Whether you’re just starting out with little to no credit or need to re-establish a good credit history, secured cards offer a simple and fast way to build or rebuild credit.
Having good credit is necessary to a healthy financial outlook just as having a solid savings plan. There are some things most people cannot do without a credit history, such as finance a home, car or pay a large tuition bill. Major purchases more than likely require a good credit history. Even emergencies like auto repair, medical expenses, home repair or even relocation can require you have a solid credit history.
Adding good credit to a limited credit file or credit file with negative information is an excellent way to make yourself more favorable to banks and lenders. Once you get credit it may take up to 6 months of on-time payments to establish a credit score if you currently do not have one. If your credit score needs a boost 6 months of on-time payments will help to improve scores.
Where to Apply for a Secured Credit
Bank or Credit Union. The best place to start with secured credit is your bank or credit union. If you have a good relationship with your bank inquire with a loan officer about the bank’s secured credit products. They may have special products designed for consumers with a thin credit file as well as those with a negative credit file. It’s always good to ask because your bank may not openly advertise all of their products.
Here are several suggestions for easy to qualify for secured credit cards:
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card approves just about anyone, even if you have a recent bankruptcy. There is no credit check necessary. You get the opportunity to rebuild your credit with monthly updates to all 3 credit bureaus. You can start with a security deposit and credit line as low as $200. It takes about 5 minutes to apply. No checking account is needed to fund the account, there are several options available. The good feature in this secured card is that with on-time payments, they may increase your credit limit without requiring additional deposits.
primor® Secured Visa Gold Card. Open an FDIC insured Savings Deposit with First Choice Bank and you can secure a Visa or MasterCard with a credit limit equal to the amount of your savings – anywhere from $200 to $5,000! Your money is safe and is refunded if you decide to close the account. The secured card reports monthly to the major credit bureaus. Even if you have damaged credit or no credit history, you can qualify for low fixed interest rates with no penalty rate.
The UNITY Visa Credit Card is a secured card from One United Bank. Cardholders can choose their credit limit from $250 to $10,000 with an FDIC-insured security deposit. Cardholders get an introductory rate of 9.95% for the first 6 months then a competitive fixed rate of 17.99%. If you have a bankruptcy or your credit is severely damaged the above secured cards may be better for your situation. Monthly reporting to all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) is provided to help rebuild credit.
The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval. It is a full-feature platinum MasterCard® good for car rental, hotels and anywhere MasterCard® is accepted. Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus. The card is secured by an FDIC-insured deposit of $200 to $2,000. Complete the online application now!
USAA membership is reserved for the members of the military, veterans who honorably served and their eligible family members. Enjoy a fresh start with the USAA Secured Credit Card. If you’ve had past credit problems you are welcome to apply. Improve credit scores with on-time payments. An interest earning USAA 2-Year Variable Rate CD will be used as a security deposit. The money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card’s credit limit. Start building your credit today.
Key to Good Credit Scores
Maintain low balances in order to see the most improvement in scores and never max out your credit cards. The best measurement of how much to spend on a credit card is no more than 30% of your available credit limit. You can’t go wrong if you practice keeping account balances to less than 30% of the credit limit. And, always make payments on time or pay in full each month if possible.