Secured Credit Card?

Secured Credit Card?
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#1

Hi, I am looking to build my credit.

My credit score is really low
I never had a credit card(s) nor any loans.
Nothing derogatory on my credit report.

What I was thinking is getting a Capital One Secured CC.

It would give me a limit of 200$

I am obviously not looking to spend money I don’t have but if I had this secured card I could pay for some of my monthly subscriptions like Chewy and or Hulu. Makes sense to use the secured card to help build my credit up.

Now where I get confused is some places I read or watched on YouTube have said do not pay the bill in full? Also you should use 30% of the card each month. The APR confuses me too. How does that get calculated ? Paying in full avoids the apr charges? Sorry I never had credit or a loan before.


#2

Hi, @naydeen1871 and welcome to the NerdWallet community.

First, good for you. A secured credit card can be an excellent tool for building credit.

There is no benefit at all in carrying a balance (and it has the obvious disadvantage of costing you money in interest). And yes, using your card makes sense. The two factors that account for most of your credit score are paying on time and the portion of your available credit you use. Experts recommend going no higher than 30%, and people with the highest scores tend to keep it under 10%. So, for your purposes, doing something like putting Hulu or Chewy is ideal. With a $200 credit limit, you’d want to keep your charges below $60 for the month at all times (if you need to, you can make an extra payment to do it).

You do not need to use a full 30% of your credit limit. Do use something. But less is better. And yes, paying in full avoids APR charges altogether.

The Capital One secured card is reviewed here.

Good for you for trying to figure it all out and asking questions. No apologies for not having had a credit card or loan before. That was true of every single one of us. :wink:

Here are some NerdWallet resources that may help:

Good luck, and let us know if we can help further.


#3

Bev,

Thank you for explaining. =)

It makes sense to use my regular bills with the secured cards that I would normally pay to build my credit (under $60 of course) I wouldn’t have to worry about incurring any interest as I normal pay these bills off in full. So this will work out =)

I did some homework and the Capital One Card seems the best route for me to go. I applied and was approved. I was worried I would have to put a higher deposit for my lack of credit history but I was approved with just 49$ down with a 200$ limit to start =)

Thx
Nadine


#4

That’s great news @naydeen1871. Glad we could help.


#5

Do you think it would be safe to open an account with them in light of the recent breach Capital One has had? I was going to set up my account this week but not sure now :frowning:


#6

I would not be afraid to. But no matter where you choose, after you apply for your card, go ahead and freeze your credit. It’s free. It doesn’t affect your credit score or your ability to use your credit cards. A freeze blocks access to your credit records, which is an effective barrier if scammers try to open credit in your name.


#7

How long would I freeze it for?

Thanks for clarifying that I would still have access to use the card and no adverse credit scores against me.


#8

Hi again, @naydeen1871. I keep mine frozen unless I am applying for credit. (You can unfreeze for a specified period if you want to. ) For example, when I applied for a car loan online, I unfroze mine for a 1-day period with my phone. I didn’t have to do anything else to reinstate the freeze. And now my credit reports are frozen again. The only “disadvantage” I see is it would probably deter me from applying for credit at the cash register when a clerk asks me if I want to get 20% off today. That’s for the best, I think. :wink:


#9

Building on what @Bev wrote – my husband and I froze our credit reports at all three bureaus after the Equifax breach, and now that I know how easy the whole process is, I wish we’d done it sooner.

We’ve temporarily lifted the freezes a few times since then, to apply for credit cards and refinance our mortgage. I’ve even done it once with my phone, as Bev did.

The credit bureaus will try to sell you a credit “lock,” which isn’t the same thing as a freeze. Make sure you’re setting up a freeze, which is free by federal law.


#10

Hi, I had a question for you. I got my card the other day. I was wondering if this would help me in terms of building. I also kept in mind the due date of my card and of course credit line amount. =)

Say I:
Purchase something like my Chewy order $60
Pay that off in full before the due date (to keep utilization down)
Then charge my Netflix and leave that on there to be automatically deducted when bill is due - so they can see I am utilization under I think 5%

Does adding those extra purchases (Chewy) I normally would make my score go up quicker?

I am also going to be working on saving up towards a Discover IT card. The Cashback and no annual fee is very nice =)


#11

Just putting the single charge on your card each month and then paying it automatically out of your bank account would be enough to establish a positive payment history for the account. There’s no real benefit to making extra purchases.