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Three Best Secured Credit Cards

The Best Secured Cards Don't Try to Gouge You

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These credit cards made our Best Secured Credit Card list because they're modestly priced secured cards and give you the prospect of relatively quick graduation to unsecured credit cards, if you exhibit responsible credit behavior. As with any credit card, it will be crucial that you always pay at least the minimum payment - hopefully a lot more - on time.

1. Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Card

This is by far the best secured credit card on the market, but there’s one catch: To qualify, you must be a member of the military or related to someone who is to be eligible to join the credit union. 

In addition to the low APR, which starts at 8.99 percent, there’s no annual fee and no balance transfer fee. The card also has an attractive rewards program.  You earn point per dollar on purchases, which works out to 0.5% to a full 1% depending on your spending levels.  Rewards are redeemable for gift cards and certificates.   

2. Orchard Bank Secured MasterCard

This card from Orchard Bank – a unit of HSBC – is one of the best values in the secured card space.  

The APR is a very low 7.9%.  The $35 annual fee is also very reasonable, especially since it’s waived the first year. After that, provided you pay your bills on time, you might be able to qualify for an unsecured card with no annual fee.  Plus there’s no account processing fee. 

Orchard says it automatically sends monthly reports to all three major credit bureaus, which should help you improve your credit score quickly, if you pay your bills on time and keep your credit card balance low.

3. Wells Fargo Secured Card

This secured card from Wells Fargo is one of the better values in the secured card arena. The $18 annual fee is relatively modest, and the 16.49% APR isn’t too bad, either.  Another positive: Wells says you might be able to qualify for this card if you’ve been out of bankruptcy at least a year.  That's a lot less time than other lenders will consider.

Wells also notes that it periodically reviews the account and, if you exhibit good credit behavior, you could graduate to an unsecured card and have your security deposit refunded.

Wells Fargo has one of the better reputations among the big banks, so if you do well with this card, you’re on your way to improving your credit and getting lower-priced loans in the future.

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