Not all banks who offer secured credit cards advertise the fact. Because of this, you may find yourself applying for numerous unsecured credit cards before you come across a secured credit card application.
This can result in numerous inquiries on your credit report and a decrease in your credit rating (which is part of what got you here in the first place)!
If you want to find the banks who offer secured credit cards without going through all of the hassle normally associated with doing so, follow these seven tips:
1. Be Realistic
The first thing you need to do when looking for banks who offer secured credit cards is be realistic about what you’re going to qualify for.
Don’t apply for an American Express or a Diner’s Club card thinking they’ll offer you a secured credit card if you don’t qualify. As a rule, upper-crust credit card companies do not offer secured credit cards.
2. Utilize the Web
When it comes to searching for banks who offer secured credit cards, the Web is your very best friend. There are informational websites that offer a wealth of knowledge on secured credit cards and they can even direct you to sites that allow you to apply for secured credit cards online.
3. Target Your Search
Rather than haphazardly filling out cvv shop applications hoping to run into a secured credit card opportunity, look specifically for secured credit card applications to fill out.
The banks who offer secured credit cards do want your business and they aren’t really hiding from you. Search for secured credit card applications and you’re likely to find just that.
4. If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…
As with any credit card offer, if you run into a secured credit card offer that sounds too good to be true, proceed with caution.
Some of the banks who offer secured credit cards really don’t have your best interests in mind. That is why it is important to deal only with reputable credit card companies.
5. Understand the Differences
When looking for banks who offer secured credit cards, make sure you understand that not all of them are created equal. Some will charge higher fees, while others will charge higher interest rates.
Before applying for any single secured credit card, evaluate the costs of that card and make sure it’s the card that will best meet your personal needs.
6. Don’t Pay Anything Up Front
Never, ever deal with the credit card companies that ask you to send them cash up front. Nine and a half times out of ten they are a scam.
A legitimate secured credit card company will charge any applicable fees to your new credit card account, allowing you to pay them off after the card is in your hands — not before.
7. Easy Does It
Keep in mind the golden rule — less is definitely more. Too many credit card applications equals too many credit inquires. Just because you find ten banks who offer secured credit cards, it doesn’t mean you have to apply for all ten of them.
By following these seven steps, not only will you be able to find the banks who offer secured credit cards, but you’ll be able to tell the good from the bad in seconds flat.
Secured credit cards are not of much use to you if you already have a solid credit score. These cards require a cash deposit that will represent your budget for that card. For example, if you put $400 in the account, you would have a $400 line of credit. If you put $750 in the account, then $750 would be your credit limit. Secured credit cards are only given to individuals with no credit history, or to people who have bad credit and can’t get any other card to re-build their credit.
Secured credit cards can be a great way to rebuild your credit, but there are several things you need to understand right off the bat:
- These cards will have higher interest rates
- These cards will have annual fees
- Most cards will limit you to $300-500 starting out
- These cards are not a long term solution to your credit woes
Since these are credit cards designed to help someone with a bad credit history (or in rare cases, none at all) get into the game, these are not going to be the best deals. However when there’s nothing else available a good secured credit card can help to rebuild your credit score back to a respectable level.
That last question about secured credit cards is less important than the others, but could be a nice bonus that some banks offer. The most important question is making sure that your credit card payments are reported to all three credit bureaus. The whole point of getting a secured credit card is to slowly rebuild your credit profile. If your payments are not being made to the credit bureaus, then you’re losing the main point of having a secured credit card.