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Review: TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card

For a $25 annual fee and a $300 minimum deposit, you can work your way towards good credit.

  • Get this card if… you want to upgrade to an unsecured card by maintaining a good payment history.
  • Pick something else if…you don’t want to pay annual fees or wish to earn rewards.
  • Poor to fair credit score of 300 to 579 recommended.
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Annual fee


Purchase APR (variable)


Recommended credit score


Annual fee$25
Welcome offerX
Purchase APR23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR23.99% variable
Minimum Credit Score300

Review by

Marie Denis is senior publishing support at Finder, where she creates and curates articles that help users make sound financial decisions. In her off-time, she enjoys hiking, riding motorcycles, deadlifting and finding flight deals that make booking travel a no-brainer.

Expert review

If you have poor or no credit, it may be difficult to qualify for a credit card. Secure cards can help by requiring a deposit that also becomes your credit limit. This is helpful if you’re looking to get your credit back on track.

The TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card lets you set your credit limit from $300 to $5,000, a deposit you’ll get back after you move to an unsecured card. It also gives you the chance to check your FICO score for free once a month.

If you need a card that comes with a lower minimum deposit, you might want to check what the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card has to offer.

How to apply for the card

  1. On the TCF Bank Secured Visa Card website, select Apply Online.
  2. Provide the required personal, employment and financial information and review your information.
  3. Verify the information is correct and choose Submit.

How long will it take to be approved?

TCF Bank processes its applications online, and you’ll typically learn your application’s conditional approval soon after submitting it.

The perks

  • Build or repair your credit. If you use this card responsibly by making on time, monthly payments, you’ll be on your way to building or repairing your credit.
  • Set your own credit limit. By making a deposit between $300 and $5,000 you set your own credit limit.
  • Qualify for an unsecured card. If you maintain a good payment history, you may qualify for a secured TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card in as little as 11 months. You’ll then get your security deposit back.

You’ll also like…

  • Access to FICO score. Use the TCF Bank online banking system to view your updated FICO score each month, for free.
  • Personalize your card. Make the card truly yours by using any photo to personalize your TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card.
  • Safety and security. This chip enabled Visa card comes with fraud monitoring and zero liability.

How to make this card worth it

The card doesn’t offer cash back or rewards so you won’t be able to offset its annual fee. Although, by making on time payments, you can improve your creditworthiness and qualify for an unsecured card within a year. In addition, you can also improve your credit utilization ratio by using only a small portion of the card’s available limit.

Compare secured credit cards

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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
$49, $99 or $200
26.99% variable
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A no-annual-fee secured card that separates itself from the pack with a $200 credit limit after making a more affordable than average deposit of $49, $99 or $200.
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
Starting at $200
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No annual or hidden fees, and you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back. See if you're approved in seconds.
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What to watch out for

  • Annual fee. You’ll pay an annual fee of $25 for the life of the card.
  • Penalties and fees. Late and returned payments come with penalties of up to $40. Foreign transactions, balance transfers and cash advances attract fees as well.

You’ll need to make a deposit of at least $300 when you apply in order to be considered a potential cardholder.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

Information you’ll need

In order to apply for the TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your full name, Social Security number and contact information.
  • Housing status and monthly rent or mortgage payment.
  • Employment status and gross annual income from all sources.
  • Bank account information you want to use to make your initial deposit.

What credit score do I need?

Applying with a credit score of 300 or higher increases the possibility of your application’s approval.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Register your account online to monitor your spending and make payments.
  • Avoid interest. Make use of the 21-day grace period after each billing cycle to avoid paying interest on purchases.
  • Avoid unnecessary fees. Ensure that there are adequate funds in your bank account when making payments to avoid stiff late fees and bounced-payment penalties.
  • Customer service. Online help is available on the TCF banking platform, or call 800-823-2265 for support. You can also connect with Twitter @TCFCares or Facebook @TCFbank.

Bottom line

Start rebuilding your credit, and get a secured card. However, TCF Bank claims this is a card to help “build and rebuild your credit.” But it’s not easy to find whether it reports your responsible use to any of the three major credit bureaus.

If you’re looking to increase your credit score, choose a different secure card that specifically advertises its reporting to help you get your credit score back on track.

Common questions about TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card

Do I need to make monthly payments or does the bank deduct them from my initial deposit?

The bank won’t withdraw funds from your deposit to cover for regular payments, and you’ll be responsible for making timely payments toward your credit card account.

Can I apply for this card at a TCF Bank branch?

Yes, and you can use the bank’s online branch locator to locate the nearest one.

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  1. Default Gravatar
    January 9, 2018

    I have the TCF secured credit card and have made on time payments for a year, how do I convince them to convert it to an unsecured credit card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      January 9, 2018

      Hi AJ,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with TCF or any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      For TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card, if you maintain a good payment history, you may qualify for a secured TCF Bank credit card in as little as 11 months. You’ll then get your security deposit back. By making on time payments, you can improve your creditworthiness and qualify for an unsecured card within a year.

      Please contact TFC bank directly to further inquire how you can qualify to upgrade to an unsecured card.

      Best regards,

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