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Deserve (formerly known as SelfScore) is a newer credit card issuer focused on providing credit cards to people with fair credit and people who don’t already have significant positive credit history established on their credit reports.
There’s currently only one Deserve card, a Mastercard for students issued by Celtic Bank: the Deserve Edu Mastercard (Review). It has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee, and is accessible for international students who don’t yet have a Social Security number.
The Deserve Edu card is designed for students with limited or no credit history, both in the U.S. and abroad.
You can qualify for the Deserve Edu without any established credit, because Deserve will check more than the typical creditworthiness factors when you apply (more on that in the next section).
This card is rare in that it doesn’t require an SSN to apply, meaning international students are free to apply (with some requirements). If you do get an SSN later on, you should provide it to Deserve so your card activity can help you build credit.
Unlike secured cards, which are often the best options for people with limited or no credit history, the Deserve Edu doesn’t require a security deposit to be approved and establish a credit limit.
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Whereas issuers usually determine an applicant’s creditworthiness by relying on scoring models such as FICO, this isn’t as effective when assessing those with little to no credit history. If you do have a credit history, Deserve will pull it with a hard inquiry, but this won’t be the only information it uses when deciding whether or not to approve you for a card.
In addition to the traditional criteria, Deserve will also consider other personal information in its underwriting process, to determine an applicant’s potential to successfully use the card responsibly and pay off balances. This information includes:
If you’re an international student and do not have a Social Security number, you must provide a passport, student visa, I-20 form, and proof of a U.S. bank account.
Take note that Deserve will need to connect to your bank account to verify your balance. If you have privacy or security concerns this might worry you, but it seems logical because Deserve bases its decision on more than just an applicant’s credit history.
The Deserve Edu card is designed for college students, including international students. It provides 1% cash back for every purchase and includes a statement credit for an Amazon Prime Student membership.
Cardholders may receive the following perks with their new Deserve Mastercard credit card:
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