Help me choose my first secured CC

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mercy
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Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby mercy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:41 am

Hello, I am in the need of a secured credit card to help rebuild my credit. This will be my first credit card so I'm new to this. I have shopped around and found two options. The first is a secured Visa card through my bank, Independent Bank, the card is issued and maintained by ELAN and the SSA for my deposit will be kept with U.S. Bank. The second is a Capital One secured MasterCard. I have read some reviews and I'm getting mixed opinions about ELAN. I would like to stick with a card from my bank but I don't see how they are involved at all, minus having their name on the card.

Does anyone have any experience with either ELAN or Capital one and their secured cards? Which one should I choose?


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:26 pm

You might consider a credit union secured card. The fees are usually lower.
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Kevin86475391
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby Kevin86475391 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:13 pm

I've never had a secured card personally, but from what I hear Capital One is a great creditor to deal with if you're rebuilding. After 3-6 months with positive activity on their secured card you may even qualify for one of their unsecured cards. So if it's down to one or the other I'd probably recommend beginning a relationship with Capital One since they may be more useful to you throughout your rebuild.

However, I wouldn't necessarily advise you to limit yourself to a single unsecured card if you don't already have a couple of other active cards. I believe the so called 'magic number' for rebuilding is 3 cards (with all things credit though, your millage may vary). So really you might want to consider just going with both, again unless you already have a couple of other cards.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:18 pm

I'd take SDFCU Secured over Independent/Elan or Capital One. The fee is $5 (some can avoid even that) and you earn rewards.

I looked at both the secured and unsecured Independent/Elan cards. Even the unsecured cards are unappealing.

I would suggest BofA Secured which sometimes converts from a secured card to an unsecured rewardscard. However, BofA does turn down some people with a BK or very bad credit for even the secured card. Do you have a bankruptcy reporting? How bad is your credit?
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

mercy
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby mercy » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:57 am

Thanks for the responses guys, I appreciate the willingness to help.

CarefulBuilder, no I haven't had a bankruptcy and my credit is not so good. I'm around a 580 and I've never had a CC. I'd like to find a card with a company that is reputable and has good customer service. Lower fees would be a bonus since I will probably need to hold onto this card for a number of years but not necessarily a make or break factor. If I have to pay a few extra dollars to get a card that I'll be happy with I won't hesitate. BofA sounds appealing if they offer the chance to graduate the card. Is their screening very strict?

Kevin, I never thought to get more than one card but reading on I see it may be a good idea. Thanks for the advice. There seems to be a laundry list of rules to follow for best credit grooming. This may be a long journey.

Do either of you guys know if the secured CCs will give me access to a monthly FICO score? That would be a great asset.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:53 am

mercy wrote:Thanks for the responses guys, I appreciate the willingness to help.

CarefulBuilder, no I haven't had a bankruptcy and my credit is not so good. I'm around a 580 and I've never had a CC. I'd like to find a card with a company that is reputable and has good customer service. Lower fees would be a bonus since I will probably need to hold onto this card for a number of years but not necessarily a make or break factor. If I have to pay a few extra dollars to get a card that I'll be happy with I won't hesitate. BofA sounds appealing if they offer the chance to graduate the card. Is their screening very strict?

Kevin, I never thought to get more than one card but reading on I see it may be a good idea. Thanks for the advice. There seems to be a laundry list of rules to follow for best credit grooming. This may be a long journey.

Do either of you guys know if the secured CCs will give me access to a monthly FICO score? That would be a great asset.

It sounds like you're on the threshold for a BofA secured card. I'd try that first. If that fails, I'd go with a credit union or maybe Capital One.

Capital One offers some sort of credit tracking, but I don't know the details.

My priority in your situation would be to start building CC history and getting a basic rewards card soon. I think the BofA secured (at least temporarily) card would offer the best path to that. In two years, you could (possibly, it's not guaranteed) have two years of CC history on a no-AF rewards card.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

mercy
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby mercy » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:48 pm

I might be missing something but it looks like Capital One changed their annual fee. It was $39 but now there is no annual fee? Is it worth taking on the higher interest rates for no annual fees? Their APR is 24.9%. Again, thanks for the help. I was about to sign up for a BofA card before I saw that Capital One changed that.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:28 pm

mercy wrote:I might be missing something but it looks like Capital One changed their annual fee. It was $39 but now there is no annual fee? Is it worth taking on the higher interest rates for no annual fees? Their APR is 24.9%. Again, thanks for the help. I was about to sign up for a BofA card before I saw that Capital One changed that.

That is a surprise. I knew they had simplified their offerings, but didn't realize they had waived the AF.

I'd still favor BofA for the card's potential to become unsecured, but Capital One is more likely to give an approval.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

Vermonster
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby Vermonster » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:12 pm

I believe Cap one still has the AF version that they offer to people that they don't think are ready for a no AF version.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Help me choose my first secured CC

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:38 pm

Vermonster wrote:I believe Cap one still has the AF version that they offer to people that they don't think are ready for a no AF version.

If they do, it's not on their website.

Based on creditworthiness, some people can even qualify for a partially secured card. I don't know what "creditworthy" means in the world of secured card customers, though.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May



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