Is your credit score going downhill? We feel you. A poor credit score can have numerous disadvantages, from fewer loan options to higher interest rates, and in some cases, more difficulty getting a house.
Luckily, you can take action and start rebuilding your credit score right now with the First Savings credit card. The card is designed to help you improve your credit score by reporting your payments to the 3 national credit bureaus, thus, making it easier for you to apply for better loans and credit cards in the future.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the First Savings credit card, its advantages and disadvantages, and how to apply for it.
First Savings Credit Card Review: At a Glance
Annual Fee: 0-75$
Credit Limit: As low as $300
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 29.9% (max)
Security Deposit: N/A
Cash Advance Fee: Around 2%
Reward Program: N/A
Online Account Access: Available
Reports to Credit Bureaus: Yes
Customer Support: Email, phone
Fraud Protection: Yes
Pros and Cons of the First Savings Credit Card
- Credit bureau reporting
- Offers fraud protection
- No security deposit required
- Excellent customer support
- Cardholders may qualify for credit limit increases
- Limited credit limit
- High annual fees
- No loyalty program
First Savings Credit Card Requirements
Here’s a quick overview of the general requirements needed to apply for the First Savings credit card:
- To be 18 years old or older
- To be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- To have received an invitation to apply for the First Savings credit card
How to Apply for a First Savings Credit Card
The application process of the First Savings Credit Card is pretty hassle-free. After receiving your invitation, follow this step-by-step guide to apply for the card:
- Go to First Savings’ official website.
- Enter the access code and reservation code found in your invitation.
- Fill the application form that includes some personal and identity verification information, as well as your current employment status and your income.
After you’re done with the application, wait for a customer service representative to get in touch with you. Typically, it takes 1-14 days for customers to receive a decision on their application.
Once your application gets approved, First Savings will let you choose between some or all of the following offers depending on your credit score:
- Offer 1: 16.40% APR, $0 annual fees
- Offer 2: 29.9% APR, $39 annual fees
- Offer 3: 29.9% APR, $75 annual fees
- Offer 4: 29.9% APR, $75 annual fees
- Offer 5: 29.9% APR, $49 annual fees
- Offer 6: 29.9% APR, $75 annual fees
Features and Benefits
The First Savings credit card has several perks that customers can enjoy once they get the cards delivered to their mailboxes. They include:
Improving Your Credit Score
By using the First Savings credit card and making your payments on time, you’ll gradually improve your credit score. This can have a plethora of benefits, like getting the chance to apply for lower-interest credit cards or even lump-sum loans.
Keep Your Debt-to-Limit Ratio in Check
Your debt-to-limit ratio is how much you owe vs. how much you have. In other words, it’s your current total debt as a percentage of your combined credit limits.
When you use your First Savings credit card, you get the opportunity to utilize your debt-to-limit ratio, provided that you’re responsible enough not to overspend and get closer to your credit limit.
But why is the debt-to-limit ratio important? Well, just like your payment history, your debt-to-limit ratio can influence your credit score. By keeping it within 10-20%, you’ll notice a relevant improvement in your credit report.
Convenient Mobile App
First Savings offers a super-convenient mobile app that lets you manage your account from just about anywhere, as well as pay your statements, check your available balance, and even sign-up for notifications that require your attention. The app is available on Android, iPhones, and iPads.
Credit Limit Increases
It’s not clear if or when you should expect credit limit increases on your First Savings credit card. If you want to increase your chances of getting a higher credit limit, make sure that you do the following:
- Make all your payments on time
- Comply with the company’s debt-to-income requirements
- Make sure that your account is in good condition
- Work on improving your credit score
This one is nothing special since almost all credit card vendors offer fraud protection, but it’s here, so we thought that we should let you know. Fraud protection means that your card is protected against theft. Even if you lose it, you’re still protected.
If you need a cash advance, you can apply for it with your First Savings card. However, not everyone is going to be eligible. There are several factors that come into play, like your creditworthiness.
If you do get a cash advance, you’ll be required to pay 2% of its value, in addition to the set APR.
However, if your card has a 16.4% APR and zero annual fees, you’ll have to pay 4% or $10, whichever is higher. Also, the APR will be raised to 25.4%.
Just like any other credit card, especially those intended for credit repair, the First Savings credit card isn’t flawless. Here are some of the major drawbacks of this card:
One of the biggest downsides of the First Savings credit card is that there’s no reward program. Unlike many other credit cards, you won’t get any cashback on your purchases.
It’s not that big of a deal if you just want to enhance your credit score, but it would’ve been a welcome addition.
Unclear Credit Limit Increase Conditions
As a First Savings cardholder, there’s no guarantee on when you’ll get credit limit increases, if ever. However, many cardholders have reported that they got limit boosts 6-12 months after issuing their cards, but we would’ve preferred something more straightforward than that.
First Savings Credit Card Alternatives
Here are some of the best alternatives to the First Savings credit card:
Just like the First Savings Credit Card, the Mercury Mastercard is tailored for those who are rebuilding their credit.
One of its perks is the reward program that lets you get some cashback on your purchases, making it a more attractive option for those who’re going to use their card a lot.
Discover It Secured Credit Card
Unlike the First Savings credit card, the Discover It credit card is secured. You need a minimum security deposit of $200 to get this card. If you want a higher credit limit, you can pay a higher deposit, as long as it doesn’t exceed $500.
One of the biggest advantages of this card over the First Savings credit card is that it has no annual fees. Not to mention, it has one of the best loyalty programs out there. You get 1% on all of your purchases. Some special payments, like dining, will get you an even higher cashback value.
Citi Secured Mastercard
Another secured card alternative to the First Savings credit card is the Citi Mastercard. The required security deposit is $200.
The upside is that there are no maintenance or annual fees. Oh, and its APR is much lower than that of First Savings’, sitting at 23.49%.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
The Capital One Secured Mastercard has zero annual fees. Additionally, you get the chance to increase your credit limit after 6 months of receiving your card, provided that you make your payments regularly.
The downside is that you need to pay a security deposit that ranges from $49 all the way up to $200. It’s also worth noting that Capital One reports to all three national credit bureaus, which can either improve or worsen your credit score depending on how committed you are to making your payments on time.
Celtic Bank Surge Mastercard
One of the things that make the Surge Mastercard stand out from the crowd is that you can make a prequalification request without impacting your credit score.
We also like how fast and convenient the application process is. It shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes to submit your application.
What’s more, Celtic Bank gives you access to your Vantage 3.0 score free of charge.
Milestone Gold Mastercard
The Gold Mastercard from Milestone has slightly lower interest rates than those offered by First Savings.
However, it’s not clear whether Milestone accepts applications with a minimum credit score or not, but it’s safe to assume that their minimum is close to that of First Savings. You can make a prequalification request to test the waters.
Total Visa Unsecured Card
Similar to the First Savings credit card, the Total Visa card is unsecured, so no security deposit to deal with here. Getting accepted for this credit card is pretty easy. You’re almost always guaranteed to get approved no matter how bad your credit score is.
First Savings Credit Card Customer Reviews
The First Savings credit card generally has positive reviews. However, it’s not uncommon for a negative review to pop up every once in a while. Here are a few reviews from some First Savings cardholders:
“If there’s one thing to love about the First Savings credit card, it’d be the excellent customer support staff. They’re just super friendly and responsive. Whenever I face any issue, I can get it fixed within a few minutes.
Oh, and I also like that I get credit increases out of nowhere. Didn’t even know First Savings offers this feature, but I’m glad it’s here. Not sure about the rules, but it looks like it depends on how consistent I’m with my payments.
Overall, I love this card, and I’m super excited to see my credit report by the end of the year.”
“I’ve been struggling with my bad credit score. It seems like everything in this country is dependent on it. I couldn’t even get a proper house because of my credit score.
Later, I was told that I can improve my credit score by getting a credit card from First Savings, and this was definitely the best decision ever!
After only one year, I was able to raise my credit score quite a bit. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but at least I can get another house now. I definitely recommend this card to anyone who’s having problems because of their poor credit. This card is a lifesaver!”
“I’m a proud cardholder of the First Savings credit card, and apart from the super-high interest rates, there isn’t much to complain about. I’m not a big fan of secured cards, so the First Savings card seemed to be a good option for me.
I just wish the interest rate was a bit lower than that, but I guess that is what you get when you let your credit score go down.
Hopefully, I can get my credit score back on its feet with this card. I got a credit increase last month, which is a good sign that my creditworthiness is improving.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If the First Savings Credit Card Is the Right Choice for Me?
Well, there are two things the First Savings credit card is good for. First, it doesn’t require a security deposit, making it a favorable option for those who don’t like secured cards. Second, the card is a great tool that you can use to rebuild your credit.
First Savings reports your payments to the 3 credit bureaus, and since your payment history makes up about 35% of your credit score, a good track record of paying on time will definitely pay off.
How Do I Settle My First Savings Credit Card Statement?
To pay your First Savings credit card bill, just visit the cardmember services portal on First Savings’ website, or simply use the mobile app.
If you want to go the old way and send the payment by mail, send it at P.O. Box 2509, Omaha, NE 68103-2509. Alternatively, you can finish your payment by giving First Savings a call at 888-469-0291.
Can I Cancel My First Savings Credit Card?
Yes, you can cancel your First Savings credit card anytime you want. To cancel your card, just send an email to First Savings to inform them about your decision, and once you get the greenlight, cut your card into two pieces and return it to the company.
How Long Will It Take For My First Savings Credit Card to Get Approved?
We don’t really know when you should expect to receive a response about your First Savings credit card status. It shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks, though.
If you think that your application is taking too long, you can contact First Savings and ask whether you can get a response faster.
Can I Get Other Cards When I Have the First Savings Credit Card?
Yes, you can apply for other credit cards even if you have the First Savings credit card. However, we wouldn’t really encourage you to apply for other cards until you’ve improved your credit score a bit. It’s very easy to overspend when you have more than one credit card.
Nevertheless, if your First Savings card’s credit limit is too low, then applying for another card might make more sense for you. Alternatively, you can wait a few months to see if First Savings will increase your credit limit.
Most First Savings cardholders have reported that their limit increased at least once since they got their cards, so be patient.
Is the First Savings Credit Card Worth It? The Final Say
To sum it all up, the First Savings credit card is definitely worth considering, but only if your goal is to rebuild your credit score. Other than that, be prepared to pay for high interest rates and annual fees.
The card does have many advantages, though. The most important of which is that it reports to all 3 credit bureaus. Just make sure that you make your payments on time, or else you’ll reduce your credit score even further. Paying on time also qualifies you for credit limit increases, a good sign that your credit score is getting better.
Once you use the card for a relevant amount of time, you should start seeing significant improvements on your credit report, allowing you to apply for low-interest loans and credit cards with a solid chance of getting approved.