Q: I need to rebuild my credit and have come to the conclusion that the only way I will be able to do it is with a secured card. I want to compare different offers and was wondering if you could tell me the top 10 secured credit cards to rebuild credit?
A: As you know card offers change all the time, but here are our top 10 picks for 2013. #1-5 are sponsored offers advertised on this site and #6-10 are offers not advertised here, but they are still good options regardless.
#1. Capital One Secured Platinum MasterCard (read review)
#2. First Progress MasterCard
#3. Platinum Zero Scured Visa
#4. Merrick Bank Secured Visa
#5. Centennial Classic Secured Visa
To compare our sponsored cards, check out these secured credit card reviews.
#6. PenFed credit union secured Visa
#7. Citi secured MasterCard
#8. Navy Federal nRewards Secured Visa
#9. UnionPlus Secured
#10. Bank of America secured Visa
As a general rule of thumb, here are a few different things you should consider when comparing your options…
Fees – Credit cards to rebuild credit are notorious for charging a lot in fees. This is why you need to be especially careful when you’re picking out a secured card. Pay attention to all of the fees associated with the account, which might include an annual fee, a monthly fee, a processing fee, and application fee. If a company charges all of these fees they should probably be avoided.
Credit Reporting – Not only should the top 10 secured credit cards do this, but all secured cards should! Unfortunately that’s not how the industry works. In the past there have been shady fly-by-night companies that don’t even report their customers to the credit bureaus. Why? Either because they’re too dysfunctional or they’re too cheap (reporting accounts cost credit card co’s money). So make sure the application you choose clearly states it will be reporting your account history to the credit bureaus.
Account Management - Of course the key to building credit is to maintain a positive account history. Features like text message notifications, online bill pay, and others all make it easier to manage your account. In my personal opinion all secured credit cards should offer benefits like this free of charge.
Credit Limits – Another important factor in building credit is having decent sized credit limits. My favorite are the ones which allow you to adjust your credit limit amount to whatever is convenient for you. So even if you start with a small limit of, say, $200, you can increase that to thousands later on once you have the money to do so.