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Credit score tips to obtain the top secured credit cards? If your issuer can’t or won’t upgrade you — and keep in mind that not all secured-card issuers even offer unsecured cards — you can apply for unsecured cards separately. Eventually you’ll want to close the secured card to recoup your deposit. Several issuers specialize in unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit, but NerdWallet generally doesn’t recommend them. That’s because these “subprime specialist” cards tend to charge high fees that can easily add up to much more than a typical minimum security deposit — annual fees up to $99, application fees, “activation” and “processing” fees, monthly maintenance fees and so on. And unlike the deposit on a secured card, those fees are money you can’t get back. Our roundup of the best and worst cards for bad credit has more information on cards to avoid.

Who should get this card? If you don’t have a bank account and/or your credit check would make a traditional credit card issuer avoid your calls, an OpenSky secured credit card may be just what you’re looking for. But there’s no reason for most people to pay the $35 annual fee. We caution most consumers to avoid paying such fees on secured cards, as there are plenty of annual-fee-free options for consumers with limited credit.

When you consider the rewards, the lack of an annual fee and the opportunity for an upgrade, the Discover it® Secured is the best secured credit card we’ve seen. The rewards on this card — 2% cash back on up to $1,000 worth of spending per quarter on restaurants and gas, and 1% on all other spending — would be pretty decent on a regular card. For a secured credit card, they’re unheard of. After eight months, Discover automatically evaluates your account for possible upgrade to an unsecured card. And the annual fee is $0. The initial deposit must be paid with a bank account; if you’re unbanked, you’re out of luck. For some people, the $200 minimum deposit will be a stretch. For others, the maximum $2,500 credit limit will be too low.

Provided you make on-time payments with a secured card, your security deposit remains untouched and is remitted back to you should you ever close the account. Some issuers even pay you interest on the deposited funds. In time, given a positive record of making payments, issuers may grant you a credit limit that exceeds the security deposit. Eventually, the issuer may also offer you the option to upgrade to a regular—that is, unsecured—credit card. In many cases, that allows the account to remain open, and its increasing age to be an asset to your credit record, which generally rewards having older accounts. If that option isn’t available, though, one can simply close the secured account and apply for an unsecured card once you’ve attained a solid credit score. The free score-monitoring feature offered by most secured cards allows you to track your progress.

What Are The Advantages Of Secured Credit Cards? In the vast majority of cases, you will be able to obtain a credit card without a credit check. So your previous financial history is of no concern; if you are able to make the deposit, then you will be able to obtain a card. This card will work exactly as a standard credit card would. You will also be able to build your credit history and potentially improve your credit score, with a secured card. What Are The Disadvantages of Secured Credit Cards? The APR on secured credit cards is often high. If you’re going to use one, then it’s imperative you try to clear your balance in full every month. Find extra details at Eastwoodbank’s.