Secured credit cards.
Getting a secured credit card is a great way to begin rebuilding your credit. Since a secured card requires a cash deposit as protection, it's highly unlikely that any bank will match your deposit. In fact, the funds used as collateral, typically $100-$500, are frozen while you have the account. If you fail to make payments on your credit card accounts, these funds will be used to cover your obligations.
Once your account is in good standing (say six months to a year), some creditors may offer to double the amount you have on deposit, where part of the credit line is secured and part is unsecured, according to Consumer Action (www.consumer-action.org). However, the "matching funds" are not yours to keep once the account is closed--they are returned to the original issuer.
To find competitive rates on secured cards, log on to www.bankrate.com and www.cardweb.com. These Websites offer a wide range of secured credit cards including annual percentage rate, annual fee, and grace periods for the cards. Also, make sure that the card company reports your payment history to all of the major credit reporting agencies regularly. By making payments on time and staying within your credit limit, you will increase your credit score and, eventually, you can apply for an unsecured credit card.
Mail your consumer empowerment questions to Ask Your Advocate, BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave,, New York, NY 10011 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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|Title Annotation:||Ask Your Advocate|
|Author:||Sykes, Tanisha A.|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2004|
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