There is little doubt on the convenience that credit cards offer - the ease of payments as well as the credit history it helps you build up for subsequent loans and mortgages. It is increasingly noticed that people fall into the debt trap fueled by reckless spending and misuse of credit. Unpaid bills and large outstanding amounts on credit cards can wreak havoc on your credit rating.
The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers against falling for fraudulent credit card offers that allow easy credit or even credit clinics that offer to clean up your credit history for a fee. Some might give you the card; provided you buy an insurance for about $50 a month. Check out for fraudulently marketed add-on products that are bundled along with secured credit cards. It is essential to get a secured credit card from a reputable bank or credit union. Read on learn more about secured credit cards and how you can apply for one.
Secured credit card
Secured credit cards require you to put down a deposit of 100% or 150% of the total credit you desire. Since secured credit cards are linked to bank deposits, the credit limit is tied to the collateral. The deposits that you have made for the purpose of the secured credit card are generally frozen. These funds are used to cover any obligations on your credit card, should you default on your payments.
While some companies pay you interest on the deposit amount, others don't. It is possible to increase your credit limit by increasing your deposit. Alternatively, over a period of time, you might be rewarded for good payment history by an additional credit limit. A secured credit card is invaluable in establishing credit record. It can also help in reestablishing credit, after an instance of credit damage or bankruptcy.
Use your secured credit card wisely and you will be able to build your credit rating. Pay off bills every month and don't carry balances. Use the card sparingly making few small purchases and paying the balance in full by the due date. It might take about a year if you are prudent to improve upon your credit score and qualify for an unsecured credit card. You might be even able to transfer your secured line of credit to an unsecured one.
While secured credit cards appear much like prepaid cards, there is a slight difference. Both require you to deposit money before you can use them. With a secured credit card, your available credit goes up again once you pay up what you spent. Prepaid cards don't require you to pay up what you spent. It works much like a debit card. There is no credit check before a prepaid card is issued.
Applying for a secured credit card
You need to furnish particulars of your social security number, proof of income, home phone number, employment verification and address verification. It may be necessary to furnish a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus as proof of your credit history. It is essential to read the fine print as far as fees for secured credit cards go.
Beware of hidden fees. Most secured credit cards carry higher fees and interest rates. Some credit companies charge an unduly high interest rate on secured credit cards. Shop around for the best deal available. Do an online comparison and see the features of each card and what would benefit you most.