Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are a good credit option for people who are just starting out with credit or who need to rebuild bad credit. Learn more about these products and find the one that's right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a secured credit card?

    A secured credit card is a lot like a regular credit card—you can make purchases with it, and later pay for them with a monthly bill. The major difference is that you're required to make a deposit against the card's credit limit. Your credit limit will usually be a percentage of your security deposit, or it may be the same as your deposit.

  • How long does it take to build credit with a secured credit card?

    With responsible use of your secured credit card you should begin to see credit score improvements relatively soon, but there are no guarantees. You’ll get the best results by paying your balance in full every month, keeping your card balance low throughout the month, and paying consistently on time, month after month. Most secured card issuers will upgrade a secured account to an unsecured account after a year or two of responsible use (and sometimes sooner).

  • How do you get a secured credit card?

    The application process for a secured credit card is a lot like the process for a regular or unsecured credit card—with one big difference. You’ll provide income and other details on an application, but you’ll also be asked to leave a security deposit (and probably an application fee). The deposit can be as little as a few hundred dollars all the way up to several thousand and it will most likely be your credit limit.

  • How does a secured credit card work?

    Secured credit cards are a lot like traditional or unsecured credit cards. You can use them to make purchases, which you’ll pay for through a monthly bill. Meanwhile, the card’s issuer will report your account balance and payment activity to the major credit bureaus (ideally all three of them). The difference is that a secured credit card requires the cardholder to leave a cash security deposit (which is often the card’s credit limit). The deposit protects the lender in case the cardholder defaults or fails to pay.

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