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fund your secured card

Funding your secured credit card

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We look at minimum and maximum deposit amounts, how long you have to fund your card and more.

Secured credit cards are one of the best ways to build credit if you’ve had trouble being approved for an unsecured card. Secured cards are almost indistinguishable from unsecured credit cards, except for one major difference: Secured card require that you pay a deposit.

If you’re new to credit or need to improve your credit score, a secured card is a step in the right direction. Secured cards let you build your credit as long as you make on-time and regular payments. To lower their risk, credit card companies require a refundable deposit as collateral. The amount of your deposit determines your monthly credit limit, and if you miss a payment, not only is it reported to the credit bureau, you’ll lose your deposit amount.

How to fund a secured credit card

Once you are approved for a secured card, you need to fund your security deposit before you can use your card. Most secured cards expect you to choose your deposit, though some do have minimums and maximums. Funding your deposit can be done in a handful of ways:

Funding your card by mail

Many lenders allow you to fund your new card by sending a check or money order by mail. Generally, you’ll complete a security funds to be mailed with the deposit check. You can find the address and any other necessary information on the credit card website or by following the instructions in the package you received from the issuer.

Funding your card by phone

Most new credit cards have a sticker on the front or back of the card with a number to call to activate the card. If the issuer uses an automated system, follow the prompts to fund your deposit and activate the card. If you’d like to speak to a representative, they can walk you through the process.

Funding your card online

Many secured credit cards offer an online system to manage your account, often with the option to pay your deposit. Once you’ve receive your card, follow the instructions to set up your online account. Once your account is set up, navigate to the section dedicated to deposits, then fill out and submit all required information.

How to find the minimum and maximum deposit amounts

Secured credit cards allow you to choose a deposit amount that’s right for your financial situation. Chose a manageable amount that won’t break your budget. Remember that the goal is to build your credit score.

Credit limits vary from card to card, so make sure you know what’s available as you compare cards. Here’s how to find the minimum and maximum deposit amounts on a secured credit card:

1. The majority of secured credit cards have an official website, either standalone or through its issuer. Navigate to the website and look for a product details or card features section. Take the primor secured Mastercard Gold Card, for example:

funding your secured credit card image 1

2. Most of the time, the minimum and maximum deposit amounts will be listed in plain sight, but if not, you might have to do some digging.
3. If you can’t find the information, look for a link to the terms and conditions or full cardholder agreement. This document should have details regarding deposit, fees and APR.

Funding your secured credit card image 2

4. If you’re still having trouble finding the minimum and maximum deposit, you can always contact the issuer for more details. The customer service number can usually be found on the contact page of the website.

How long do I have to fund my secured credit card?

When you apply for a secured credit card, you’ll be required to provide a deposit when you apply or shortly afterwards. Most issuers require a payment once you’re approved. However, there are a few cards that are a bit more lenient, like the OpenSky Secured Visa Card that gives you 60 days to pay your deposit, and the Capital One Secured Mastercard that gives 80 days.

The best secured credit cards with low minimums or delayed deposits

Rates last updated May 20th, 2018
Name Product Annual fee Min credit limit Max credit limit APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Product Description
State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card
$0
$250
13.24% variable
Created to help you establish or rebuild credit.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
$0
$200
$3,000
24.99% variable
Take control and build your credit with responsible use.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
$0
$200
$2,500
23.74% variable
Start building credit for tomorrow with a secured credit card.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
$0
$200
$2,500
24.49% variable
2% Cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
$35
$200
$3,000
18.64% variable
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
$39
$300
$4,900
21.49% variable
Help establish, strengthen — even rebuild your credit

Compare up to 4 providers

What happens if I don’t fund my secured card in time?

If you don’t fund your secured card in time, your approved application may be voided. It’s best to have a plan of how you’ll pay the deposit before filling out the application.

Credit card companies do a hard pull on your credit, causing your score to drop a few points. The initial dip in credit isn’t a big deal once you start using the card, but it can be if the card is rejected before you use it. The deadline for your deposit varies between each issuer, so it’s important to be aware to avoid further damaging your credit.

Bottom line

Getting a secured credit card is exciting, helping you lay the groundwork on a path towards a positive credit history. However, it’s important to pay attention to the details and deadline to get the most out of your card. From credit limits to security deposits, you should always read the brochure, website or terms and conditions to better understand the features and benefits of your card. Like any other financial product, be sure to weigh your options to find a card that is right for your financial situation.

Images: SecuredCardChoice.com

Peter Carleton

Peter Carleton is a writer at finder.com who specializes in credit cards, life insurance, mortgages and more. In his free time, you can find him cooking, writing or honing his skills in WordPress development.

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