SECURED CREDIT CARDS
If you have had some credit issues in the past, or are trying to build a credit history, you may want to consider applying for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards allow you to establish or re-establish a solid credit rating which is essential when you are applying for a mortgage.
A secured credit card is much the same as a normal credit card. The only difference is that these credit cards require a security deposit for eligibility. The security deposit can range anywhere from $200 to $10,000 and your resulting credit limit will be equal to this amount. This deposit also earns interest, as long as your card is open and in good standing. Once you have established a solid credit history with your credit card company, you can request to have them release your deposit over time. However, you could look at it as savings account maybe even set this security deposit aside to use as a down payment on a home!
Understand that a secured credit card is not the same as a prepaid credit card. Your Secured card will have a revolving credit limit and If you charge something you will have to make a minimum payment every month. A pre-paid credit card, on the other hand, is more like a gift card and is not attached to your personal name. As such, It does not help you rebuild your credit rating.
HOW WILL A SECURED CARD IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT?
As you use your secured credit card on a regular basis and continue to make consistent payments you will develop a history. The credit card company will report your usage to the credit bureau agencies on a monthly basis and your credit history will improve.
If you are working to rebuild your credit, most mortgage lenders want to see at least 2 years of perfect repayment history on two credit facilities (credit card and car loan, for example).