Total Credit Card is an amazing tool that is designed to assist users in accomplishing their financial goals. It is challenging for individuals with low to average credit scores that range from 350-600 to find the right credit cards in the market for them. Applying for a Total Credit Card is easy and they give you instant approval.
In such desperate times, people have very limited options available. They can either go for secured credit cards for which they have to pay a hefty amount as a security deposit. Or they can opt for the Total Visa Credit Card which is unsecured and does not require any security deposit.
Consider this situation from this example: When you are out of food options at 3 a.m., even a street restaurant that you never like to go to in normal circumstances becomes a viable option for you if you find it open at odd times.
So, in times of need and desperation, this restaurant becomes your necessity. Such is the case with this card.
It’s not the most luxurious out there, but it definitely serves the purpose for people who do not have many options left. And the best thing is: It gives the chance the cardholder to improve their credit score on regular payments.
When you make your monthly payments on time, your report goes to all three major credit bureaus. And with each regular payment, your reputation with the bureaus improves and so does your credit score.
So, even though it is a subprime card that caters to the subprime audience, it fulfills the promises it makes to the cardholders, and it fulfills its purpose.
This is one of the most “misunderstood” cards out there. So, let’s dig in to find out more interesting things about the Total Credit Card, clarify the misunderstandings around it, and see why it is the best out there for people with bad credit scores.
AT A GLANCE
|APR||34.99% fixed (Regular APR)|
|Application processing time||9 minutes|
|Monthly reports||Yes, this card is issued by The Bank of Missouri and reports to all the three major bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion|
|One-time Setting Up Fee||$89|
|Monthly and Annual Fee||$75 is the Annual Fee for the first year, and $48 for the years later|
|Required FICO Score||No requirement. It even caters to people with scores as low as 350|
|Initial Credit Limit||$300|
FEATURES EXPLAINED IN DETAIL
1- No Security Deposit but a setup fee:
Many people object that if The Total Credit Card boasts to be an unsecured card that does not require a security deposit, then why does it have a setup fee or other fixed charges?
The answer is simple. Secured Cards take hundreds of dollars for issuing the card, and then, the same amount is put as the cardholder’s credit limit in their account.
On the other hand, The Total Visa Credit Card does not do anything like that. It takes an initial setting-up fee of $89, but that is not bound to the cardholder’s card limit. This is for security and effective functioning and is justified if we look deeply into it from all angles.
Another important thing to consider here is that a person with a bad credit score will already have difficulty managing to pay hefty amounts in the form of a security deposit. It means that if they do not pay the initial security deposit, they will not be able to get the card too!
In the case of the Total Credit Card, this problem is not there. The initial payment is very low in comparison to the hundreds of dollars of any security deposit. And this initial payment is generally manageable for people even with low credit scores. They are given a credit limit irrespective of this fee or without putting a hefty sum as collateral, and that’s a major plus point.
2- Initial Credit Limit:
It is $300. It is limited and appears as if it’s nothing. But for someone who already has a lot of debt and bad credit history, who cannot qualify for any other type of card, and who needs something to run their basic expenses- this limited and little credit limit is also a blessing.
Besides, the plus point here is that the cardholder continues earning points and their credit limit increases after they show good repayment behavior by making regular payments.
3- Reports to the major bureaus:
The card is issued by The Bank of Missouri. It reports to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, which are the three major bureaus known for credit and financing.
The reason why these reports are extremely important is that the future scores and reputation of the cardholder rely on them.
When a cardholder is regular in their payments, without any delays, tries to pay off more than the minimum requirement every month, and keeps their balance below their limit, The Bank of Missouri makes a positive report for them.
This report is then reviewed by the major bureaus and gives a chance to the cardholder to impress them. Because of this positive impression, the credit reports start improving and so do the scores.
Needless to say, improving one’s credit scores is something crucial for everyone who has a credit card. So, with this card, the chances improve a hundred folds for people with a not-so-impressive credit score.
4- Personalized Card Designs:
This is a small, but an interesting feature. The cardholder gets a wide variety of designs to choose from for their card. This is something unique and gives a more personalized feeling to the cardholder.
5- Minimum cash advance fee:
When a cardholder uses their credit card to draw cash at an ATM or any other checkout or bank, they need to pay a cash advance fee on the money they have drawn.
Total Credit Card completely waives these charges for the first year. This is especially beneficial for people who are already struggling with funds and have a low credit limit.
However, after the first year is over, the cardholder will be subjected to these charges of $10 or 3% of the total amount drawn out, whichever is greater in value.
6- Fee structure:
As mentioned above, the Total Credit Card does not charge a security deposit. But there is an initial setup fee of $89, which is quite nominal.
However, since this card caters to people even with the worst credit history, therefore, there are some additional fees associated with the card.
· Annual Fee
There is an annual fee of $75 to be paid for the first year. It decreases after the first year period is over to $48.
An important thing to remember here is that this fee will be deducted from your credit. So, if your credit limit is $300, after the deduction of $75, you will get around $225 worth of credit limit.
This is probably not the best feature of this card, however, keeping in mind the people it is mainly designed to cater to, you will understand why these protocols are necessary.
· Monthly Service Charges:
For the first whole year, there will be no monthly service charges. However, after that, a small amount of $6.25 is charged as a monthly service fee. This is an easily manageable fee that is not going to burden the cardholder.
· Fee for another card:
If, after some time, the cardholder wishes to apply for an additional Total Credit Card, they will have to pay $29 for that.
Again, this is not a hefty or a totally unmanageable amount.
· Fee for Credit Increase:
When the cardholder applies for a credit limit increment, they will have to pay a fee for that. It’s 20% of the amount increased in the credit limit.
Suppose if the credit limit increment was $100, the fee deduction is going to be around $20. This fee will be deducted from the cardholder’s credit that is already available.
· Card Delivery Fee:
Express card delivery is not free. If the cardholder opts for that, they will have to pay an additional $35 for that.
· Bill Statement Copying Fee:
If the cardholder requests additional copies of their existing account’s statements or billing history, they will have to pay $3 per page of their photocopies.
· Delayed Payment Fee:
As a penalty for late payments, the cardholder is subjected to pay around $40 as a late fee. If there is no previous late payment record in the past six months, then this fee is dropped to $29.
· Fee for the returned payment due to insufficient balance:
If the cardholder has made a payment, but due to insufficient funds, their payment is returned, they will be subjected to a fee of $40. If this has not happened in the past six months and if the cardholder’s record has been clean, then this fee drops down to $29.
We have explained all the standard features in detail. Now let’s look into the security features of the card.
These are very basic.
- There is no liability on unauthorized purchases generally, but in some circumstances and cases, the cardholder is liable to pay around $50
- In case the card is lost or stolen or misused without consent, the cardholder must notify The Bank of Missouri. This notification can be in writing or verbal through their helpline, (877) 480-6988. This is a 24/7 service
- If you have other queries about your card, you can call 877-526-5799
- There is another helpline to check the account balance or to make a payment via phone. For all these purposes, the cardholder can call 877-480-6988
We mentioned in the beginning that this is one of the most “misunderstood” cards. The reason why we think so is that people just look at it superficially, but do not understand the meaning in the depth.
All the additional charges may look terrifying, and the initial fee plus the monthly and annual charges may appear as quite a burden. But they are all there for a reason.
All these charges mean that with the Total Credit Card, the cardholder needs to be quite disciplined about their payments, their withstanding dues, outstanding balances, records, etc. They cannot be irresponsible about all these things because then, it will cost them a lot.
In a way, all these additional fees are there to make people realize the importance of stable budgeting, intelligent usage of their cards, and responsible behavior in regular payments.
This eventually ties it all down to the simple fact that all these things matter a lot to building or establishing a good credit history. Especially for people who are on the lowest ends of the credit score spectrum.
The lower credit limit is also a blessing in disguise for such people. When they do not have the luxury to overspend on purchases, they will automatically start self-limiting and cutting their expenses. This in turn is going to be beneficial for them to learn how to manage their finances responsibly and intelligently.
All in all, this is a great shot for all such people with bad credit scores. They can learn how to improve their scores? How to manage their finances? And how to rebuild their credit history?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1- Is there a grace period to pay off the balance?
Yes. With the Total Credit Card, the cardholder gets a grace period during which they can pay off all their remaining balance. There is no interest accrual and no additional fee to be charged in such a case.
2- Who issues the Total Credit Card?
It is issued by the Bank of Missouri.
3- Does the Bank of Missouri issue a Total Visa Secured Card too?
No, it does not. There is only the Total Visa Unsecured Card available.
4- Is this card available everywhere?
This card is available all over the US, except for New York and Wisconsin.
5- Is the Total Visa Card good for me?
The answer to this depends on your personal needs and requirements. Besides, what are you expecting from this card?
If you are looking for a secured card or a credit card that comes with cash rewards on purchases, then this card is not for you.
But if you are struggling with your credit scores, then there is no better card than this one.
It not only will help you manage your finances intelligently, but it will also limit you and your expenses for the better. So, this is not just a card. It is quite a “trainer,” if you look at it this way!
So, the choice is all yours.
But before you make a decision, remember that a bad credit score will limit many of your other options too. For example, if you want to apply for a personal loan, no bank or lender will issue it to you just because of your bad credit history.
So, to qualify for the cards that offer other interesting perks too along with rewards, you need to fix your scores first. And for that, this card is what you need the most!
This is the reason why this card has generally positive reviews from its many customers. And this is what makes it a card that you should definitely consider.
Leila Najafi is a luxury travel and lifestyle writer and editor with over five years of experience covering travel rewards programs, destination and buying guides, and more. Leila’s writing has been featured in NBC News, Thrillist, Fodor’s, 10Best.com by USA Today, HuffPost, Eater LA, Tastemade, and Reader’s Digest. Aside from being a writer, editor, and fact-checker, Leila is also an on-camera host and digital marketer.