What credit cards can you use to build your credit history?Monday, June 04, 2012 at 5:58:05 PM
If you're just getting started with credit cards, or have used them in the past but stopped during the recent economic downturn for one reason or another, you're probably looking for an account that will allow you to start getting your credit score up.
Typically, the most beneficial credit card offers are available only to consumers who have the best credit scores, which is logical enough. And for this reason, there is a significant benefit in finding an account that will grant you the opportunity to build your credit score to respectability in a relatively short period of time.
For this reason, you should look for the best credit card available to you given your limited borrowing history. Typically, these will be
secured credit cards, which require you to make a down payment of a few hundred dollars to establish your borrowing limit without the kind of stringent credit check that comes with other types of credit card applications.
What benefits can you expect with a secured card?
Because secured cards are designed specifically for consumers with limited or troubled borrowing histories, they come with few perks. There are no rewards programs associated with these accounts, for example. But what they do offer you is a little bit of spending flexibility - but not too much - and the ability to
establish a strong credit history. With several months of responsible borrowing, such as keeping the amount you put on the card relatively low and making sure to pay down the balance in full every month, you will quickly build your rating and open yourself to more beneficial accounts down the road.
What are the drawbacks?
A secured credit card can be a great tool for building your borrowing history, but there are a number of things to be careful of as well. For instance, because the credit limit on them is usually only a few hundred dollars, a few extra charges can push you close to your credit limit. Further, if you carry a balance over from one month to the next, you will likely pay for doing so in the form of higher interest rates than those seen on traditional accounts.
When looking for any type of credit card, you should always review a number of accounts to find the one that will work best for you.