If you don’t need a credit card, don’t get one. However, we get it. Credit cards are necessary in some cases (booking a hotel room, renting a car, or making an online purchase), so here’s our advice:
If you can use a Visa or Mastercard debit card, that’s a great option (and no credit check is required). Here are some options:
Visa Debit Cards: CIBC, TD Bank, Royal Bank (Virtual Visa Debit Card only), Scotiabank, Tangerine
Mastercard Debit Cards: Simplii Financial Debit Mastercard, Bank of Montreal, PC Financial PC Money Account
If you need a credit card, here are some options (many of which are possible even while you are in a consumer proposal or bankruptcy):
Reloadable Prepaid Credit Card: EQ Bank Mastercard, KOHO, Stack (People’s Trust) Prepaid Mastercard, Bank of Montreal, CIBC
Prepaid Credit Card: Canada Post Cash Passport™ Prepaid Mastercard®
Secured Credit Cards: Home Trust Visa, Capital One Mastercard, CIBC, TD Bank (difficult to get, only after discharge)
Unsecured Credit Cards:
Fidem Unsecured Mastercard
Fidem Finance offers an unsecured Mastercard. No security deposit is required. Initial credit limits from $500 to $1,000, and it reports monthly to the credit bureaus. To be eligible you must be:
- discharged from bankruptcy, or
- in an active consumer proposal (after the proposal has been accepted by the creditors, typically after 45 days)
- Monthly fee of $10 (or higher)
- The interest rate if you don’t pay your balance in full each month is 34.99% (as of May 2022) if you are a non-homeowner
You can apply at the Fidem Mastercard Website. To apply, you will be required to provide:
- personal information (name, date of birth, whether you filed a bankruptcy or consumer proposal, phone number, address, information on rent or mortgage, income and expense information)
- consent for Fidem to do a credit check
Fidem will manually review your application, and you will receive notification of approval within 2 business days. If you filed a consumer proposal, Fidem may require proof that your proposal was approved by your creditors, so you may need to contact Hoyes Michalos to provide a “Good Standing” letter.
Fidem does report to Equifax and TransUnion. You can apply at the Fidem Mastercard Website or by phone at 1-855-220-7531 and choose option 3.
Capital One Unsecured Mastercard
You may qualify for a Capital One Unsecured Mastercard immediately after filing a consumer proposal or bankruptcy. Limit your applications as too many applications and too many credit cards will lower your credit score. Set your limit low to avoid the temptation of racking up new credit card debt. If you didn’t owe money to Capital One when you filed your bankruptcy or consumer proposal, you may qualify for a Capital One unsecured Mastercard. Again, use this card wisely and pay all balances in full each month.