Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Secured Cards To Rebuild Credit

Those with bad credit often got there through no fault of their own… job loss, medical bills, and other economic hardships we can’t always control.

Whatever the case may be, instead of dwelling on the past, it’s best to focus on the future and rebuild your credit. But of course the catch-22 is you can’t apply for a credit card with bad credit and get approved! However with secured cards you can, no matter how horrible your history may be!

Here are 3 important things to consider when choosing your secured credit card…
  • Reasonable Fees – Fees should be expected, but some banks will rip you off with outrageously high fees. The application fee and annual or monthly fee should be reasonable and when combined, they should not cost more than $100 to $150 over the course of the first year.
  • Reports to Credit Bureaus – Of course it’s important that your account is reported to the bureaus. However, banks that offer secured credit cards (or any card for that matter) have to pay to report customer records… for that reason, some unscrupulous banks won’t report because they’re being cheap, make sure you watch out for them.
  • Flexible Security Deposit – We all know higher credit limits are better, but maybe you can’t afford much for your security deposit right now. The best cards should give you some flexibility. For example, you can start with a $500 deposit for a $500 limit, but later on when you can afford to do so, you should be given the ability to raise that to a $3,000 limit by adding more to your security deposit.
2 Important tips you need to know!

Tip #1 – Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to carry a balance to rebuild your credit. What’s actually reported to the credit bureaus is the balance on your statement when it closes each month. So it’s best to use your card and pay off the bill in full every month in order to avoid interest.
Tip #2 – A small portion of your credit score is based on what percentage of your available credit limit you are using. Again, contrary to popular belief, having higher balances are not better. It’s best to never use more than 25% to 30% of your credit limit at any given time.

The Best Secured Credit Cards To Rebuild Credit In 2011
This sponsored listing of the best offers is regularly updated.

Top Pick: Orchard Bank MasterCard
Orchard Bank MasterCardWhat’s so great about this offer is that Orchard Bank will check your pre-qualification for 4 different cards at once – both secured and unsecured. This is great because who knows, maybe you will qualify for a regular unsecured card? Since this issuer is part of HSBC (one of the world's largest banks) it is a great, respectable card to have. They specialize in credit cards to rebuild credit and their rates and fees are quite reasonable.

Household Bank MasterCard
Household Bank MasterCardThis MasterCard has an annual fee of $39 which is definitely on the low end for a secured credit card. However the best part about it is that you earn a full 2% cash back on your spending. It's rare to find a secured card that gives rewards, let alone one that gives an extremely high 2% rebate! If your credit score is better than you think, you might qualify for the unsecured version which has the same rewards but a $0 annual fee.

Applied Bank Platinum Zero Card
Applied Bank Platinum ZeroThey call this the Platinum "Zero" because the interest rate for purchases is fixed at 0% (even if you make late payments) and there's $0 in application fees. However the monthly maintenance fee is $9.95 so this secured credit card is probably only appropriate for rebuilding credit in the short term, rather than paying that fee for years to come. The security deposit ranges from $500 to $5,000 depending on how high of a credit limit you want


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