Your Discover it® Secured may graduate to unsecured as soon as eight months after account opening, assuming you pay your monthly bills on time and otherwise manage your finances responsibly. But there’s no guarantee when, or if, it will happen. It all comes down to Discover’s determination of your creditworthiness. After the seven-month mark, Discover’s credit analysts will periodically review both your account and your overall credit history to see whether it’s appropriate to refund your security deposit, thus graduating you to an unsecured card. But there are some steps you can take to improve your odds.
Here’s how to become a Discover Secured Card graduate:
1. Pay on time. This is probably the most important part of the process. If you don’t pay your Discover it Secured bills by the due date, you won’t even be considered for graduation.
2. Use your card responsibly. Maintaining low credit utilization will indicate to Discover that you can handle an unsecured card. So aim to use only 30% or less of your “it” Card’s limit.
3. Improve your other finances. Adding to your income and paying down debt will improve your creditworthiness as a whole, making you a better candidate for an unsecured card.
If you do graduate, you’ll receive your full deposit back. But that could take as long as two billing cycles to happen, so don’t get worried if you don’t get it right away. You can call Discover customer service at 1-800-347-2683 to be sure, if the two-cycle period elapses without a check being sent.
And lastly, if it’s been over a year and you’ve always paid on time but haven’t heard from Discover, you should give them a call to inquire about graduating. Even if they say no, it doesn’t hurt to ask.