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Aspen Credit Card Review


Executive Summary - The Aspen Visa Card is designed specifically for those with poor credit. This is an unsecured credit card issued by CompuCredit. Like most sub prime cards, this card comes laden with high fees. We do not recommend this card as the fees are astronomical even by sub-prime standards. A better alternative would be a card like Credit One or a secured credit card.

Fees - Typical of sub-prime cards, the Aspen Credit Card charges various fees. You have to pay an account opening fee of $29.00. The annual fee is a whopping $150.00. There is also a monthly maintenance fee of $6.50, which works out to $78.00 a year. The APR is Prime Rate plus 19.5% (miss a payment and it goes up to 25.75%).The grace period is at least 25 days (longer than the usual 20 days given by most card issuers). The average daily balance method (including new purchases) is used to calculate monthly balance. In total, you will pay at least $257.00 per year to have this card (not including the interest on purchases).

Peer Comparison - When we first reviewed this card years ago, there were many cards to compare because CompuCredit has several other cards and there were many other competitors from other issuers. However, after the financial crisis in 2008 and new rules on fees that can be charged, the number of subprime issuers dwindled. In fact, there are only two competitors now, the First Premier Bank and Credit One Bank.

At the moment, First Premier has different fees, one for the first year and the other for subsequent years. During the first year, they charge a one time application or processing fee of $95 and the annual fee is $75 for the first year. From the second year onwards, the annual fee is reduced to $45, but a monthly maintenance fee of $6.25 a month or $78.00 a year. The APR is a whopping 36%. So in terms of fees, the First Premier is much lower than Aspen though the APR is higher.

The other card to compare with is Credit One Bank. The annual fee for credit One Bank ranges from $35 to $75. The APR ranges from 17.9% to 23.9%. The other thing you would notice is that there is no one-time application fee or processing fees. Furthermore, there is a reward program whereby you earn points for using the card for your gasoline purchases.

Conclusion - The Aspen Credit Card is laden with ridiculously high fees and high APR. In fact, CompuCredit was actually charged by the FTC and agreed to a settlement because of deceptive marketing. If you are looking to rebuild your credit, we suggest that you consider other cards. A secured credit card like the First Progress Secured is a low cost alternative to rebuilding your credit history. Once you have a few months of credit history with a secured card under your belt, you could then consider a move up to an unsecured card. If you do not have any charge offs or collections (or if they have been paid off) and you do not have a lot of inquires, you might want to consider one with no annual fee. A couple of cards to consider are Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard and the NFL Visa

If you still have some charge offs and collections in your account, perhaps the Credit One Visa would be appropriate because of it's reasonable fees. To increase your chance of success, you should have a credit score of 550 and above, a checking account, other credit lines like secured cards. If you do not meet these criteria, then secured cards are your best bet.

Update:- The Aspen Visa is currently not available due to the CompuCredit complaint filed by the FTC for deceptive credit card marketing practices. The FTC alleged that CompuCredit "violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting the amount of credit that would be available immediately to consumers, failing to disclose up-front fees, failing to disclose that certain purchases could reduce a consumer's credit limit, and misrepresenting a debt collection program as a credit card offer."