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Secured Credit Cards: Perks and Pitfalls

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Looking for a Credit Card for Bad Credit? Think Secured.

Not all secured credit cards are created equal. The good ones can be a lifeline for those with bad credit: they’re easier to qualify for than regular credit cards, and unlike prepaid or debit cards, they’ll raise your credit score and help you reestablish a payment history. Some have no fees for the first year, while others actually earn rewards. If you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit score, a secured credit card can be the best way.

On the other hand, there are the more unsavory secured credit cards. These charge you sky-high interest rates and crazy application, monthly maintenance and other fees. If you can, steer clear of these cards. We’ve seen annual fees as high as $119! Beware of secured cards that tell you that they’re the only option. There are low-fee cards out there, so don’t settle for exorbitant fees. Check out our list of the top secured credit cards to save money and avoid sinking deeper into debt.