Update: Check out our most updated list of the best secured credit cards.

What’s an effective way of building credit, if you have bad credit? One way is to open up a credit line to demonstrate your ability to handle spending and payments responsibly. Unfortunately, if your credit is terrible, this puts you in a Catch 22 because you will have a difficult time getting approved for a credit card.

However, there’s good news! If you’re dealing with bad credit, you can apply for a secured credit card, which requires you to put down a cash deposit or collateral, in order to spend. For example, if you deposit $500, you will have $500 to spend. (The amount you deposit will usually determine the spending limits on the secured credit cards.)

We picked out the best secured credit cards that will help you to build or rebuild your credit in no time.


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Using a secured credit card, you can show that you are able to manage a credit card responsibly without too much risk to the lender. For this reason, secured credit cards often come with annual fees and the requirement to provide collateral in the form of cash deposits.

Just as with any other credit cards, every time you make payments toward a secured credit card, the card activity will be reported the credit bureaus. It’ll be building your credit, and in no time, you’ll be eligible to apply for an unsecured, or “regular” credit card.

Tip: Be sure to stay on top of your credit scores. Remember that you can get  your FICO credit scores for free through your bank or your credit card company.

There are many options for secured credit cards available to you. Unfortunately, many of them charge high annual fees, impose an absurd interest rate, or both.

We picked the five secured credit cards that should be among your top choices if you’re looking to improve your credit history. Continue onto our slideshow to find the perfect unsecured card for yourself.

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  • Mike

    This author must be mistaken by the definition of “best” that is to say the least. Visit Digital Credit Union (DCU.Org). They offer a secured credit card with NO annual Fee, 11.50%, 0% cash advance fee, 0% balance transfer fee. Never pay an annual fee if you don’t have to.

    • Frederick Nelson

      Digital Federal Credit Union requires that you have good credit in order to be approved for this secured credit card. If you’re looking to rebuild your credit, this is not the right card for you. There are secured cards offered by other banks which are designed to help people with bad credit improve their credit history and credit score. Not this one. Don’t waste an inquiry on your credit report which will have some negative impact on your credit score trying to apply for this card. Go with what the Author recommends.