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.
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
|Product Name||TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card|
|Purchase APR||23.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||23.99% variable|
|Balance transfer fee||$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||25.24% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$15 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Interest free period||Up to 21 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $40|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $35|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder US. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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® Secured Mastercard® has to offer.
How to apply for the card
- On the TCF Bank Secured Visa Card website, click Apply Online.
- Provide the required personal, employment and financial information and review your information.
- Verify the information is correct and click 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.
- 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.
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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.
It’s important to rebuild your credit, and getting a secured card is a good start. 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.