Credit Cards for Bad Credit: What You Should Know
For those individuals who suffer from bad credit, considering credit cards for bad credit, also calledsecured cards, might seem like an ideal option to help rebuild their credit scores. However, before signing up for any credit card, no matter how appealing it may sound, there are five important considerations that consumers need to keep in mind before attaining a secured card.
- A ‘security deposit’ is required to acquire these credit cards – Think of secured credit cards as an apartment. The user provides a security deposit upfront to attain the card, if at the end of use, he has paid all of the fees and charges associated with the card that deposit can then be returned to the user. Typically the amount of the deposit is based on the credit limit that has been issued.
- Non-payment of secured cards can further damage a credit score – Simply because credit cards for bad credit are meant for those with credit scores below 600, does not signify that there is leniency in payments. Non-payment of these cards can still result in being reported to collections and further damaging an already low credit score.
- Seek out credit cards that are provided by reputable companies – There are some scams which are created to offer those with poor credit a secured credit card and are used as a ploy to collect presumed security deposits. Working with a reputable credit card company that is FDIC insured can help to ensure users don’t fall prey to scams.
- Individuals with credit scores below 500 may have difficulty attaining a secured credit card – Credit scores that are below 500 pose a high risk for creditors, so it can be particularly difficult for an individual with this type of score to even get credit cards for bad credit.
- A secured credit card can help to improve an individual’s credit score over time – Timely payments and maintaining low balances on a secured credit card can help to improve a user’s credit score over an extended period of time. There are some credit card companies that will even convert a secured card to unsecured when the user has proven they can manage their debt responsibly, or when their credit score has reached a certain number.
Secured credit cards for bad credit are not meant to be a quick fix for poor credit. Instead it should be considered an opportunity to have a major credit card again, and rebuild credit slowly but surely.