A secured card can build credit in as little as 1-6 months if you have no prior credit history. For people with bad credit, meaning a credit score below 640, it could take around 12-18 months to build fair-to-good credit with a secured card. This is assuming that you maintain a history of on-time payments and manage your finances responsibly.
Technically, you build credit every month with a secured credit card, but pinpointing precisely how fast a secured card can get you to good credit is difficult, as every cardholder’s situation is different. Nevertheless, you can check out WalletHub’s free credit score simulator to see how various scenarios are likely to affect your credit score and gain a better understanding of how fast a secured card could build your credit.
You can build credit with a secured credit card in as little as 1 month, but it will take many months or even years to build a consistently good or excellent credit score. The length of time also depends on whether you’re building credit from nothing or rebuilding damaged credit. If you have no credit, you could see a good score after just a few months of paying on time. You’ll have a … read full answerVantageScore after 1 month and a FICO Score after 6. With bad credit, though, it will probably take 12-18 months of responsible use for you to move up to the fair credit range. Secured credit cards are great for building credit because they are easy to get and report to the credit bureaus just like unsecured cards.
But it's hard to give you an accurate estimate of how long it will take to build credit with a secured credit card without knowing the details of your situation. That’s where WalletHub can help. Just sign up for a free account, and we’ll give you a personalized credit analysis that will tell you what to improve and give you a better sense of how long it will take.
Here’s how long it takes to build credit with a secured credit card:
If you have no credit, it will take 1 month to get a VantageScore and 6 to get a FICO score. Depending on how responsibly you use your card, your first score could be anywhere from bad to good.
If you pay your bill on time and otherwise manage your finances responsibly, you can rebuild from a bad credit score (300-639) to a fair credit score (640-699) in approximately 12-18 months.
A good credit score based on limited information could easily fall due to an increase in credit utilization or a single missed payment. Building and then keeping a good or excellent credit score requires consistency over time. This is a project measured in years.
For people rebuilding credit, it will take 7-10 years for some negative information, like bankruptcies and late payments, to disappear from your credit report. But the older they are, the less impact they will have on your score.
If you’re looking to rebuild your credit, secured credit cards are the best way to do it. They’re easy to get and are indistinguishable from unsecured cards aside from the deposit requirement.
Rebuilding credit will take a while, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible. Some good behaviors to practice are always paying on time and using less than 30% of your available credit.
To build credit with a secured credit card, apply for a secured card and place a refundable security deposit to open an account, then use the account responsibly by paying the bill on time and in full every month and keeping your credit utilization low. Every month you have the secured credit card, the card issuer will report information about your account to major credit bureaus. And if you use your card responsibly, the information reported to the credit bureaus will build your credit history. In fact, you … read full answerdon’t even have to use the card to get credit-boosting benefits. As long as you keep the account in good standing, your credit score should hike upward in time.
Secured credit cards build credit the same way as regular credit cards, so you don’t have to do anything differently than you would with any other credit card to build credit with a secured card. The only difference between the two is that a secured card’s credit line is secured by a refundable deposit, which is required to open the account. The deposit amount then becomes the card’s credit limit, in most cases. In other words, a secured credit card won’t get you very far if you need an emergency loan, but it can definitely help you build credit.
It’s hard to say exactly how much a secured credit card will raise your credit score, or how fast your score will improve. A good ballpark estimate is that you should see a bit of improvement after a few months and solid gains after a year, assuming you pay your bills on time. And if you start with a bad credit score, you can expect to qualify for an … read full answerunsecured credit card for fair credit within 12-18 months.
But a lot depends on your starting point, particularly what types of negative records are on your credit report. How you manage both your new secured card and your other financial obligations is very important, too. Paying all your bills by the due date every month is key. Doing so will add positive information to your credit reports, helping cover up mistakes of the past. Failing to do so will only reinforce the idea that you’re a risky borrower. Your credit score will also improve faster the more available credit you have. And you can control that by submitting a larger initial security deposit or adding to it over time.
For a more accurate idea of how much a secured card will raise your credit score, check out your free personalized credit analysis from WalletHub. We’ll tell you which aspects of your credit need the most improvement, exactly what you need to do to fix them, how fast you can raise your score and which credit card will save you the most money. You can also watch your score improve with free daily credit score updates.
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