There are a lot of credit card options out there. But not all credit cards are available if people don’t have an established credit history or if their credit is less than perfect. Secured credit cards are one of the best tools to help people build good credit.
But before applying for a secured credit card, it may help to learn how the secured cards work. Keep reading to learn more about a secured card, how a secured credit card works, how to get a secured credit card with bad credit, a list of the best-secured credit cards, and much more.
What is a Secured Credit Card?
When people talk about a secured credit card, money must be deposited with the credit card issuer to open an account. The deposited money is known as a security deposit, and the credit card issuer holds the money while the account is open; this process is like the security deposit given to a landlord to rent an apartment.
A secured credit card is a brilliant option for people who are building, establishing, or rebuilding their credit. And building credit through responsible use can make a person a better candidate for car loans, mortgages, and other credit cards.
How Does a Secured Credit Card Work?
Secured credit cards are used like other credit cards to make payments, and these cards run on one of the largest payment networks like American Express, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover. But these cards are designed for those with damaged credit or limited to no credit.
Like other types of loans, such as student loans, mortgages, or auto loans, credit card issuers use people’s past credit history to determine their product eligibility and interest rates. The better one’s credit score, the better their offers will be. That’s because a good/high credit score signals lenders that the person is less likely to default or pay late.
But if a person has not-so-great credit or no credit, a lender may determine that it’s too big of a risk to approve that person for a credit card. Enter secured credit cards. Lenders who are not willing to issue a credit to people who lack a credit history or have struggled financially may be more willing to approve people for a secured credit card, as the process requires a deposit that can be seized if the debt is not paid. The deposit is like an insurance for the lender if the borrower or cardholder fails to make on-time payments.
Each credit card comes with maximum and minimum credit limits, starting at a minimum required opening deposit of a hundred dollars up to a thousand dollars, depending on the card limit and how much of a deposit the person is willing to give.
How to Get a Secured Credit card if you have a Bad Credit
Like any credit card, the first step to getting a secured credit card is to fill out and apply. The lender will have to conduct a credit check. The main difference between an unsecured and a secured credit card application is that the latter will require one’s bank account and routing number for one to process a refundable security deposit. The amount a person deposit becomes their credit limit—the maximum amount they may charge on the card.
Upon acceptance of one’s security deposit, a secured card works just like any other card. Since secured cards require collateral from applicants as part of their agreement with the card company, the person should ensure to pay off their balance in full every month to avoid excessive interest charges.
Like unsecured cards, charges will appear on the person’s statement with an amount due for that month. If they decide to cancel the card after an extended period, they may receive their deposit back, assuming their balance is paid off.
List of 10 Best-Secured Credit Cards For Bad Credit
Below is a list of the best-secured credit card for people with bad credit; scroll down to check them out.
1. First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
This platform shouldn’t be a person’s first choice because it charges an annual fee. That said, if one’s options are exhausted or if they plan to carry a balance, this card should be the best choice.
2. Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
While the best-secured credit cards allow people to get their deposit back either by automatic account review or when they close their account in good standing, not every secured credit card makes it as seamless as the Capital One Quicksilver secured credit card.
3. Navy FCU nRewards® Secured Credit Card
Not everybody will be eligible to apply for this platform-secured credit card. Still, this platform card is one of the best-secured credit cards available for eligible people.
4. Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card
The platform offers a unique twist on earning rewards: Each cardholder/user can choose their own bonus cash back category. This card could be a better choice for those who want to have some extra control over rewards earning or with spending habits that change regularly.
5. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
This platform’s unique Cash Back Match helps it top the list of the best-secured credit cards globally. Like other cards on this list, the card earns rewards and doesn’t charge an annual fee.
6. Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card
The platform card offers flat-rate cash back on all purchases. This card is a good choice for a person who wants to set it and forget it, though we think it will be less rewarding than the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card overall for many users.
7. U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa® Secured Card
The platform card is one of the few secured cards offering users the ability to earn points. Still, these points can’t be transferred to airlines, so they will be transferred through the likeliest-most-lucrative redemption method, effectively functioning as cash back. Whether or not this card is an excellent option has to do with the bonus spending categories than the fact it earns points.
8. U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card
The platform card is another card that allows people to choose their bonus categories.
9.OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The OpenSky secured credit card has a maximum credit limit of $3,000 (based on deposit) that surpasses that of most of the top secured cards. A high potential limit is important for efficient credit building since it can make maintaining a good credit utilization ratio easier.
10. Citi Secured Mastercard: Best for Citibank members
Although people might not obtain the lowest fees and rates or earn rewards, Citibank users enjoy more convenience from this secured card.
People with no credit or bad credit scores sometimes find themselves unable to receive approval for a credit card. Secured credit cards provide a path for people with bad credit scores to receive approval and build a good credit profile.
Can you get denied on a secured credit card?
Yes, it is possible to get denied for a secured card if the person has major negative items on their credit report, such as a recent or ongoing discharged bankruptcy, repossession, or collection accounts. People could also be denied if they don’t meet the issuer’s minimum requirements for approval.
Can I get a secured credit card with a 520-credit score?
The one thing a person with a 520-credit score should do is open a secured credit card. Even if they don’t use it to make purchases, a secured card can help improve their score by adding positive information to their credit report monthly. It won’t give them an emergency loan, though.
Will a secured credit card help bad credit?
Secured credit cards are an excellent tool to help people build a strong credit history if the lender reports card payments to the credit bureaus. However, people do not need to carry a monthly balance to improve their credit scores—and, if possible, they shouldn’t carry a balance.
Do secured cards build credit?
Using a secured credit card to build credit is a good solution. Secured credit cards provide people with a small line of credit in exchange for a refundable and affordable security deposit. Secured cards are one of the ways to build credit if people have a limited credit history or a low credit score.
How many points will a secured card raise my score?
If people properly manage their secured credit cards, they could see a 200-point increase in their credit score within a year. If people have bad credit, a score of 500 or below, opening 3 secured credit cards and a credit builder loan can get them into the 700s within one year.
How fast will a secured card build credit?
Typically, it can take 1 – 2 months after people begin using their secured card for it to start bumping up their credit score. If someone is new to building credit, it could take up to 6 months for a credit score to appear on their report.
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