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The Oportun Visa Credit Card, issued by WebBank, is one of just a handful of credit cards that can facilitate a path to credit for those with no credit history. It officially became available in most states as of August 2021, after a pilot period. As of this writing, the card was not available in Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The main feature that sets this card apart from competitors is that it doesn’t require a Social Security number or bank account to qualify. Like with other so-called alternative credit cards by fintech companies, Oportun's own proprietary technology can look at factors like rent payments, payment history, income, cash flow and more.
Lacking a credit history alone isn’t enough of a reason to get this card, as other alternative credit cards can offer more value. But if you also lack a Social Security number or a bank account, the Oportun Visa Credit Card could be a good choice. Here are five things to know about the card:
1. You don’t need a credit history, Social Security number, U.S. ID or bank account to qualify
The Oportun Visa Credit Card doesn’t have many of the requirements that traditional credit cards do. If you have a credit history, your credit scores are taken into consideration. But if you don’t, Oportun's proprietary technology can look at other data points such as payment stubs, bank account information (if you have it), income, your profession and industry, and personal references, to name a few.
To qualify without a Social Security number, you’ll have to verify a U.S. address in one of the states where the card is offered. Oportun will also accept an unexpired government-issued photo ID to validate your identity.
Without a U.S. ID or bank account, the company’s technology can evaluate other factors. The issuer also allows you to pay the bill with cash payments at any MoneyGram location nationwide (including CVS and Walmart) for a fee. (But if you can qualify for a free bank account, you’ll save money on those costs.)
2. There’s no security deposit, but there could be an annual fee
The Oportun Visa Credit Card isn't a secured credit card, so it doesn’t require a security deposit to qualify. But you may have to pay an annual fee of up to $29, depending on your creditworthiness.
Being able to dodge the annual fee would make it easier to keep the Oportun Visa Credit Card open for a long time. That's a good thing because the length of your credit history is a major factor in your credit scores.
Still, you can find cards in this class that definitively don't charge annual fees — or any other fee. The Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card is a good example. It's also issued by WebBank, which can look beyond traditional FICO credit scores to determine eligibility using an algorithm that considers factors like income, savings and spending.
Unlike the Oportun card, this one earns rewards of up to 1.5% cash back, a rate comparable to what you might find on cards for those with good credit. But you will need a Social Security number and bank account to qualify for it.
3. It offers a credit limit of up to $1,000
The Oportun Visa Credit Card offers a decent credit limit for beginners to credit, up to $1,000. As with any credit card, the credit limit you get depends on your creditworthiness. You may also be able to get a higher credit limit over time. Oportun conducts regular reviews to determine your eligibility for an increase, according to a spokesperson for the company. A higher credit limit could lower the amount of available credit you have in use, another key factor in your credit scores.
Still, it's possible to find competing cards that offer higher limits. The Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card, for instance, has a credit limit that ranges from $500 to $10,000 depending on your creditworthiness.
4. The high APR can be costly
You’ll want to avoid carrying a balance on the Oportun Visa Credit Card, as the interest rate is quite high, from 24.90% to 29.90%, as of August 2021.
That's not necessarily a deal-breaker. It's not unusual for a credit card aimed at beginners to charge a high interest rate, as it helps the issuer mitigate the lending risk. Plus, if you pay off your bill on time and in full each month, then the card's APR is irrelevant because you'll never owe any interest. As always, charge only what you can afford to pay back.
Still, if you prefer to have guardrails in place at the start of your credit journey, it’s possible to avoid interest entirely with some cards, as long as you're willing to forgo the option to carry a balance. The Tomo Card, for example, does not charge any fees or interest because you can’t carry a balance from one month to the next. Plus, it earns 1% cash back. If your goal is to establish credit, it’s one way to get started without having to worry about acquiring fees or interest. The company behind the card has proprietary technology that weighs many data points such as income, account balances and contact information. It's possible to qualify with no Social Security number, but you will need a bank account.
5. It reports payments to all three credit bureaus
The Oportun Visa Credit Card reports payments to all three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. These companies record the information used to calculate your credit scores. It’s an ideal feature to have on a credit card, especially if your goal is to establish credit. Having your payment history recorded by all three bureaus makes it easier for prospective lenders to determine how likely you are to pay back what you borrow.