So I've had this card about 4 months now, and I just received an email about a credit line increase, so I think it's time I write a review since I can really review pretty much everything about the card now.
Long story short, my credit history is similar to most that are probably looking at this card. I completely smashed my credit in my early 20s and thought there was no way to fix it. Fast forward to early 2016, my life completely changed and I realized pretty quickly how much a person's credit score affects their life. But I didn't know where to start to even begin on the road to credit recovery.
So the beginning of last year, I pulled up my credit report on Credit Karma. It was in the low 500s. My heart completely sank. How was I going to fix this mess? So I started doing a ton of research on where to even begin. I won't bore you with all the details, but I started with Fingerhut and Capital One. After a couple months of good payment history with them, I log onto Credit Karma, and this Credit One card pops up with good approval odds. I was beyond excited. When you start building your credit, the only thing that will pop up for you are secured cards, so I was ecstatic to see an unsecured card pop up.
What everyone needs to realize is that Credit One is taking a chance on people that have shown no responsibility in the past, so of course there are going to be fees. You've shown that you don't make your payments for whatever reason, so those fees are there in case you get this card and do the same thing to them. $75 isn't much when you think about it from their side (I always tend to look at both sides when judging a situation). It bothers me reading these negative reviews because they're based on situations that Credit One is completely up front about when you sign up for the card. They don't hide their fees. It's written plain and simple in the terms when you apply.
With that being said, I knew what I was signing up for when I applied. And I was grateful that they instantly approved me for $300. They took the $75 from the limit a few days after I received the card and activated it, so I started with a $225 limit. Right after I got the card, I spent the whole balance (Not a smart thing to do when you're rebuilding credit, but I'm learning as I go lol). I paid it off in two months. Half one month, half the next. I started using the card to pay my electric bill. It's money I would have spent anyway, and I didn't want to use the card for regular every day purchases because it's easy to lose track of how much you're spending. I either paid the card off every month, or paid most of it down to where the utilization should be.
So here I am, 6 months into my credit rebuilding journey. My scores are in the 640-675 range (it fluctuates due to credit utilization etc). Capital One, Fingerhut, and Credit One are who I have to thank. I've made sure my payment history is 100% and I almost always pay more than the minimum, if not the full balance. I actually was just recently approved for some store cards, a Chase Freedom, and a Discover it. So these cards I started out with are going to be slowly phased out from every day use. Credit One has been fantastic. Easy app to use. Easy to make payments. They don't hassle you when your payment is due (unlike Fingerhut but that's a whole other story!) My score has jumped about 150 points in about a year from disputing negatives on my report and these credit cards. It can be done. I still have a long road to my recovery, but I'll get there. And today I woke up to an email from them that my credit limit was raised to 500! Not a huge jump, but it will help my utilization overall. Especially when I stop using the card, which will be very soon.
There's two reasons I wanted to write this review. One, to show there are legit customers who are happy with this card. Use it for the purpose you're intending. Low utilization when possible. Perfect payment history. And two, to let everyone know that's reading this that while the credit recovery journey is long, it's worth the work to put into it! I've obsessed over my credit for the past 6 months. I've checked it every day and was proactive about fixing what I could. I'm finally getting to the point where I'm ready to garden with my cards (not apply for anymore and focus on growing my average account age with low utilization and no missed payments), and I don't always check my credit every day anymore. Do your research, start from the bottom, and fight your way up. It's definitely fixable. It takes work, time, and patience but I'm proof that it can be done. My goal is to buy a house as soon as possible and just get to the 750 point in my credit and I will be content.
P.S. The credit limits I got on the Chase Freedom and Discover It card were actually surprising. Way more than Credit One offered me. So I'm going to keep a balance on Credit One, slowly pay it off so I don't have to use it anymore, just focus on good payments, and then cancel it before the second year of fees start. The only complaint I really have about them is that it takes several days for your payments to show up as available credit. It's something I knew before I got the card and isn't going to affect my rating, but it's irritating when I pay my Capital One and Credit One card on the same day. Capital One is available to use the next day, while the Credit One takes, I think, 4-5 days. It tells you 7, I believe, when you make the payment, but it's always less. So just a heads up to the new cardholders! Oh, and the cash back is basically nonexistent, so don't expect much from it. I probably run the $300 through it every month between payments and charges, and I've earned $1.62 since I got the card lol.