How to Find Credit Building Credit Cards

Many secured cards are available through which you can establish credit.
Many secured cards are available through which you can establish credit. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

If you can only qualify for credit cards with high annual fees or ultra-high interest rates, that's a good sign you need a credit building credit card. Such cards are called secured credit cards because you deposit a certain amount of money as collateral when you first get the card. The more money you offer as collateral, the higher your credit line. Because the card is secured, most card issuers don't do a credit check, meaning you are virtually guaranteed approval. The best credit building credit cards are readily available and finding them is easy.

Input "credit building credit cards" or "best secured credit cards" in your preferred search engine. Choose one of the sites offering secured credit cards and browse its card listings.

Check especially on, and (see Resources). When browsing, pay special attention to the annual fee and APR because both tend to be higher on secured credit cards than standard. The best credit building credit cards have no annual fee and low interest.

Calculate the proper amount of credit line to establish. The higher it is, the more cash you will need to deposit. Cards have minimum and maximum limits so choose a card that matches the credit line you seek.

Ascertain whether you want online account access because many cards do not offer this feature.

Check for cards with and without a sign-up fee. The best credit building credit cards will have no sign-up fee.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the credit building credit card you're considering reports to all three major credit bureaus.
  • After a year or so of using a secured credit card, you may be able to convert it to an unsecured (standard) credit card. Even if you can't, you should now have a better credit score and be able to get approved for a standard credit card.
  • For info on how to find and choose other types of cards, check the resources.
  • Prepaid and secured credit cards are not the same. Prepaid cards are like debit cards, while secured credit cards are like standard cards except with a deposit as collateral.

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