Can I Change a Secured Credit Card to an Unsecured Card? – NerdWallet

A secured credit card is an excellent tool for build recognition, but it ‘s not capital as … well, a recognition calling card. With a procure menu, you have to keep money tied up in a security deposit, your credit terminus ad quem may be identical low ( since it ‘s normally dictated by how much money you provided as a deposit ), the interest rates tend to be gamey, and you wo n’t get much in the way of rewards, perks or ongoing benefits. The natural interrogate, then, is whether ( and when and how ) you can convert a procure card to a “ regular ” or unguaranteed credit tease. The answer : It depends both on your behavior and the issuer ‘s policies. » NEED A SECURED CARD ? See our favorites

What depends on you

Before you can move up from a secured credit rating wag to a good unguaranteed card, your credit needs to be in slightly decent shape. The period of getting that secured wag was to build a track record of responsible behavior that will be reflected in your credit score. To build accredit with a guarantee card :

  • Use the wag regularly. Put one or two purchases on it each calendar month .
  • Keep your libra depleted. Do n’t go over 30 % of your recognition terminus ad quem. Staying under 10 % is evening better. Your ability to use credit without using all your accredit is key divisor in your credit score .
  • Pay on time and in full. Your requital history is the individual biggest factor in your credit score, thus never pay late. Err on the side of paying early on, even. And paying in full prevents you from being charged matter to .
  • Practice thoroughly credit habits elsewhere. Pay all your bills on time. Bills that go into collections can end up on your credit report and untie all the influence you ‘re doing with the secured menu .

once your accredit score rises into the “ fair ” or “ average ” range — generally defined as a sexual conquest of 630 to 689 — your chances of approval for an unguaranteed card get better.

Nerdy tip:

While there are unsecured cards designed for people with bad credit, they tend to be stacked with high fees. It’s not uncommon to see cards with annual fees of $99 a year for a credit limit of $300, sometimes with additional maintenance or processing fees on top of that. In the end, these cards are costlier than secured cards. With secured cards, you can get your deposit back eventually. The money you spend on credit card fees, however, is gone forever. 

What depends on your card issuer

ideally, you ‘d be able to merely convert your report from a secured poster to an unguaranteed card from the same issuer. You ‘d get your deposition second, and you ‘d be able to keep your account open, which can be adept for your credit grade. If the issuer of your secured poster besides offers unguaranteed cards, a straight-up wag switch might be potential. Capital One, for case, has a popular secured wag angstrom well as unguaranteed options for people with median citation, the common “ future gradation improving. ” Some issuers review your account mechanically to see whether you qualify for an unguaranteed card, as is the font with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. With others, you ‘ll have to call the number on your card and ask about the procedure for “ graduating ” to an unbarred card. however, not all secured menu issuers even offer unbarred cards. If that ‘s the case with your issuer, moving up is a two-step summons :

  • once your recognition improves, you apply for an unguaranteed calling card you can qualify for .
  • After you ‘re approved for the new wag and your history is open, pay off any remaining balance on the secured card, close it and get your depository bet on.

What card to get next

The best credit cards — that is, those with the best rewards and perks or that save you the most on interest — broadly require good to excellent credit, or a seduce of 690 or better. If you ‘ve precisely moved forbidden of the “ bad recognition ” range, you might not qualify field-grade officer these however. If upgrade your report with the like issuer is n’t an option, spirit for a menu designed specifically for people with fairly credit. Follow the same general guidance as above — use the card, keep balances by and large in crack, pay on time every calendar month — and you can continue moving on up .