Credit cards used responsibly can help rebuild your credit. From secured cards that require an upfront deposit that doubles as your credit limit to closed loop store cards, regular on-time payments will gradually offset negative information that’s keeping your score low.
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Secured cards are designed for applicants looking to rebuild or repair their credit. While traditional unsecured credit cards don’t require any deposits up front, secured cards require you to provide the card issuer with a refundable security deposit as collateral – often an amount equivalent to your credit limit. Use it just like any other credit card but be sure to make payments on time to build your score!
If you miss payments, card issuers may withdraw your deposit to pay off any balance on the account – this can have a devastating effect on your credit score. If this occurs with a secured credit card, contact the issuer immediately to determine steps that can be taken to remedy this situation. Additionally, consider an unsecured or pre-paid card as potential solutions that can help build or repair it further.
How to get a credit card with poor credit
A secured card can be an excellent tool for building or rebuilding credit, especially if you have limited or no history. As part of the application process, you will be asked for a refundable deposit equal to the credit limit; this will be used if any default occurs on the card. Some secured cards offer rewards; while some don’t charge an annual fee.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that credit cards may not be suitable for everyone. If your spending habits become out of control and credit cards become an uncontrolled source of debt-to-income ratio reduction. Aiming for 30% utilization rate should help increase your financial health significantly.
Before selecting a credit card, be sure to research its terms and conditions thoroughly to ensure it fits your needs best. It may be tempting to apply for cards with high credit limits; however, this can increase credit utilization. A good rule of thumb would be choosing cards with maximum limits that fall below your total income so that payments won’t become burdensome.
Consider selecting a credit card that provides free credit monitoring. These cards send your monthly activity directly to major credit bureaus, making it easy for you to track your progress and build your history. Some of these cards also allow users to “graduate” to an unsecured card after making certain payments on time – an attractive solution for rebuilding credit history.
While it’s impossible to accurately predict how fast you can build credit with a secured credit card, regular on-time payments should significantly boost your score over time. Furthermore, certain lenders don’t report your account information to all three credit bureaus; thus it is wise to select one that does.