What Is A Secured Credit Card?

by Benjamin Wise

You might have heard about secured credit cards and not known what they are. A secured credit card isn’t technically a credit card. That’s because credit means that the company issuing the card is extending you a short term loan on the assumption that you’ll pay your bills on time.

If you pay off your conventional credit card withing a billing cycle, you won’t have to pay any interest. However, you might still have to pay annual fees. The benefit of credit cards is that they allow you to buy things immediately, even ones you wouldn’t necessarily be able to buy without saving up several paychecks.

That’s hard to do if that ‘thing’ is fixing your car’s transmissions or taking someone special on a weekend getaway. Credit cards are also a matter of massive convenience and prestige.

Being able to whip out the ‘plastic’ and make the transaction happen is often required to look like you’ve got your act together without carrying mass cash. This is why so many people use them every day!

If you’ve had bad luck or you’ve made some bad purchases, you might not have a credit score good enough to qualify for an ordinary credit card. A secure credit card is a good option in this case.

You can still get the benefits of convenience and prestige without the credit card companies really giving you a loan. Essentially, you put up the money in advance. The amount you put in is effectively your spending limit, so you can’t really get yourself into trouble in the same way as a regular credit card.

A secured credit card is a great way to build your credit back up if you’ve had problems. Just make sure that the company issuing the card offers a credit report to the bureaus, telling them how well you’ve done. While you can’t spend more than the cash that’s on the card, it does give you the convenience of plastic, while allowing you to bolster your credit.

If you’re thinking about getting a secured credit card to help build your credit, make sure that on-time payments are reported to the appropriate credit bureaus. Companies that don’t report this won’t help your credit. However, if you’re looking for convenience and some insurance against spending too much, just about any secured credit card will work. Look for one that requires as little as possible in fees and other charges.

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