Welcome to the forum, Julio!!!
One of the things I've learned on my rebuilding credit journey is that one should read as much as they can about what goes into a credit score and also that things which you may have heard or assumed could be wrong. It's always assumed that "secured card=bad", but that's not always true.
Sure, it's always better if you get a secured card for it to simply be listed as a "credit card" rather than a "secured card", but a human who sees a secured card might draw a different conclusion such as that you are trying to fix bad credit. The first two cards I've gotten recently are secured cards (and both report as secured)... as you can see from my signature, the two secured cards I got didn't stop me from being issued the seven cards which followed.The two biggies when it comes to credit score are
: (1) payment history- that's 35% of your FICO score and (2) utilization which is 30% of your score. If your payment history is bad, there's isn't a whole lot you can do about that, but that will improve with time and good recent history. Utilization is something you can control- you should try to keep your utilization under 10%.
You weren't extremely specific about the details of your credit (other than to say it's "bad") which could help me or someone else on this forum give you better guidance. There's bad credit and then there's only-first-premier-would-touch-you extremely bad credit. Have you burned any bridges with sub-prime lenders such as Cap One? Do you currently have charge-offs or any unpaid balances? Any repos? Without those, I can only give general advice. Here's some things you could try:
- Some Credit Unions offer secured cards. It's worth a try looking in your area for one who might want to give you a chance. This would help build a relationship with one of them since your goal is to ultimately get a mortgage loan.
- Some store credit cards are easy to get, but have low credit limits. So if you get one with a $200 limit you will only want to charge maybe $20 or less on it so your utilization will show less than 10%.
- If your credit is only marginally bad, there are a few cards which you can get which are attractive. Capital One has a few cards which are good for people with bad credit(although Cap One really isn't an issuer who will let you grow with them). Barclaycard has the NFL Extra Points Card with low fees (but high interest) with a so-so reward program. 60% of the people with that card have poor to fair credit.
- As I said, secured cards aren't as bad as you think... the problem is the "best" issuers of secured cards (Bank of America, US Bank) tend to be picky, but if you qualify for them they are likely to unsecure after a year of good use. Wells Fargo is kinda iffy amd aren't good about graduating unsecured cards. Some of the easier unsecured cards to get don't offer unsecured cards, but after a year- you're credit might improve enough to get unsecured cards anyway.
- Stay away from predatory card issuers. You mentioned First Premier and they are indeed the worst. It's good that you are looking at the fees they have and drawn the same conclusion that many of us did- that First Premier is pretty much a secured card issuer who doesn't return the deposit.
Hope this help and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
In my Wallet:
Sometimes in my Wallet:
- Amex PRG NPSL[3-14, bd 91]
- Sallie Mae MC $8000[1-14]
- Chase Freedom $4700[1-14]
- Discover It $2750[8-13]
- BoA UCF Alumni Cash Rewards $5000 [3-15]
- GM BuyPower WEMC $5000[9-14]
- Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex $7000[4-14]
- Barclaycard Arrival WEMC $7000[3-14]
- BoA Better Balance $3000[2-15]
In my sockdrawer: Amex BCE $1000[10-13, bd 91], OCCU Duck $10000 [11-13], The Sportsman's Guide Visa $8000[8-14], Chase Slate $4000 [9-14]Delta Gold Amex $2000 [2-15 bd 91], Diners Club MC $20000 [10-14] Commerce Bank Visa $2000 [3-15] Citi Double Cash $1000 [3-15]
Total CL: $90450