On a similar note...
On a similar note...
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The CreditStacks credit card — an alternative credit card aimed at international professionals moving to the U.S. for work — is getting a new name and design and will also expand its target audience.
On May 27, 2020, the card is rebranding as the Jasper Mastercard, but it has already begun rolling out some new features.
Here's what to know.
The card, issued by WebBank, will continue to cater to international professionals who might otherwise not qualify for a credit card due to lack of a Social Security number, credit history or both. But the new Jasper card is also expanding its marketing to all young professionals who are new to credit, not just those who are new to the U.S.
Aside from its new name — which will apply to both the CreditStacks card and the company behind it — the Jasper card will also get a new design. Current cardholders will be transitioned to the new version without any impact to their credit card account number.
What's staying the same?
The card’s primary features will remain intact. Cardholders can continue to expect:
No annual fee.
No security deposit.
No upfront Social Security number requirement for international professionals (though those applicants will eventually have to report one to the company).
An APR of 15.49% (as of May 2020).
And the startup will continue to offer an alternative credit scoring model for those with no credit. The company says that in considering an applicant, it looks at over 360 data points to determine the creditworthiness of that applicant. Some data points reviewed include an applicant's online presence, their debt-to-income ratio and whether they have secured a job offer from an employer.
Other recent changes
Prior to May 2020, CreditStacks reported payments only to Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus that compiles the data used to calculate your credit scores. Since then, the company now also reports payments to a second bureau, TransUnion, and this includes retroactively reporting 24 months of payments on your card.
In recent months, the company also began offering credit lines below $5,000. Before, it offered credit limits of exactly $5,000 only.
The mobile apps for iOS and Android have also undergone changes. “We’ve basically built a system that handholds [applicants] through the process and gives them the actionable information that they need, when they need it,” says Jasper CEO Elnor Rozenrot.
The app can offer alerts to help you stay on track with financial goals like building good credit. For example, Rozenrot says it offers notifications when you need to pay a certain amount in the next 24 hours to maintain the recommended 30% or less of available credit in use — a key factor in your credit scores.
What these changes mean for consumers
Among alternative credit cards for those new to credit, the Jasper Mastercard is now a stronger option. It's reaching out to new kinds of applicants, and the TransUnion reporting addition is also an improvement. When you’re trying to establish a credit history, the ideal starter card should report to all three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
While the Jasper Mastercard falls short by one on that count, it stands out among the competition as a credit card that doesn’t require a Social Security number upfront for newcomers to the U.S. You’ll have 60 days to report it after activating your card. You can also apply for the card up to 60 days before starting a new job in the U.S. Other credit card issuers might make you wait until you’re already working in the U.S. before applying.
“The card will wait for you on the day you start your work,” Rozenrot says. “You shouldn’t have to be running around scrambling to get your life together.”