Reply
Member
irock
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-20-2009
0

secured credit cards

can anyone recommend a reputable secured CC company?  we are trying to rebuild our credit and our mrtg rep suggested we get a CC to help build up our scores and show a strong payment history.  I've looked online but they all seem like scams with outrageous fees.

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

Also, does this really work to help raise scores?

 

Thanks!

Established Contributor
MsKiwi
Posts: 832
Registered: ‎03-20-2008
0

Re: secured credit cards


irock wrote:

can anyone recommend a reputable secured CC company?  we are trying to rebuild our credit and our mrtg rep suggested we get a CC to help build up our scores and show a strong payment history.  I've looked online but they all seem like scams with outrageous fees.

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

Also, does this really work to help raise scores?

 

Thanks!


 

Bank of America is probably the best secured cc to have. After 9-12 months they should unsecure. Just remember to pif and it's best to pay before the statement cuts. BOA likes to see usage but do not max out this card.

I think CITI also has a secured card but they aren't guaranteed to unsecure. Wells Fargo offers a secured card. Any big name bank or your local CU is a good place to start. I would avoid HSBC if you can for many reasons.

Established Contributor
cobaltnv
Posts: 640
Registered: ‎09-02-2008
0

Re: secured credit cards

Many on here recommend Bank of America. It is my understanding that you do not apply for it, but apply for a "regular" card and they counteroffer a secured or partially secured card. What is nice about BoA is that in 9 months or so if you behave yourself (never late, over limit etc) it will become an unsecured card. Then you have a card with a major and reputable (at least as reputable as banks are) company that will grow with you.

 

Depending on your scores I would probably recommend going into a local BoA branch and ask about it. 

Good Luck! 

TU 810: EQ 813: EX 814 (9/16/09--Loan officer pull)

Helpful Threads
Frequently Requested Threads
Understanding your Fico Score
Established Contributor
Pappy214
Posts: 794
Registered: ‎08-05-2008
0

Re: secured credit cards


irock wrote:

 

Also, does this really work to help raise scores?

 

Thanks!


Yes, I started last year with no credit history at all. I got two secured cards and a car loan, and I am now in the mid-high 600's with my credit scores.

 

Read all the posts here though, because having a card alone won't raise your score unless you use it correctly.

 

Also get at least two CC's. One from your bank (if possible) and one from another lender (I use Orchard/HSBC and have had no problems with them but others have, so do your homework).

 

Only let one report a balance, it may take a few months before you can get a handle on when they report and learn to PIF one and let the other report a balance of under 10%, and your scores will go up.

 

Also, I and others here can't stress this enough NEVER BE LATE!

____________________________________________________

"Evacuate, in our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances."
Valued Contributor
oracles
Posts: 1,699
Registered: ‎08-18-2007
0

Re: secured credit cards

Very well said Pappy

 

One thing to add, I would also adda store card to your mix. This also will improve your score.

 

Macys is a very good card. It will grow with you as well.

 

However make sure you get a store card that you will shop from.

 

You will need to use it at least once every 5-6 months in order to keep it active

 

Hope this helps

Moderator Emerita
Community Leader
Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
0

Re: secured credit cards

You can also get secured cards from a local credit union, or most of them anyway, if you don't qualify for BofA. Most CU's pull Equifax.

What are your FICO scores? (Not score from TrueCredit, or CreditCheckTotal, or the credit bureaus, etc.)
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Member
MadModder
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-14-2009
0

BoA or Citi?

[ Edited ]

Hi,

 

I just joined to take part in this discussion. :smileyhappy:

 

Here's my situation (It's a bit different):

 

Unemployed/No work history.

It sucks, but I'm a citizen, though.

 

Have no debts.

I'm related to some who do, but I'm clean. No bankruptcies, nothing.

 

Never bothered to establish credit.

Great timing, eh? Perhaps I was too cautious then (considering the above, I thought not), and maybe too reckless now to even think of it. (well, it's for small purchases in a pinch)

 

Have/had a checking account(s).

Apparently of no importance credit-wise, but I do have some form of a financial history. Unfortunately, my current accounts are with banks that don't currently offer a secured card. (I closed a Citi basic checking years ago, so it probably won't help with them now)

 

Checked annualcreditreport.com, and it would seem I don't exist.

I don't know whether to be insulted, afraid, or both. I'm hoping that no news doesn't mean bad news, however. (aside from just a confirmation that I have no revolving credit history)

 

Currently receiving federal benefits.

The impetus for my current interest, and why I opened the most recent checking for direct deposit. It's a stable form of income, and with that stability, I'm now entertaining the idea of a small card for the occassional puchase at the end of  a month.

 

OK, I think those are the main issues here.

 

Now, after having been turned down a couple times a few years ago for overdraft protection on a checking account (twice, I think but still years back and apart), I succumbed to the bank rep's cajoling while opening my recent account to apply for a credit card too. ("Oh, if no bad history then you'll get it!" Morons...both of us) Of course, I received a letter saying that I didn't have the history needed, and that they couldn't offer a card at this time.

 

Well, I thought I'd leave it there, and might still, but anonymously as possible (no applications/inquiries), I've enquired around and have been informed that a secured card is an option for me in my current situation. The options being Citi, BoA and Orchard (HSBC). Like the OP, the others I've seen are from banks I've never heard of with fees that are even more insane.

 

At the branch level, Citi said if I was working and/or had a checking account with them for at least 3-6 months, they might approve me for a regular or partially secured card, but as-is I only might be approved for a totally SC. BoA said their process automatically attempts the same, and only downgrades to totally secured depeding on approval. They also said I could be denied. I haven't entertained HSBC, both by the worry behind why they're branded as Orchard instead, and that even branch staff don't seem to know they exist. Now reading some of the negative posts here, I've decided not to include them.

 

http://www.bankofamerica.com/creditcards/index.cfm?template=cc_secured.cfm

https://www.citicards.com/cards/wv/cardDetail.do?screenID=940

 

From what I've read, both prime candidates are picture cards and have AFs @ $29 (ugh). BoA is Visa, and a minimum dep is $300 with 14.24% APR, Citi is MC with $200 min and 13.24%.

 

So...should I jump in? Which one, if I do? I see a lot of pro-BoA posts, but not much about Citi good or bad. I don't plan on using it for big purchases, so $200 seems safer to tie up. There's also a lot more Citi ATMs in my area than BoA. Plus, I thought Citi was traditionally considered a bigger bank like Chase. I suppose all of that means little these days, when neither may exist in a year, or a month. I may even end up back at my current bank with this card if they're acquired. I tend to wonder if that might affect these cards in any way.

 

Has anyone here gotten a SC from each of these? Do they both report the same? I see a post from MsKiwi mentioning Citi may not upgrade. Can anyone here confirm that? Or, do they both tend to upgrade around the same times, with similar CLI's?

 

Like above, another option mentioned to me was Credit Unions. Apparently, they sometimes offer secured cards, but I know of none in my area (New York City) I would qualify to join. (I'm not/never have been/nor related to a municipal worker, or belonging to any lodge) Also, one that I saw for union members (First Union?) was an HSBC card anyhow. Also, there's no store that I frequent enough that has a in-store card. I could apply for one that does, but if I don't use it enough, it defeats the purpose.

 

So there I am. I'm wondering what to do if anything. I'm not looking at this as a method of raising any score for the sake of that. I've passed on sales when I could have spent less for something because cash that would cover it was only a couple of days away. It's those situations where a credit card is a necessity. I know I wouldn't have that ability right away. I'd have to use this for the average purhase I use my debit card for and pay it off to get to that point, but I'd like to get there.

 

I appreciate any advice. Thanks. :smileyhappy:

Message Edited by MadModder on 03-14-2009 05:13 AM
Frequent Contributor
CreditCard101
Posts: 401
Registered: ‎02-23-2009

Re: secured credit cards

[ Edited ]

Definitely I recommend Bank of America secured cards. They have better CS and card features and after 9months they will convert it to regular. I am currently have a secured card with them.

 

By the way 9 months worth of waiting from BoA than 18months from Citi..18months is too long, i cant hold my horse that long.

Stick with BoA better

Message Edited by CreditCard101 on 03-14-2009 09:30 AM
Member
MadModder
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-14-2009
0

Re: secured credit cards

Thanks for the response. I understand what you say is happening in practice with BoA, but they also said to me (in person) that it could be a year before an upgrade. Are there stories of Citi ever approving in less than a year in my situation? If not, then I'm leaning towards BoA.
Moderator Emerita
Community Leader
Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
0

Re: secured credit cards

Have you checked out local credit unions at all? I think that if your check were directly deposited with them, or if you set up a monthly deposit into a savings account with the CU, they might be willing to work with you.

Local CU's vary greatly in what they will and won't do.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007

myFICO is the consumer division of FICO. Since its introduction 20 years ago, the FICO® Score has become a global standard for measuring credit risk in the banking, mortgage, credit card, auto and retail industries. 90 of the top 100 largest U.S. financial institutions use the FICO Score to make consumer credit decisions.

>> About myFICO
FICO Score - The Score that matters
Click to Verify - This site chose VeriSign SSL for secure e-commerce and confidential communications.
Fair Isaac Corporation is a BBB Accredited Financial Service in San Rafael, CA
FOLLOW US Social Media Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+
}