Secured credit cards, also known as prepaid credit cards, can be used to rebuild poor credit histories because creditors report the consumers’ credit histories to the reporting agencies. The unique advantage of secured credit cards is that users do not create debt when they use these cards because they’re using the money that they’ve deposited on the card in advance of any purchases. Most of these cards can be used anywhere Visa and MasterCard are accepted and there are many secured cards that guarantee approval with no credit check.
Since debt is strangling the life out of most people these days, secured credit cards could prove to be the lifeline needed to help people rise above their financial troubles. There’s a double guarantee against incurring debt because not only are users spending money that they’ve already deposited on the card, but once that money is spent, the card will be useless to them until more money is deposited. This inspires users to exercise control over their spending habits forcing them to think before they act. The only requirements for obtaining a secured credit card is the applicant must be of legal age and they have to be able to load money onto the card. This means that practically every responsible consumer is eligible to receive a secured credit card regardless of their credit history or score.
However, many secured cards have a start-up fee and sometimes these fees can be substantial. While it’s possible to acquire cards with no annual or setup fees, there are still other fees involved like late payment, over the limit, and additional card fees. Some cards have no annual or interest fees but monthly fees are charged if the purchases made are under the required limits. In other words, there are variations on fees that are and are not charged so applicants will have to read the fine print to familiarize themselves with all the terms and conditions of each card.
The following are examples of secured credit cards that require no credit checks, along with a brief listing of their differing terms and conditions.
1) Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Credit Card: One of the favorite choices because there’s no annual fee, no setup fee, and the interest rate is a low fixed 9.99% APR which is considerably lower than most current card interest rates. Deposits made can be from $200 – $5,000. There are no interest penalties on late payments and this card is especially designed for people with low or poor credit histories.
2) Green Dot® Prepaid Master Card® and Green Dot® Gold Prepaid Visa® Card: No transaction fees on U.S. purchases, no overdraft or penalty fees, no interest fees, and no minimum balance required. However, there’s a monthly fee for any month when less than 30 purchases are made, and there are fees for replacing lost or stolen cards, and for additional cards.
3) Vision Premiere® Visa® Prepaid Card: No overdraft , annual or interest fees but there are activation, monthly, replacement card, and ATM balance and withdrawal fees.
4) Capital One® Reloadable Prepaid MasterCard®: No activation, interest or overdraft fees, and there are no monthly fees as long as $500 per transaction cycle is loaded.
5) Walmart Money Card? Visa® Prepaid Card and Walmart Money Card? MasterCard® Prepaid Card: No overdraft or interest fees, and fees for monthly maintenance, reload, additional card, and ATM cash transactions are minimal.
6) REACH Visa® Prepaid Card: There are activation, monthly and ATM fees but there are no overdraft, interest or any other hidden fees.
When considering today’s economy and the status of many people’s credit histories, it’s understandable why creditors are unable to issue cards that are completely free of charges and fees. However, creditors are attempting to extend their services to as many people as possible by being as lenient as they can be with their terms and conditions. It’s therefore up to consumers to review all relevant information carefully to make an informed decision when choosing the card that’s most suitable for their lifestyle.