Orchard Bank Credit Card

Once upon a time, the Orchard Bank credit card was our favorite choice for bad credit. With a low APR and very reasonable fee chart, it was, without a doubt, a top secured credit card. Unfortunately, the Orchard card is being discontinued. It’s a sad day at NerdWallet as we bid farewell to one of our oldest, most trustworthy friends. While you can never truly fill the gap left by a close pal, we realize the need to move on and find a new BFF. For folks trying to rebuild bad credit, allow us to introduce the Capital One Secured credit card. We think you’ll like him. The Capital One Secured is an excellent credit building tool. It MIGHT even be a little better than the Orchard Bank card, but don’t tell Orchard we said so. The cost is low and the terms are great. Even with an abysmally low credit score or a recent bankruptcy on your record, you can still qualify. Let’s take a look at the details and see how the CapOne stacks up against its predecessor.

Why we dig the Capital One Secured

Let’s start with the most important aspect: cost. This guy is cheap. Seriously. The Orchard Bank card was good at $35, but the Capital One is even lower at $29. As far as secured credit cards go, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better. Secured credit cards require you to put down a security deposit before you can spend. The deposit sets your credit limit and ensures the bank won’t lose money from missed payments. Generally, if you put down $200, you’ll start with a $200 credit limit. If you put down $300, you’ll start with a $300 credit limit (and so on). One of the cool features about the Capital One Secured is you don’t always have to put down a full deposit. Depending on your credit, they’ll ask you for $49, $99 or $200. Regardless of your minimum, you’ll start with a full $200 limit. If you so choose, you can then deposit more money to increase your limit (up to $3,000). Eventually, you’ll qualify for a better card and be able to close your account. When you do, all money you’ve deposited will be refunded. APR is where Orchard clearly had the competition beat. It was only 7.99%, which is sort of unbelievable. With the Capital One Secured, you’ll pay 22.99%. It’s considerably higher but still very fair for a secured credit card. Not everyone is so forgiving. Capital One automatically enrolls you in CreditInform–a great online tool for keeping track credit information. When repairing credit, caution is key. Capital One provides the access you need to keep your finances in check. They’re also kind enough to report your account activity to the 3 major credit bureaus, which is absolutely essential if you want your credit score to move.