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Secured cards


Secured cards

I'm now one month out of discharge from a chpt 13 . All 3 of my secured cards came IN mail this week. One from boa, one from first Midwest. And one from my credit union. What's the best way to use em? All $300 each. Thanks

Message 1 of 5
Senior Contributor

Re: Secured cards

Use them for your normal expenses.  


PIF every month to avoid interest.


Increase the deposit if your expenses are a lot more than your limits.


Don't be concerned with utilization, as your credit score does not matter much for the next few years.  I used 3 secured cards, and I often charged them to close to maximum.


AND NEVER BE LATE for a payment.   This will ruin your rebuilding.









Message 2 of 5
Valued Contributor

Re: Secured cards

Yeah I wouldn't worry about optimizing your credit score for a while.  Let the bankruptcy settle out and in 6 months or so you can gauge where you are at.  In mean time, make sure credit reports properly reporting bk and new cards.

Message 3 of 5

Re: Secured cards


Message 4 of 5
Regular Contributor

Re: Secured cards

I'm sorry. Have to say I don't agree with that advice completely, Poorboi. I wouldn't waste anymore time. I'm pretty sure the years spent in your plan was long enough!! I'm not saying that process didn't work for Chasem and Wolf3 but it would take much longer IMO and you've already completed your plan. Time is a key factor in improving your credit standing, so don't waste anymore of it.

It really depends on what your goals are. Idk if you are trying to make any major purchases anytime soon or just wanting to improve your score but UTIL is a key factor. If your secured cards are reporting to all 3 CRA's as I hope they are, you do not want to appear as if you are using ALL of your available credit each month so fresh out of a 13 plan. Even if you are PIF every month, you can still appear over extended depending on when info is reported to the CRA's. IMO, with limits of $300, your cards should never report more than $90-$120/month (30-40% UTIL). I agree-NEVER BE LATE & increase your limits when/if you can but keep the balances low and show that you can be responsible with credit. Use them to pay one bill or small expense and yes, PIF each month. I'm no expert but I started rebuilding my credit while still in my 13. My scores are now 650's-670's across the board and I still have two months before discharge.

NFCU Cash Rewards $16,100/FNBO Platinum $9.100/Best Buy Citibank $2,500/Care Credit $7,600/TJ Maxx $1000/Neiman Marcus $7000/Saks5thAve $2500

Starting Score: 426 Ch. 13 BK Filed Sep 2009; Discharged Jan 2013 Smiley Happy
Current Score: TU 706 EQ FICO 701 EX 704
Goal Score: 720

Message 5 of 5