Secured credit cards

A secured credit card is a type of credit card secured by a deposit account owned by the cardholder. Typically, the cardholder must deposit between 100% and 200% of the total amount of credit desired. Thus if the cardholder puts down $1000, he or she will be given credit in the range of $500¢_”$1000. This deposit is held in a special savings account.The cardholder of a secured credit card is still expected to make regular payments, as he or she would with a regular credit card, but should he or she default on a payment, the card issuer has the option of recovering the cost of the purchases paid to the merchants out of the deposit.

Often, though, if the cardholder does not make the required payment, many issuers of secured credit cards consider that the account must be paid before the security is released instead of using the security to pay the balance due. The card is not cancelled, the balance is not set off the deposit, and interest continues to accumulate on the unpaid balance for considerable periods of time. In some cases the total charges may far exceed the original deposit and the cardholder not only loses their deposit but is left with an additional debt.

Most of these conditions are usually described in a cardholder agreement which the cardholder signs when their account is opened.

Secured credit cards are an option to allow a person with a poor credit history or no credit history to have a credit card which might not otherwise be available. They are often offered as a means of rebuilding ones credit. Secured credit cards are available with both Visa and MasterCard logos on them. Fees and service charges for secured credit cards often exceed those charged for ordinary non-secured credit cards.

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