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 unsecured 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 long it will take and which credit card will save you the most money. You can also watch your score improve with free daily credit score updates