How Secured Credit Cards Can Help Rebuild Your Credit

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated December 11, 2020

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September 12, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.


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Having a good credit score is important for anyone who wants to experience wealth and financial security. However, having a great credit score can feel elusive, and it’s super easy to end up with a low score when times feel tight or financially stressful.

If you’ve had the experience of ruining your credit, you may be ready to rebuild it. One of the best ways to do that is with a secured credit cards. Curious about the difference between secured vs. unsecured credit cards? Secured credit cards allow you to spend the money you need while also being financially secure for banks, so you can prove that you’re in a good financial position and a trustworthy recipient of credit.

Here’s how you can help rebuild your credit with secured credit cards.

Secured credit cards are credit cards that require a cash deposit. The amount that is deposited to the credit card is the amount that you can spend. The best secured credit cards feel like debit cards, but they allow you to build your credit.

Here are some of the best secured credit cards. 

Unlike secured credit cards, unsecured or regular credit cards allow you to spend the money of the bank (or card issuer), without having the cash present. Then you must pay the bank back for the money you spend (with interest usually) after a period of time.

A secured card helps you build your credit because it is reported to the credit bureaus. This helps build your credit score as you use it. If you want to rebuild your credit, make sure you get a secured card that’s reported to the bank normally and not reported as a secured card. You can shop around for different secured cards so you can make sure that you choose one that actually helps you build your score. (Companies that report secured cards as secured may actually end up hurting your credit, so it pays to be careful).

When you’re trying to rebuild your credit, there are several strategies to try, including using secured credit cards. Secured credit cards prove to lenders you’re worthy over time, and eventually your score will be raised and they’ll be ready to lend directly to you. At that point you’ll be ready to shop for a new card that fits your new credit score. See our list of the best credit cards for 2019 and select the card that’s right for you.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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