Deserve Credit Card Review

Oftentimes building credit 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.

Deserve EDU Mastercard: For college students

Designed specifically for college students, this credit card doesn’t require a credit history or a cosigner. It comes with a variable APR rate 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
  • 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

Application Process

Deserve processes applications in one of 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 potential for approval instead of looking at your credit. 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 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.

  • Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles with your EDU card (Lifetime Value of $59).
  • Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you’ll automatically start earning cash back on all purchases.
  • Feel secure with cell phone protection up to $600.
  • No deposit required. No annual fees.
  • No international transaction fees on purchases abroad so you can travel with confidence.
  • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
  • Refer A Friend Program: Refer anyone to Deserve using your personal referral code. Upon approval, card activation, and use, you’ll receive $30 and so will your referral. Referral bonuses are unlimited!
  • Manage and track your spending, set automatic payments, and securely freeze your card all through one easy-to-use app.
  • See if you prequalify with no impact to your credit score in minutes.
  • Deserve Mastercards are issued by Celtic Bank, Member FDIC.
  • Enjoy Mastercard Platinum Benefits intended to make your life easier like Mastercard ID Theft Prevention™ and Master Rental®.

Rates, Fees, and Offers

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: 1%
  • Bonus offer: None
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: Purchase: 22.99%, Variable
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

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 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.

Meet the author

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