual Fee: 17.15%, 24.15% or 29.90%
APR: 17.15%, 24.15% or 29.90%
Sign-Up Bonus: $0
- Open to people with a limited or poor credit history
- Payments reported to the credit bureaus each month
- No security deposit required
- Online account access
- 2% to 5% cash advance fee
- $20 authorized user fee
- 2% foreign transaction fee
- Up to $25 late payment fee
- Up to $25 returned payment fee
Why Apply for the First Savings Credit Card
Here are a few reasons to consider the First Savings Credit Card:
You’re trying to improve poor credit
Getting approved for a credit card isn’t easy when you have bad credit. The First Savings Credit Card can help. The card issuer, First Savings Bank, reports your payment history to the three credit bureaus each month, and if you pay your bill by the due date, you’ll improve your credit score over time. The First Savings Credit Card can be a great tool for building your credit profile.
You don’t want to pay a security deposit
Many credit cards for people with bad credit require a refundable security deposit equal to your credit limit. That’s to provide insurance for the card issuer in case you fail to pay back what you borrow. The First Savings Credit Card doesn’t require any deposit. That means you can keep those hundreds of dollars in your bank account, rather than as a deposit. You’ll still have to pay an annual fee, but there’s peace of mind in keeping your cash.
First Savings Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides
While the First Savings Credit Card can help you improve your credit score, there are a few reasons it may not suit you:
It’s only available if you receive a mail offer
Oddly enough, you can apply for the First Savings Credit Card if you receive a pre-qualified credit card offer in the mail. There’s no way to apply online; no way to request a pre-qualified offer on the First Savings Bank website; nor any information on how to contact the company if you want to apply. If you don’t get a pre-qualified offer in the mail, consider applying for a secured credit card instead.
Initial credit limits are low
Most applicants receive an initial credit limit of around $300. When you subtract the annual fee, your actual credit limit will be lower. That’s standard among credit cards for poor credit, but it still limits your spending power. If you’re willing to put down a refundable security deposit, you might get a higher credit limit with a secured credit card than you would with the First Savings Credit Card.
Carrying a balance will get expensive
Depending on your credit, the First Savings Credit Card will have an APR of 17.15%, 24.15% or 29.90%. If you already have poor credit, the high end here could be a problem. This is typical among credit cards for people with poor credit, especially for cards without a security deposit. But carrying a balance will cost a lot in a hurry with a high APR. Your debt could spiral out of control quickly, and the card would end up hurting your credit instead of helping it. Only charge as much to the First Savings Credit Card as you know you can pay back in a month.
First Savings Credit Card Alternatives
Consider one of these secured credit cards if the First Savings Credit Card doesn’t appeal to you:
Discover it® Secured
The Discover it® Secured is one of the most popular secured credit cards because it lets you earn rewards while you rebuild your credit. You can earn 2% cash back back on the first $1,000 you spend on dining and gas per quarter, plus 1% back on all other purchases. There’s no limit to the rewards you can earn, apart from your credit limit. The card requires a refundable security deposit of at least $200 for a $200 line of credit. Over time, you could see that limit rise as high as $2,500.
In addition, the Discover it® Secured is one of the few secured credit cards with an annual fee of $0. It also allows balance transfers, with an APR of 25.24% variable APR. While the standard APR is high, it still compares favorably to the First Savings Credit Card. That makes it a better option if you think you might carry a balance.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is an excellent choice if you want to improve your credit, but don’t have a lot of cash for a security deposit. Depending on your credit, the card issuer may require a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 in order to obtain an initial $200 line of credit. This may not seem like much, but if you pay on time for the first five months, you’ll be eligible for a credit limit increase.
The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® also has an annual fee of $0, and an APR of 26.99%. While its APR is on the high side, the card can still come out ahead of the First Savings Credit Card. Compare the APRs of both cards, and factor in if you’ll carry a balance. That can make a huge difference in how much each card costs you in the long run.
First Savings Credit Card FAQs
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the First Savings Credit Card:
How do you request a First Savings Credit Card limit increase?
The card issuer will automatically evaluate you for a credit limit increase after six months, then annually after that. If you don’t want to wait this long, you can reach out to the company directly and request a credit limit increase. While that doesn’t cost anything, you should only request a credit limit increase if you think you have a good chance of approval. Otherwise, the hard credit check could hurt your credit score instead of helping it.
Can you get a First Savings Credit Card cash advance?
Yes, you can, but cash advances are almost never a good idea. You could pay as much as 5% of the balance, and that balance will accrue interest at a faster rate than your purchases. Plus, this will reduce your available credit, making it more difficult to use the card for credit building.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the First Savings Credit Card?
The First Savings Credit Card is worth considering if you’ve received a pre-qualified offer in the mail and you can get a low APR. But for most people, one of the best secured credit cards on the market will be a more affordable way to rebuild bad credit—with the upside of potentially earning rewards.