One of the best advantages of secured credit cards with major banks is they have an excellent reputation. Major banks like Bank of America, Capitol One, Orchard and Discover have spent decades building their brand and take special precautions to ensure that their customers are protected.
These days, there are virtually thousands of companies that claim to have offers for secured credit card offers available and many people fall prey to them. They may say that your credit history doesn’t matter or provide sketchy details. There are many tips on the Federal Trade Commission website including how to spot a scam artist and where to complain if it happens to you.
If you use a major bank, you will not be subjected to predatory lenders or anyone who is looking to take advantage of you. Another benefit of using a major bank as your secured credit card lender is they consistently update the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, which can lead to better credit health.
The main reason most people use secure credit cards is because they may have a bad credit score. Secured credit cards are really designed to help you rebuild your credit in a steady manner with the convenience of using a credit card to complete everyday transactions. The major banks may even offer you an unsecured credit card as a reward for making timely payments and acting responsibly.
How long do I have to have a secured credit card before I can qualify for an unsecured credit card?
Under normal circumstances, you will need to exhibit positive behavior for at least one year before you can qualify for an unsecured credit card. This is especially true if the unsecured credit card was acquired after a bankruptcy or home foreclosure.
To help you qualify for an unsecured credit card, you can also apply for other types of credit cards, like gas cards or retail credit cards. While these types of credit cards often carry high interest rates, if you use them carefully they can help increase your credit score. This will look good when you go for the unsecured card. Make sure you pay all of your debts in full each month to increase your chances.
After a year has passed, you should make an appointment with one of the representatives at your bank that originally offered you the secured credit card. It might be handy to have your credit report with you. If not, no worries, they will definitely have their copy. Review your history and make an inquiry with the representative. They want to continue to do business with you so your chances are good.
If they do not approve an unsecured credit card don’t panic. Find out what you need to become eligible and work towards meeting their requirements. You can also shop around with other credit card companies but that may wind up leading you nowhere, especially if your current lender can’t help. You might be better off trying to improve your credit further and reapplying in about six months.
How do I keep track of my current credit history?
One of the most important steps to credit repair is knowing how to keep track of your credit history. Not only will your lending institution follow your credit, but also virtually everyone else you pay bills to will also report on you. This means you need to know you rights and how to exercise them.
Look online at Annual Credit Report.com to see what your history looks like. You will receive information from all three of the credit bureaus and have the opportunity to inquire about anything that looks inaccurate. Follow the steps required to resolve any disputes to ensure that anything negative relates to unsatisfied debts only.
As a citizen of the United States, you are entitled to receive a copy of your free credit report every year. If you would like to keep closer tabs, you can always sign-up for a credit-monitoring agency that can send you alerts and updates on a regular basis.
What happens if I find problems with my credit report?
Document everything you see and keep in a safe place. Contact the credit bureau and ask them for help. If you think the issue surrounds fraud, you will need to advise them immediately. Otherwise, a standard investigation will be completed.
They must resolve your issue within a certain time frame and should provide you with a reference number and an estimated waiting period. After the investigation is complete, you will be notified and your credit report will be updated to reflect the new changes.
If the results are not favorable, you can appeal the investigation, but you will need to provide concrete proof that the debt has been satisfied before it is removed.
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