Oftentimes building a credit history can be difficult. Most credit card companies and lenders want to see some sort of financial history before they’ll work with you. Fortunately, Deserve is a credit card company that offers credit cards to students and people in the workforce who have little to no credit history.

If you have been denied a credit card because you don’t have enough financial history, or because you don’t have a social security number, Deserve’s credit cards definitely deserve your attention.

How to Prequalify for a Deserve Credit Card

To get prequalified, Deserve will ask you a few questions, which only take a few minutes to complete. Though you’ll enter your social security number, Deserve only does a soft credit check at this stage of the application process. Soft credit checks don’t hurt your credit score, unlike a hard credit check, so there’s no reason not to enter any of the information asked for below.

First, you’ll pick a description that best describes you. The choices are:

  • A student from the U.S.
  • A student from abroad
  • A working professional
  • Building my credit

Then you’ll provide a little bit of your personal information:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number (Note: see below if you don’t have one)
  • Email address
  • Mailing address

And lastly, you’ll need to answer some basic financial information:

  • Rent or own?
  • Monthly rent or monthly mortgage
  • Gross monthly income (income before taxes or insurance is taken out)

If you don’t have a social security number:

If you’re an international student studying in the U.S., Deserve will redirect you to its Deserve Edu Application. The application is very similar, and also only takes a few minutes to complete.

Types of Credit Cards

Deserve currently offers three credit cards for borrowers to suit their credit profile.

Deserve Edu Student Mastercard: For college students

Designed specifically for college students, this credit card doesn’t require a credit history or a cosigner. And if you’re an international student, you also don’t need a social security number. Here are some highlights of the application requirements and benefits that come along with this card.

Deserve EDU Card

  • FICO Range: 650-800 OR No/Limited credit
  • 1% unlimited cashback
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Personalized credit insights in the Deserve Mobile App

Deserve Pro Mastercard: For professionals and H1B immigrants

If your credit history is either strong or simply limited, you could qualify for Deserve’s Pro Mastercard. It offers several cashback rewards on your spending, plus comes with relatively high credit limits. Here’s what you can expect from this one.

Deserve Pro Card

  • FICO Range: 700-850 OR No/Limited credit
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 3% cashback on Travel and Entertainment
  • 2% cashback at restaurants
  • 1% cashback everywhere else
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Credit limit up to $10,000

Deserve Classic Mastercard: For borrowers with no or limited credit

If your credit score is less than perfect or you haven’t established a history yet, this card from Deserve comes with a modest annual fee. It’s a great way to start building or rebuilding your credit history.

Deserve Classic Card

  • FICO Range: 650-750 OR No/Limited credit
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $39 Annual Fee
  • Mastercard Platinum benefits

Application Process

Deserve processes applications in one of to two ways, which we’ll talk about below. For either way, they’ll connect with your bank account to determine eligibility. Your bank account information helps Deserve a few ways. The first is that it helps to verify that you are who you say you are. The second way is that it helps determine your financial situation.

By looking at your bank account, Deserve will be able to see how much money you have both coming in and leaving each month. These numbers help determine your financial responsibility and your ability to pay upon debts.

Application with Little to No Credit History

Deserve uses an algorithm to determine your credit potential instead of your credit history. If you’re a student, Deserve will look at your school, major, student visa (if you have one), passport (if applicable), and the likelihood of you graduating on time and obtaining a job. If you are not a student but are employed, Deserve does much the same thing in that it evaluates and verifies your employment.

Application with Established Credit History and Qualifying Credit Score

If you have an established credit history and a good credit score, Deserve evaluates your application the same as any credit card company. They’ll review your FICO score, credit report, and gross monthly income to determine if you’re eligible to receive any of their credit cards.

Special Features

Deserve offers a host of benefits to their cardholders. Just as with any financial decision, make sure to compare them with other cards while you’re shopping. Here are some perks you can expect if you do decide to choose Deserve.

Amazon Prime Student: Once you have a Deserve Edu card, Deserve will pay for you to have an Amazon Prime Student account if you’re eligible. Charge the monthly fee to your Deserve Edu card, and Deserve will pay for you to have Amazon Prime for up to $59.

No cosigner or deposit necessary: Deserve is built around helping people build and establish credit. Most credit cards aimed at this demographic usually require a down payment, which is then used as the credit limit. Alternatively, other cards may require a cosigner, which means you’d have to ask a friend or relative who would then be equally accountable for the monthly payments. Though it may not seem like a big deal, the fact that Deserve doesn’t have either of these requirements is quite a perk for borrowers with low or zero credit history.

Zero credit history or social security: If you’re an international student, you don’t have to worry about not having a social security number. You also don’t have to worry about not having any previous financial credit history regardless of your nationality.

Scholarship for International Students: Ten students every year are selected to receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Roadside Assistance: If your car breaks down while you are driving, Deserve will pay for someone to come and help you.

Extended Warranty: Purchase an item with your Deserve Credit Card and Deserve will double the manufacturer’s warranty up to 12 months. Never pay for warranty protection again.

Car Rental Insurance: Next time you rent a car, don’t pay for additional insurance. Deserve will pay for any physical damage or theft of the rented vehicle.

Price Protection: If you buy something and the price suddenly drops, Deserve will protect you up to 60 days from the purchase date.

ID Theft Protection: Deserve offers identity theft resolution services to borrowers impacted by identity theft.

Travel Assistance: Whenever you’re traveling more than 50 miles from your home, Deserve offers lost luggage, medical assistance, and legal referrals free of charge.

New Cell Phone Insurance: Deserve offers up to $600 for new cell phones that are either lost or stolen.

Bottom Line

If you’re a national or international student or have a limited credit history, Deserve is a great credit card company to help you start establishing credit. What truly sets them apart is that they offer non-insured cards to borrowers with zero credit history. This means you don’t have to first pay a security deposit before you can get your card. For many borrowers, this deposit is better used elsewhere, regardless of their credit history situation.

Another unique aspect of Deserve is how they process applications. These methods may well indeed become the norm for other credit cards, and make Deserve an industry leader.