Q: I would like to rebuild my credit in 2016. What are the best “second chance” credit cards?
A: If you have a bad credit and would like to have a second chance to start building a positive credit history then the best place to start would be with a secured credit card – which involves placing a security deposit with the issuing bank. Many of the secured cards on the market offer the following benefits:
Reports To Credit Bureaus: All the good secured second chance credit cards will report your account to the bureaus each and every month. After your first billing cycle closes, the account should show up on your credit report 30 days later.
100% Guaranteed Approval: You can have the worst credit history known to man and still get approved for a secured card, as long as you meet the bank’s basic guidelines such as living in the United States, having a Social Security number, be 18 years or older, etc. Approval is not based on your credit history.
You Control The Credit Limit: With a secured card you can control the credit limit, which is typically the same as your security deposit. So these are a great card because they give you the ability to start off with a high limit.
Treated Like a Normal Credit Card: In case you were wondering, secured cards will have no distinguishing marks or words that identifies them as being secured. Secured credit cards report to the credit bureau just like a regular credit card.
Learn more, check out these cards for credit rebuilding
A secured second chance credit card can be a bridge to bigger and better things, if you manage it properly. If you pay your bill on time each month hopefully before the first year is up, you will be able to qualify for basic unsecured cards that are a step up, such as an entry-level gas station card or department store card, both of which can help you rebuild credit.
When comparing secured cards here are some things to consider:
Fees: As you can probably guess fees are often the case when it comes to these types of cards. Paying fees is never enjoyable but it’s a small price to pay for a tool that has the potential to help rebuild your credit. Keep an eye out for application and processing fees, though, as not all banks levy them.
Features: Consider cards that come with features to make account management easier such as free customer support and online bill pay. Some cards will charge for calling customer service, so read the fine print.
Easy Account Funding: If you don’t have a bank account and can’t write checks, then this part is especially important. In addition to check payments most cards allow funding and bill payment using money order, Western Union, and wire transfer. Review the application to understand the funding options and see if they seem reasonable.
Manage your “second chance” card responsibly and before long your credit score should begin to improve, along with your prospects for getting even better credit options in the future.
Last edited on February 1, 2016