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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  What is a secured credit card and how does it help build credit score? MintGenie explains
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What is a secured credit card and how does it help build credit score? MintGenie explains

These cards are usually meant for the customers who have an abysmally low credit score and they can use them to improve their score over a period of time

Secured credit card is an expensive way to maintain a credit card since most other cards don’t need any security to back up with.Premium
Secured credit card is an expensive way to maintain a credit card since most other cards don’t need any security to back up with.

A secured credit card is a variant of credit card that is backed by a monetary deposit given by the cardholder to a card issuing bank. And this deposit works as a collateral for the lender. Secured credit card is generally given to the customers who have a limited or poor credit score.

Credit card issuers send the account history to credit score companies, thus impacting the customer’s credit score over a period of time.  Therefore, when someone with a poor credit score wants to improve their score, it is recommended to use these cards over a period of time i.e., several months or a year. 

When a cardholder happens to clear their dues on time, the card issuer may decide to raise the credit limit or even upgrade to an unsecured card. However, when the borrower happens to miss the due dates for payments, the credit score may suffer significantly. 

ALSO READ: Top 5 Credit Cards That Offer Free Lounge and Club Memberships

In case the borrower is regular in clearing its payments, s/he can close a secured credit card any time s/he chooses to. In such a scenario, the cardholder stands to receive the deposit back.

However, this is seen as an expensive way to maintain a credit card since most other cards don’t need any security to back up with.

Key features of a secured credit card

I. Backed by deposit: Unless a normal credit card, secured credit card is supported by a deposit that works as the card’s credit limit.  

II. Collateral: The deposit can be used as collateral when the cardholder doesn’t make card payment on time.

III. Expensive method: Since these cards require a deposit to go with them, this is an expensive way to maintain a card. 

IV. To improve the credit score: These cards are usually meant for subprime customers who have a poor credit score. Therefore, those customers who intend to improve their credit score can use these cards for this purpose.

V. Upgrading to an unsecured card: When borrowers happen to clear their dues on time, the chances are that the card issuer will raise their credit limit or upgrade from a secured card to unsecured card. But be mindful of the fact that in case a customer missed out on card payments, the credit score would suffer significantly. 

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Published: 08 Feb 2024, 02:47 PM IST
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