If you have a low credit score, you’re probably anxious to bring it up, and fast. The trouble is, it can be hard to get approved for a credit card when you have less than perfect credit. And filling out too many applications can make your score drop even more.
But there is good news. Secured credit cards provide a chance for you to rebuild credit and get back in the game. Here’s how.
Apply for a Card
The first step toward rebuilding credit is to apply for a secured credit card. This type of card is easy to apply for, and almost all applications will be approved. This can be a relief if you’ve had a hard time getting credit.
To find the right secured credit card, you’ll want to start your search online. You’ll find a wide selection to choose from. Since the fees vary from card to card, you’ll want to look carefully through your options. You can also read reviews about them on a number of sites.
Understand how it works
A secured credit card is very similar to a regular, unsecured credit card. You can use it to make purchases at stores or online. You can also use it at restaurants, gas stations, and any other place that regularly accepts credit cards.
The biggest difference, however, with a secured credit card is that you set your own limit. You do so by depositing money into your account. The amount you deposit becomes your new limit. If you use up the money you have deposited, you will not be able to make more purchases until you upload more into your account. This protects you from going over the limit.
Most secured credit cards come with a number of fees, including a charge for signing up and an annual fee. There may be some maintenance fees to pay as well. The price may seem high, but it is important to remember that these cards are open for all types of credit. They are set up to mitigate risk factors.
Pay on Time
If you’ve run into problems making on-time payments in the past, now is your chance to turn that around. With a secured credit card, you should focus on paying on time, every time. This gives others a chance to see that your payment habits are changing.
Many secured cards report to major credit bureaus. This is important because it gives others the opportunity to see how you manage your credit. By making small purchases and paying on time, you are demonstrating that you can handle your finances well.
Move up the Credit Ladder
A secured credit card can be your first step toward better credit because as you manage it well, your score will rise. Over time, you will be able to apply for a different type of credit card. Doing so may give you the chance to get a higher limit, fewer fees, and a better interest rate. And you’ll be able to put your new and improved spending habits into practice. All of this can make your financial future much brighter.
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