secured credit card

A Secured Credit Card — Your Stepping Stone on the Path to Building Credit

Many people find themselves in need of a credit card but are unable to qualify for one. For younger people without enough credit history, or someone that’s trying to repair bad credit, a secured credit card can be a good option.

Unlike an unsecured credit card, a secured card requires you to make a security deposit that serves as collateral for your credit line when the account is opened. Any deposit in excess of your account balance is refundable once you close the account.  You cannot use your security deposit to pay your monthly bill, otherwise a secured card works like any other credit card and offers significant advantages over a prepaid card, such as the opportunity to build a positive credit history, as payment behavior is reported to the major reporting agencies.


Secured card features

As with all credit cards, there are many choices for secured cards and it’s a good idea to do some research on which card fits your needs best. There are several features to consider when deciding which secured card is best for you, including:

  • Application fees and processing fees.
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs).
  • Online access to your account.
  • Opportunity to qualify for unsecured credit line increases.


Using your card to build credit

Simply having a credit card isn’t the point. Creditors are looking to see how you use your card. Every month, make at least a few purchases using your card and then pay your bill on time. This is the most important step if your goal is to build or repair your credit history. Keep in mind, if you are late or miss a payment, it will be reported to the CRAs and could negatively impact your credit.

Making your minimum monthly payment on time every month helps to build credit. Paying more than the minimum is even better.


Merrick Bank’s Secured Visa® Card

As a Member FDIC bank dedicated to helping our customers rebuild their credit, we offer a secured VISA® credit card option for those that aren’t yet able to qualify for an unsecured credit card. Our secured card has a competitive annual percentage rate (APR) and annual fee, reports payment behavior to the CRAs, and provides funding options that let you easily make your security deposit online from your bank account, by mail or via funds transfer with Western Union or MoneyGram. Additionally, we offer secured card customers access to their FICO® Score every month at no charge. Accounts are also evaluated for unsecured credit line increases, enabling you to have a higher credit line with no additional security deposit or fees if you qualify. Click here for more information on our secured card.


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