Smart Tips for Using Your Secured Credit Card

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
Updated: November 2nd, 2014
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

If you have a secured credit card, chances are you’ve had trouble with credit in the past. Whether you’ve had a bankruptcy, a former spouse ruined your credit, or you are simply new to credit cards and don’t have any credit history, you’ll be on your way to a better credit score and a regular credit card if you follow these guidelines for using your secured credit card.

  • Make a budget. Know how much money is coming into your household each month, and how much you can afford to spend. Write down fixed expenses like mortgage or rent, utilities, debt payments, groceries, and basic living costs. Don’t forget to factor in contributions to savings or retirement accounts, and leave some room for unexpected expenses. Then decide how much you can afford to spend on extras.
  • Set up automatic payments. When you’re trying to rebuild your credit score, it’s very important to make sure you always make all your payments on time. If you set up automatic online payments, you’ll never to miss a payment due date. You can make the payment for the minimum amount due, and then pay more if you want to anytime during the billing cycle. By setting up automatic payments you protect yourself from fees and negative credit reporting.
  • Order copies of your credit reports each year. Make sure you’ve carefully reviewed your credit report to ensure that there is no inaccurate information in it. There are three major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—so order a copy from each one and review them carefully. You can do this free of charge once a year.
  • Be careful of fees. Secured credit cards sometimes carry higher fees than other types of credit cards. Read the terms and conditions carefully so you know exactly when, and for what, you might be charged a fee. Using an ATM to get cash, going over your credit limit, making a late payment, and ordering copies of statements are all things that can incur a fee.
  • Don’t max out your card. Just because you have a certain limit on your credit card, doesn’t mean that is how much you should spend. To get the best credit score, use no more than 30% of your credit line. That means if you have a credit limit of $1,000, you should keep your balance under about $300.
  • Keep an eye out for new offers. When you’ve have your secured credit card for a while, it will probably be time to get a new, unsecured card. When your credit score begins to climb, you are likely to get more credit card offers. Don’t apply for all of them, and be discerning about which ones you might be interested in—but do stay alert for good offers.

Using a secured credit card can be a great way to establish or repair your credit. Think of it as a tool or a stepping stone, follow the above rules, and before you know it you’ll be on your way to improved credit and an unsecured credit card.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

Latest Secured Credit Cards Guides

Secured Credit Cards – When You Should Prefer Them March 13th, 2020

If you need to build credit, a credit card is a sure method. But sometimes it’s hard to get a credit card having not so good credit score. That’s where secured credit cards come to the rescue.
Secured credit cards are very similar to general unsecured credit cards, except for one thing.

Continue »
Secured Credit Card: How To Use It Right February 1st, 2020

Sometimes people with bad credit history are at a dead end and are looking for a way out. There are several options for people in a quandary. There are different types of credit cards. Here we want to show you the most common. A secured credit card may be the best option for people who […]

Continue »
Here’s How A Secured Credit Card Helps You Build Good Credit January 8th, 2020

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly a “secured” credit card is, or why they’ve become so popular recently, read on to find out how this type of credit card is helping people establish and repair their credit.

Continue »
Easy Ways To Get Your Credit Back On Track March 9th, 2018

If your credit is less than perfect, you might be wondering how you can ever get it back to where it used to be – or even better than it’s ever been before. A great credit score is helpful in all kinds of situations, including buying a home, a car, getting a business loan, renting an apartment, and even getting a job.

Continue »
The Surprising Credit Card Trend That’s Helping People Build Good Credit October 31st, 2017

It used to be that many people hadn’t heard of secured credit cards. If you said the words “credit card,” folks assumed you were talking about a regular, unsecured credit card, and didn’t even know there was another kind. However, these days secured cards are making a huge splash, and more and more people are signing up for them.

Continue »
Best Credit Offer
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Check off the cards you want to compare. Then click the Compare link to go to the comparison table.
Consumer Rating: 4 / 5
Horizon Card Services Group One Freedom Card
Copyright © 2001-2024 All Rights Reserved.

See the credit card's terms and conditions on the online application page. Note that this website may be compensated by credit card issuers when the visitor applies for a card through the links on this website. We do our best to maintain all information accurate and up to date. However, we do not warrant the credit card information won't change. Click the "Apply Online" button and review the current info on the secure credit card terms page.

Information in these articles is brought to you by Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.

The webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click "Apply" for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer's website. All logos on the website are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for terms & conditions. makes every effort to keep information up to date and accurate. However, the information regularly changes and is presented without warranty. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our readers to visit the credit card application page by clicking "Apply Online!" button to review the detailed credit card's terms and conditions. Note that may be compensated by the credit card issuers when the readers apply for a credit card through this site. is an independent, advertising-supported website which receives compensation from the credit card issuers and companies whose offers appear on the site. Compensation may impact how and where products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear on the site pages. does not review or list all available financial or credit offers.

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Thank you for providing this information! We will make sure our letters are useful for You.

User Generated Content Disclaimer: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.