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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, like international students.
There are three Deserve cards issued by Celtic Bank, which are all Mastercards: Deserve Pro, Deserve Edu, and Deserve Classic. None of them have annual fees or foreign transaction fees.
The three Deserve credit cards are designed with different types of people in mind:
You can qualify for the Deserve Classic or 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).
The Deserve Edu 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.
The Deserve Pro breaks the mold, and will require more of an established credit history and likely some income. But in return you’ll also get better rewards and perks than the other Deserve cards
Unlike secured cards, which are often the best options for people with limited or no credit history, the Deserve cards don’t require security deposits to be approved and establish credit limits.
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 Pro card earns unlimited cash back rewards: 3% on travel and entertainment, 2% at restaurants, and 1% on everything else.
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.
This is the oldest of the Deserve credit card offers. With no annual fee and no rewards, it’s designed mostly for helping people with no credit scores or low scores to build up their credit history.
Cardholders may receive the following perks with their new Deserve Mastercard credit card:
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