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Bad Credit
Merchant Accounts

Today, bad credit merchant accounts can be found for almost everyone.

Five of the best providers are discussed here.

learning about bad credit merchant accounts

But let's begin with a little history.

In the not too distant past, it was virtually impossible for a person with a poor credit history - or no credit history at all - to receive a merchant account. Banks, being heavily regulated and subject to strict controls over their activities, rarely saw fit to grant merchant accounts to those without a sterling credit history.

However, with the recent proliferation of independent sales organizations (ISO's) offering bad credit merchant accounts, it is now much easier for those with poor credit to obtain a merchant account and begin accepting credit cards in their business. 

The requirements and terms of service may vary a little from ISO to ISO, with some applicants being obliged to pay slightly higher fees than their counterparts with good credit. 

But unless you are involved in current or very recent bankruptcy proceedings, are on the VISA/MasterCard watch list, or have committed an act of fraud, you should be able to find a number of providers offering bad credit merchant accounts

You may also be required to put up a reserve, as security for the provider. Reserves were discussed in The Nine Minute Tutorial.

Understanding Bad Credit Merchant Account Services

Sidenote: Before reviewing some providers of bad credit merchant accounts, take The Nine Minute Tutorial. It will provide you with a basic understanding of what is involved in credit card processing, the costs you can expect to incur, the equipment or software you may need to acquire and how to select the best bad credit merchant accounts provider for your particular business.

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merchant accounts for individuals with bad credit

Below are five top providers of bad credit merchant accounts. Please keep in mind the issues discussed in The Nine Minute Tutorial concerning how to select the right merchant account provider for your particular needs. declines very few applicants, even those with bad credit ratings. Over 98% of its applicants are approved. It can approve almost any type of business and offers a full range of processing services, including real-time, retail and manual online services for phone and mail order businesses.

Pay $0.00 for your software to accept online payments. And provides free applications, free setup, free shopping cart, free Internet check software, free technical support and free search engine submissions. Perhaps the #1 online merchant account provider, has received the highest ratings from AOL, Apple Computers, Excite and others.

Online applications are often approved the same day. Even if you are turned down, you still get the Checks by Web, Phone and Fax Software set-up absolutely free, just for applying.

To check out their website:

Merchant Account Explorer

Total Merchant Services is one of the country's fastest growing credit card merchant account providers.

It approves many bad credit merchant accounts. Its Auto-Approval program offers automatic approval for a merchant account, if you meet its guidelines:

monthly volume less than $10,000

average price of goods offered for sale less than $300

future service liability less than 30 days

not a prohibited business.

Total Merchant Services can handle a variety of bad credit merchant accounts, including internet, mail order, telephone order, retail and wireless processing solutions; their fees are reasonable; and the application process is usually completed within a few days.

To check out their website:

Total Merchant Services

The Transaction Group/E-Commerce Exchange is a nationwide processing company in its 13th year of processing credit card transactions.

Offering merchants the ability to accept all major credit cards, they can provide bad credit merchant accounts to entrepreneurs on the Internet, home-based businesses, phone and mail order industries.

Besides real-time processing, retail terminal and manual input solutions, it also offers e-checking and wireless services. A variety of payment plans are available.

Applications for bad credit merchant accounts are usually processed within 5 business days.

To check out their website:

The Transaction Group

If you are applying to process under $5000/month in credit card orders and your average order is under $250, credit is not even an issue. Even if your expectations are above $5000/month, credit is secondary to the type of product you are selling. As long as you are not currently in a bankruptcy, you can be approved.

If you are a new start up company without a credit history, the bank will look at your personal credit history, rather than the company's.

To get started, you only need a Doing Business As 'DBA' name, a product or service you wish to sell, and a US checking account. That is all. goEmerchant can supply you with everything else you need to start your internet business.

As the sole proprieter of the business, you are able to use your personal checking account. But should you want a business checking account, you can take advantage of 's free checking account offer.

To check out their website:


Merchant Service Sales

Can accommodate most applicants. Receive a free payment gateway, or if you are a retailer, a free credit card processing terminal (valued at $495). No upfront payment and no lease payments.

Customizable fraud and risk management system helps you maximize sales and minimize risk.

For website processing, supports most available shopping cart software so it integrates easily with most e-commerce solutions.

To check out their website:

Free Credit Card Processing


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