If you have bad credit or no credit at all, the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card is a potential path to building your credit history.
However, you’ll need to look into other secured credit card options if you don’t already have this card, as it isn't available any longer. If you already carry the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, though, here are five things to know about it.
1. It’s not available to new applicants
The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card stopped accepting applications as of December 2019. According to a Wells Fargo representative, there are no plans to reopen the card to new applicants or offer a new Wells Fargo secured credit card.
Currently, the only Wells Fargo-issued credit card geared toward those who are looking to build their credit is the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card. That card is designed for students who have a source of income, however.
2. The card includes Visa benefits
Secured cards don’t typically pack on the perks, but the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card comes with Visa benefits, which include rental car collision coverage, travel accident insurance and emergency assistance, and cell phone protection ($600 per claim on up to $1,200 per year). To get cell phone coverage, you must use your Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card to pay your cell phone bill.
3. You’ll have access to an informational FICO score
With the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, you can see your FICO credit score for free without impacting your credit score. The score is updated monthly, so you can track your progress.
Note that this FICO score is for educational purposes. It can be helpful to get a sense of where you are as you make financial decisions. But if you apply for a loan or other credit card, the lender may use other credit scoring models when evaluating your application. That means the credit score it sees may be different, which can affect your eligibility for a loan.
4. You can request a credit limit change
With secured credit cards, you make an initial deposit that becomes your credit limit. If you ever close the card or upgrade to an unsecured card, you’ll get that deposit back.
The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card requires a deposit of $300 to $10,000. You can request credit limit increases and decreases in $100 increments. If your credit limit is decreased, you’ll get a refund for the difference within 30 days. You can’t have a credit limit lower than $300.
To qualify for a credit line increase, you can’t just overpay your balance — any money you pay over the amount due will count toward your next month’s bill. You have to apply, get approved and make an additional deposit to fund a credit line increase.
5. There’s a path to upgrading to an unsecured card
Wells Fargo evaluates secured card accounts periodically to see if the cardholder would be eligible for an upgrade to a more traditional unsecured card. Actions like making on-time bill payments and spending less than your credit limit can help make your case for an eventual upgrade. There’s no specific timeline for this decision.
As you monitor your credit score over time, it may reach a level where you’d potentially qualify for a wider variety of unsecured cards. You can bypass Wells Fargo’s schedule and shop around for a new card on your own. A FICO score of 630 or higher can increase your options.
The information related to the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card and Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card have been collected by NerdWallet and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.