More consumers than ever are taking the time to learn more about secured credit cards. While it’s not the first choice of many individuals, it’s a tool to strongly consider, thanks to a variety of high-level benefits.
A secured credit card works just the same as an unsecured credit card, with one major difference: you’re required to provide a refundable security deposit in exchange for a line of credit.
Yes, this means money out of your pocket to obtain the card, but after that, you can use it the same way as any other credit card.
Note: the security deposit is collateral for the lender. So, if you don’t pay your balance, they have the legal right to keep the deposit.
How to Apply for a Secured Credit Card
Applying for a secured credit card is similar to any other credit card application. You can complete the application online by providing personal and financial information, such as your social security number and annual income.
Once you receive an approval, you will then put down your deposit and wait for your card to arrive in the mail. It’s really that simple.
From there, you will receive a statement every month that shows your purchases, balance, and amount of credit remaining.
When possible, pay your balance in full every month, as this allows you to avoid interest charges.
Tip: make sure the issuer of your credit card reports all activity to the three major credit bureaus. By doing so, you get “credit” for responsibly managing your account, which will work in your favor in the future.
You can Soon Move to an Unsecured Credit Card
Even though you may not be excited about using a secured credit card to build your credit, you should look at it as an opportunity.
When you do so responsibly, your credit score will rise and your credit history will improve. Soon enough, you can apply for an unsecured credit card. If you receive an approval, you can then request your refundable security deposit.
Answer These Questions
As you compare secured credit cards, you’ll find that some have more to offer than others. And for that reason, you need to carefully consider all your options before making a final decision.
By answering these questions, you’ll inch closer toward finding the perfect offer:
- What are you looking for in a secured credit card, in regards to features?
- Do you have a preferred issuer?
- How much money are you willing to put down as a refundable security deposit?
These are basic questions, but the answers will help you formulate your search strategy.
Now that you understand the basics of secured credit cards, you can decide what to do next.
Your goal is simple: to obtain a credit card that provides convenience, all while boosting your credit score and improving your credit history.