As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!
     

Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card: The Approved Card

This article was written by in Credit, Featured. 58 comments.


As Ron Lieber reported in the New York Times, personal finance guru Suze Orman is launching her own debit card brand, the Approved Card, following in the footsteps of music mogul Russell Simmons and his Rush Cards. Suze Orman’s debit card will be a prepaid debit card, ensuring customers using the card can spend generally only what they have available.

As a benefit to customers, and in keeping with Suze Orman’s focus on helping consumers build stable credit histories, the card will offer unlimited, free credit reports. She also worked out a deal with Transunion whereby her branded debit card, unlike most other debit cards, will report consumer spending information to the bureau, theoretically helping customers build credit.

Suze OrmanWhile a consumer’s ability to use debit card spending as a way to build credit, I can understand why the reporting agencies don’t normally consider debit card activity to be relevant to a credit score. With a debit card, you can pay only what you have in the bank, or in the case of a prepaid debit card, only what you have on deposit. Debit cards do not provide a consumer with the opportunity to be tested with credit, and there is no monthly bill to pay. The type of behavior required to use a debit card successfully does not equate with the behavior required when borrowing money.

Prepaid debit cards are notorious for their fees. Suze has pledged to keep the Approved Card’s fees low, but the card still features a $3 monthly fee, taken from the balance deposited on the card. Prepaid debit card fees are paid by consumers who have no interest in a traditional checking account held at a bank, or, for whatever reason, can’t qualify for a bank account. This unbanked population consists primarily of households in the lowest socioeconomic status and of minorities. This puts these products in the same category as payday loans and check cashing outfits. Services the middle class doesn’t need or can find for free are more expensive in less affluent communities.

While the fees for Suze’s product may be less than those for competing products, there could be a view that this product, just like others like it, takes advantage of consumers who have fewer options for payment options. View the fee schedule here; there are quite a few fees that most consumers who haven’t used prepaid debit cards might consider extraordinary.

Does Suze risk credibility by offering her own financial product? She has established her Suze Orman brand as a no-nonsense voice in helping people make smarter financial decisions. Her television and radio shows have attracted a wide audience, particularly through the recent recession. She has been a spokesperson for General Motors and TD Ameritrade, aiding the executives of those companies in associating their brands with wise personal finance decisions.

While the New York Times article indicates that Suze will not mention her Approved Card in her shows to avoid a conflict of interest, isn’t in reasonable to expect that every time she mentions prepaid debit cards, she could be creating or strengthening a cognitive link in the listener or reader between her advice and her own product?

On the other hand, Suze sells books, seminars, and kits, and her media appearances help to move her products and, eventually, generate some of the income she receives each year. (I would assume that most of her income comes from sponsorship, show production, and media appearances rather than from her products.) A prepaid debit card is not really much different from the other products she sells. Diversifying income streams is a great way to increase the probability of long-term success.

What do you think about Suze Orman’s new Approved Card and the potential conflict of interest arising from her public appearances and media presence?

Update: As news spread of the Approved Card throughout the blogosphere, the card’s terms and likely ineffectiveness in improving users’ credit scores led to outrage. Suze Orman responded to critics via Twitter by calling them idiots and ignorant. Critics of the card were mostly fair — at least they were level-headed and, for the most part, they avoided personal attacks on Suze — but it’s easy for privileged bloggers like us to misunderstand the needs of those in low socio-economic communities, where the banking industry is mistrusted more than middle class “Main Street” communities mistrust Wall Street.

Yes, as I’ve mentioned above, there is something about fee-ridden prepaid debit cards that enables investors and the wealthy to take advantage of people who either don’t or believe they don’t have better financial options. There is also a cost to businesses who take on risks by offering services to a segment of society that may have financial trouble, and fees help defray that risk. Compared to other prepaid debit cards, the Approved Card isn’t horrible. It certainly isn’t the worst. If Suze’s name weren’t attached to the product, bloggers might put the card towards the top of the list of best prepaid debit cards. But her public identity and crusade for positive financial education makes the product antithetical.

At the same time, it’s not much different than the seminars that most of the top financial gurus run, charging tons of money with promises to help people earn more money, get rich through real estate, or sell a multi-level marketing scheme. The business is in the selling, and convincing the most vulnerable people that you are there to help them (for a price). Not that that’s good, at all — it’s just expected.

Photo: david_shankbone
New York Times

Updated July 28, 2014 and originally published January 9, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
avatar
Points: ♦127,475
Rank: Platinum
About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Anna Silva

I say if a person is poor and earn very little income, he/she should find a Credit Union to join. Most credit unions have low minimum balance (like, $25 min. bal.). If you are in New York City, the NYC Government has a program called “NYC SafeStart” for people to open bank accounts called “NYC SafeStart” at participating banks and credit unions in NYC – No Overdraft Fee, No Monthly fee, only $25 minimum balance in the account, get an ATM card. You must tell the participating bank or credit union about “NYC SafeStart” so they don’t steer you to high-cost bank accounts. Check out the NYC Gov’t site on NYC SafeStart: http://www.nyc.gov/html/ofe/html/policy_and_programs/safestart.shtml

In this way, you don’t have to pay the $3 monthly fee imposed by Suze Ormon’s prepaid debit card, or the Loan-Shark interest rates imposed by Russell “Stealing from the Poor” Simmons’ Rush Card. These 2 celebrities have made enough money already. I believe there is a higher order in Heaven watching how these celebs are taking advantage of & profiting from the low-income & often uneducated people. These greedy celebs will judged & dealt with in Hell.

Reply to this comment

avatar Forest Parks

That is what I was thinking….. Suzie should be ashamed of herself!

Reply to this comment

avatar Sun W Kim

You spelled Experian wrong.

I am somewhat disappointed there is a $3 monthly fee. On the other hand, if we have unlimited access to all three credit bureaus, $3 a month is a great price.

Reply to this comment

avatar Anna Silva

Did you know that by law, each of the 3 Credit agencies must provide ONE(1) Free credit report to you per year at your request? So you are donating your $3 per month (that’s $36 per year) to a woman (Suze Ormon) who is already mega-wealthy selling books, TV shows, etc. Good luck! I’m sure Suze Ormon & her handlers are laughing all the way to the banks – so many suckers making me an even richer woman.

Reply to this comment

avatar Diana

Anna I believe Suze’s card is not only providing access to ones credit report, she claims you can build your credit with her prepaid card which is the reason why some of us are in interested in her card, Some of use have other prepaid cards such as green dot or credit union pre paid cards but you cannot build credit with those cards so if its really true you can build your credit with Suze’s card then I would much rather use hers than greendot.

Reply to this comment

avatar Danielle

Diana, her card does not improve your credit score. Spending habits are reported to Transunion. Suze herself has proclaimed that the card does not improve a person’s credit score, but that she is hoping that one day “in the future” according to her facebook post. How far in the future no one can know. I can only see this reporting as a way for advertisers to seek out ways to take advantage of individuals based on their spending pattern. The information sharing procliamation leads one to believe that it may improve credit scores, when in reality, all she says is that information will be shared.

Reply to this comment

avatar Consuelo Cruz

I agree Diana, I am also looking for a way to improve my credit score. If what Suze is claiming is true, count me in.

Reply to this comment

avatar Diana

Then again I belong to Kinecta Federal Credit Union and kept one credit card with HSBC so maybe that’s all I need and should stop using these pre paid cards altogether.

I don’t use any of my cards for ATMs etc which saves me money. Greendot charges to reload while with Kinecta card it’s free as long as it’s done in their bank or one of their shared branches. I’m not sure if I really need Suze’s card since I own a real credit card so I’ll probably ditch greendot and will instead use Kinecta which will save me the reload free, greendot cost more then Kinecta or Suze’s prepaid card.

Reply to this comment

avatar Sun W Kim

> the card will offer unlimited, free credit reports from the three primary
> reporting bureaus, Ezperian, Equifax, and Transunion.

Where do you see this? I only see TransUnion on her web site.

http://theapprovedcard.com/features/transunion/

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

Thanks for pointing that out, Sun! I’ve corrected the article.

Reply to this comment

avatar Carrie - Careful Cents

I actually like this idea. While there are fees attached to prepaid cards, it’s still a good option for people who don’t want to use a bank or other financial institution. Plus, the upside is that a prepaid card helps spenders stay within budget, and learn to only spend money they have.

Reply to this comment

avatar krantcents

I do not like fees, particularly for using my own money. I think too many people are looking for a crutch or aid to help them manage theri money. We are all adults and should exert some discipline and find a way to take control of your spending. You can achieve the same thing using cash only and no fees.

Reply to this comment

avatar jim

For people who can’t get a bank account, are there better options? (with the exception of the NYC option Anna mentions). $3 /month isn’t exactly highway robbery. Theres a lot of banks (and credit unions) with higher monthly fees for checking accounts.

Reply to this comment

avatar Anna Silva

Jim, you can write & call your local politicians to make banks and credit unions participate in something similar to “NYC SafeStart” for low-income people to have bank accounts. I understand NYC is a Democrat-heavy town, so it’s natural for NYC politicians to push for such a thing. If enough people in your local town sign petition signatures, you can make changes happen in your town also. If your town is heavily-Republican and the local politicians refuse to help, your other option is to open account with local credit unions. Most credit unions have Shared Branches with thousands of other credit union (that means, you can make teller deposits/withdrawals at other Credit Unions in Shared Branches network, likewise, you can make ATM deposits/withdrawal at Shared Branches/other credit unions in the network), and they have 28,000+ surcharge-free CO-OP ATM network nationwide.

Reply to this comment

avatar jim

Anna, When I say “can’t get a bank account” I mean people who have blemishes on their history such as bouncing checks which keeps them from being able to get bank accounts. Do credit unions take such customers without complaint? I wouldn’t think so. My understanding is that a fairly large number of people simply aren’t able to get bank accounts cause of their past records.

Reply to this comment

avatar Anna Silva

I was on FB sites “Bank Transfer Day” and “Move Your Money”, some credit unions do have face-to-face meeting with people to decide, and make flexible plans with the member. I cannot speak for myself because I always pay my credit card bills on time, I hate debts, I drive old clunker, I comparison shop before I buy stuff. A friend of mine joined a credit union last year in New York City, she’s unemployed and single (no source of income from spouse or boyfriend), she only wanted to open a savings account, but the CU representative (despite knowing she’s unemployed) asked if she wanted to open checking account and if she needed a loan. She declined on both checking account and loans. It depends on the individual credit unions, most of them are small enough that they would listen to the “Human-side” of the story as to why you have a bad credit history, unlike the Robotic Big Banks who reject you based on FICO scores alone.

So there you go, I have one example of an unemployed friend with moderately OK credit history who was able to open Savings account at Credit Union last year.

Reply to this comment

avatar DonnaFreedman ♦75 (Newbie)

As someone else mentioned, credit unions may work with people who have less-than-perfect banking records (including check-bouncing).
I wrote an article for MSN Money on the topic of the unbanked, and found a couple of sites that will work with people until they learn how to manage their money. That includes offering financial coaching and possibly even doing “small-dollar loans” to get people out of the payday-loan trap (and then, of course, teaching them how to budget so they don’t end up in that kind of trouble again).
These programs operate in a number of cities:
Bank On, http://joinbankon.org/programs/
Operation Hope, http://www.operationhope.org/

Reply to this comment

avatar Steve Mertz

I’m not a big fan of Suze and especially the $3 fee. How many credit reports do you really need in a years time?

Reply to this comment

avatar crashdamage1957

And, if you like the idea of a prepaid card ( like for emergency ” spare cash” in your wallet , or for your college student offspring, or your spendthrift spouse) but dont like the fees, there is competition out there in this space, do a search on ” pre paid debit cards”. The American Express prepaid card seems to me like a better alternative to me than the Suze card. Then again, I prefer Jean Chatzky to Orman when it comes to personal finance advice. And I’m not even a woman.

Reply to this comment

avatar Chris Jordan

Too late for me. I got pretty fed up hearing about credit card debt and people not using common sense – spending spending and spending. Over and over and over again! I liked and used what she said in a few shows (in the 1990 era)): 0 credit card debt, same old ancient but paid for car, large emergency fund, 0 school loans, 0 mortgage, paying myself first every month; and now I retired, so only watch financial programs for pleasure. In later years free debit cards (1 bank, 1 Credit Union) and free annual credit report were like “frosting on the cake”. Added frugal living along the way sure did help. This card may benefit someone, but not me.

Reply to this comment

avatar Chris P

Disappointed with the fee. The advice she and all PF gurus have given has always been to avoid fees and monthly charges. I don’t think that either Suze or the banks needs the additional income from those that are already financially challenged. Credit Unions and many banks offer free checking and secured cards for those trying to get back on track.

Reply to this comment

avatar Investor Junkie

In today’s world where most individuals are financially morons, I guess Suze is the best thing we got. I can’t stand her, her crappy products and services. Not for me. No thanks.

Good for her that she’s making money with her brand.

Reply to this comment

avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

I’m surprised at Suze and her $3 fee. I wouldn’t have it. It should be free to use your own money.

Reply to this comment

avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

In theory, you are correct; it should be free to use your own money. However, you have to realize that if you want YOUR money to grow, you have to invest it somewhere. Money stashed in a coffee can under the apple tree isn’t going to grow (apart from the money you add to it yourself). So, you have to put it somewhere, whether it’s a bank, a credit union, whatever. That requires people and technology to manage and handle your money, and that costs money. Where does that money come from? Fees and interest income, that’s where.

So…if you’d rather pay cash for EVERYTHING, including your mortgage, car payments, tuition, utility bills, then stash the money in the coffee can and pull it out each time you have to pay a bill (not to mention personally delivering it to the business because you should never mail cash). If you want the convenience of using checks, debit cards, online bill pay, etc. then you have to pay for it somehow because debit cards just don’t appear out of thin air.

Regarding Suze, I predict her debit card will go the way of the K Kash debit card (the Kardashian’s short-lived debit card.) They’ll be in good company. LOL

Reply to this comment

avatar Sun

We already pay that in the form of higher built in prices. Why should a debit card (that is an evolution of the paper check) cost you more money? That’s just wrong.

Except for gas stations that sometimes charge different prices for cash and credit, we all pay the credit price with cash buyers subsidizing the credit buyers.

Reply to this comment

avatar Anna Silva

Shellye, you have to understand how banks and credit unions work. Otherwise, people in the bank and credit union industries may secretly chuckle that the general public have no idea how the banks/credit unions work. I don’t work in banks/credit unions, but know a few friends who do work in the field.

The bank/credit union don’t look at money the same way the customers look at it. Banks/Credit Unions earn money from the spread (the different between the interest rate they loan out your bank deposits to other borrowers vs. the interest rates they pay you on your bank deposits). Therefore, banks/credit unions can and able to earn money without charging excessive fees to customers. My brother has an online broker account with free checking, free Debit/ATM card – surcharge-free ATM across the USA, free check-printing and “royal treatment” when he needs help. He’s just your average Joe, not even close to half-millionaire. Why is the online broker still making money off of him, so much so that they can offer him so many “Freebies”? Because they pay 0.1% interest on his checking account deposits – the online broker is affiliated with a big bank which does make traditional loans to customers, and they also loan out his security holdings for short-sellers by collecting fee income from the short-sellers. If you’re not familiar with stock trading. Think of Securities Lending as a memo account, whereby the broker collects a fee from short-sellers who needed to borrow securities to make a bet that the securities will drop in prices. Short-sellers make money when the securities they bet against really, actually drop in prices, then they can buy the securities at a cheap price in the open market and “return” the borrowed securities back to lending broker/customer.

Again, the traditional banks make money by the spread in interest rates charged in the loans to borrowers vs. the bank deposits of customers. Online broker or any stock broker that offer checking account also earn fee income from short-sellers when they loan out your securities holding.

Reply to this comment

avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

Anna, I DO understand how banks and credit unions work, because I actually work for one. You are correct; we in the financial industry do make money on the spread between interest charged on loans and the interest (or dividends) paid on savings. In addition to that spread, some credit unions, but not all, charge nominal (if any) fees for a few services. Credit unions, by definition, are not-for-profit entities, but that does NOT mean “give it all away”. The financial industry provides a service to its customers, just as attorneys, tailors, dry cleaners, doctors, dentists, plumbers, and others provide a service – not a product. They don’t give away their services for free. Credit unions offer services as well – ATM access, online bill payment, debit card usage, free checking (in most cases) notary services, etc. In order for members to have those conveniences, someone out there has to set them up, maintain them, repair them, etc. And that person or persons is paid for his time to do it.
As I said in my original post, in theory it should cost nothing for a person to use their own money. Stick it in the coffee can and pull it out when you want to use it. Just remember, not all businesses accept cash anymore. IF you don’t want the hassle of paying your mortgage payment, car payment, utility bill, or other bill with cash, then you use the convenience of some bank or credit union’s debit card, checking account or bill payment system. And you have to realize that it will cost you something to do so.
I’m not a fan of big banks at all, and I’m not defending their irresponsible business practices that have sunk this economy over the last 3 years, either. However, I think that many people feel their bank or credit union should give them everything for free just because that’s where they park their money. And that’s simply not possible.
May I share a link to a recent article that illustrates bank fees vs. credit union fees, and what’s coming in 2012?
http://www.consumerreports.org/content/cro/en/consumer-reports-magazine-february-2012/bank-accounts.html

Reply to this comment

avatar Anna Silva

What costs to big banks? The big banks are using and borrowing from the ultra-cheap loans from the Fed, they borrow the money to invest and make more money. At my credit union a few years ago, I mis-judged how long a check deposit cleared – an out-of-state check, then I wrote a check for a payment, my credit union didn’t charge me overdraft fee. They sent a letter to me that it took X days to clear the out-of-state check per regulations, but we honored the check you wrote for your payment. Because they beleive this is a one-time oversight (it’s true, it was my first time overdrafting – by mistake). My credit union didn’t take advantage of me, eventhough I didn’t have a strong defense if I actually took the time to dispute the NSF (Non-sufficient fund) or overdraft fee. This incident made me bond with my credit union, make me a loyal customer. In the long run, they are building stronger franchise by doing these kinds of nice things for their customers. BTW, over the years, they did other things for me that I wouldn’t imagine any big banks would have done for their customers. Credit Unions are not-for-profit, yes they still need to make a profit (surplus) to pay for overhead costs, rent, wages, etc, but they are not greedy and keep this “gotcha” attitude to sneak up some fees & charges like the big banks are doing.

avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

Anna, sounds like we’re in total agreement. Your last sentence below sums up the credit union philosophy exactly and illustrates my original point. I’m glad your credit union helped you and didn’t take advantage of your situation.

avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

Change that to read “last sentence above”…

avatar Joan Ferreira

Is a shame that a person with so much authority in the personal finance arena is endorsing a prepaid product.

I understand that this product is targeted to be an alternative to credit cards, but people will use it as an alternative to banking and financial institutions. This product will mostly be used by “unbanked” and “underbanked” individuals (mostly low-income) that will further be marginalized from financial institutions.

She is using her brand equity to create a nation that rather than continuing sound financial principles is promoting marginalization and the use of fringe financial products. A prepaid card is a gateway drug to payday lenders and pawnshops.

The right alternative, as mentioned above is financial education and proper use of financial products. Community Development Credit Unions often offer products and services that help people manage their money better, improve their credit and make sound financial decisions.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

Financial education is not going to help the consumers who would use this card as an alternative to banks. Low-income families face realities the middle class takes for granted. The card isn’t going to help, either, but financial literacy does not help the neediest communities.

Reply to this comment

avatar Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

Why is that? I’d think it does help since this is the information they need to make better decisions.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

It will help motivated adults in the community… but financial literacy efforts have had no proven success in communities at large. Individuals may get out of debt — and those who do, often do so temporarily — but financial literacy is not the engine that digs communities out of poverty or low-income SES.

Reply to this comment

avatar Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

Then what helps them “get it”?

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? What encourages socio-economic mobility? Access to higher education, certainly. Affordable higher education, most definitely. The GI Bill probably did more for mobility than any financial literacy program could hope to do. Grants. Student loans. More importantly, being able to convince the Influencers in communities that a better life is possible, so they spread the message from the inside as leaders. Financial literacy is a tiny, tiny part of what could possibly help low SES communities.

avatar Randy Barnett

“financial literacy does not help the neediest communities” – I beg to differ.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting in on a meeting of some folks trying to start a Community Development Credit Union. The people that started two similar credit unions in a neighboring state hosted the meeting. As a part of their credit union, they offer financial literacy classes. Some of the people who attend learn to manager their money and break the cycle of debt.

It’s certainly not a panacea, but it does help.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

This is true. Financial literacy advocacy and work does help adults who are determined to get out of bad situations. It is relatively ineffective in schools, which is where most advocates want to go with financial literacy programs.

Reply to this comment

avatar Spewin

If you read carefully, this card does not get reported to any credit agency. Your TRANSACTIONS are reported, but the card will not apear on your report. TransUnion is using this as a tool to study consumer behavior to help them develop more accurate scores later.

“The information we share with TransUnion concerning your Approved Card account will not appear in your credit report. If that were to change in the future, we will inform you in advance of any such reporting.”

Reply to this comment

avatar Roger the Amateur Financier

I’d definitely question the usefulness of this Approved Card; besides all the fees that are attached, it seems to have questionable usefulness in, say, actually building up a decent credit score (which, remind me again, was the point of this particular card, right?), given that it’s (a) not really a credit card and (b) Transunion itself states that even though the use of the card will be reported to it, it’s not going to include that data in the user’s credit score.

As to the potential conflict of interest, yes, it certainly is there. I’d say it’s probably more of a conflict with Suze than with the average celebrity; nobody expects (or at least, I would hope nobody expects) Russell Simmons or the Kardashians to give good personal finance advice, while that’s exactly what we expect from Suze. Between promoting this card in the first place and being downright insulting when responding to critics, Suze (or at least, the people working for her) has done herself no favors.

Reply to this comment

avatar Everything Finance

It was a disappointment that Suze Orman is promoting it, since she was the one who did not like prepaid debit cards before.

Reply to this comment

avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

Every time a friend says she watched Suzie, I cringe. I do keep my opinion to myself, though.

Reply to this comment

avatar Jesse

It’s really interesting to see how people handle things on Twitter, because if that really is Suze running her account, that’s raw, unscripted, unedited personality. Is that Suze really someone you want to follow or take advice from?

As to her card, nice little profit vehicle for her but it’s not going to help anyone. After the whole Bank of America debit card fee crisis, the now verizon fee crisis, all over $3-$5 fees, you’d think people trying to rip people off without them noticing would get a clue.

Reply to this comment

avatar qixx ♦1,890 (Half-Dollar)

Besides checking with a bank for a lower cost option check with your Human Resources department. Where I work you can get paid via check, direct deposit, or credit to a debit card. For the debit option you get a card through work that your paycheck is credited to on payday. It works the same as having a bank account and debit card. With the setup at my work there are no fees on the debit card.

Reply to this comment

avatar James Stein

Suze Orman’s card is not a bad prepaid card, but it is nothing more than that either. It is not even the best prepaid card out there, as that distinction belongs to American Express’ prepaid card, which comes with no monthly fees at all.

But what really bothers me is that Orman advertises her card almost like the solution to all of your financial problems, provided “you use it how I tell you to.” The thing is, if the “unbanked,” who constitute the vast majority of prepaid users, were always doing what they were told with their finances, they would never have been cut off of the banking system and come to rely on prepaid cards in the first place.

Reply to this comment

avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

You make a valid point, James.

Reply to this comment

avatar Diana

So James is she lying about not being able to help build credit using her prepaid card because that was the only reason why I was thinking of using it. She mentions something that she has an agreement with trans union credit people.

Reply to this comment

avatar Diana

I think that’s one of the only differences between her prepaid and all the others. I was even going to get a kinecta pre paid which is where I bank since it’s free to reload unlike greendot but to be honest with you, I do have one credit card that I use so I’m sure I can use that to build up credit so no more prepaid cards for me.

Reply to this comment

avatar Yana

I hadn’t paid attention to this until now. I am against exploiting the poorest and least knowledgeable people, and that is what this debit card does. I’m surprised at Suze Orman’s insults towards personal finance bloggers, whom I appreciate very much, and I see no reason to pay attention to her at all.

Reply to this comment

avatar Agnes

I thought the difference with her card is that the reported the the credit bureau to build your credit. Im not sure what she would report but that is was she advertised on the Wendy Williams show.

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

The information the card reports to TransUnion does not at this time do anything to build credit. No behavior with a debit card is relevant to the use of credit.

Reply to this comment

avatar Diana

I did not think so as well since not sure how one can build credit when you’re using your own money but why is she allowed to tell lies then? Isn’t that fraud?

Reply to this comment

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

When asked, I believe Suze’s more nuanced answer is that with the data, over time, TransUnion will be able to evaluate how debit card usage correlates with or can predict credit behavior, even if it’s not directly related. Perhaps it’s similar to how credit scores come into play with insurance rates — not directly related, but predictive of behavior.

Reply to this comment

avatar Agnes

That was tricky! Suzy’s card is no different from the rest. I was going to get it because she claimed it could build my credit so I didn’t mind the $3 monthly fee. No Thank You.

Reply to this comment

avatar Diana

I guess other people are saying the same thing that her card is really not different than other prepaid cards. I’m removing /unsubscribing Suze from my facebook. She is supposed to help people build credit not rob from them.

Thanks for the info
Here is a link I found on msn today regarding Suze’s card and not a positive one.

http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/why-suzes-card-will-not-help-you-weston.aspx

Reply to this comment

avatar Danielle

I’m not sure if anyone has pointed out that secured credit cards offer the same restrictions for people who cannot quailfy for a traditional banking or credit card, with one major benefit, those cards are reported to the credit bureaus. Combined with a savings account, this option may fare better for someone who is in financial bind.

Reply to this comment

avatar Diana

I’m not getting her card. if anything I would just continue using my checking/saving account with my credit union and a credit card that I have kept. I may get a prepaid card from my credit union since they don’t charge to reload, it’s free if you reload at the bank which is more convenient for emergencies than a credit card because I can put in the amount I need to use the same day for an online transaction or whatever and it will be available unlike a credit card it may take days to post.

Reply to this comment

avatar Glenn

Suze Orman’s is just capitalizing on the prepaid debit card racket. People who can’t or won’t get a bank account in order to get a regular debit card are not those who benefit from free credit reports (Suze’s card does not even give you all 3 credit reporting agencies).

The notion that somehow use of the prepaid debit card by anyone is going to enhance their credit score is a blatant marketing lie.

Prepaid debit cards has some advantages, but not for improving your credit score.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Connect with Facebook

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: