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Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?

Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?

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Can I use a debit card to build my credit? This is a common question, especially among younger individuals as well as those who have had credit issues in the past. Most people are aware of the importance of an above average credit score. While this may not sound like a big deal, the higher your score the better chance you have of securing a loan in the future. Along with this, it can help in many other aspects of your life, such as when applying for a job.

The answer to this question is yes and no. There are several differences between a debit card and a credit card. The main one being that your debit card is attached to a bank account. In other words, nobody is lending you money. When you use your debit card, the funds are coming out of your account. On the other hand, with a credit card, a company (Visa, American Express, and MasterCard) is lending you money and trusting you to pay it back later. Simply put, a debit card is nothing more than an easier way to access money in your bank account.

It is important to note that debit cards do not report to credit bureaus. In turn, using one of these cannot directly help you build credit or increase your score.

That being said, it can help build your credit if you show your financial institution that you can be responsible with your money. Your bank will realize that you have been using your debit card in a responsible manner, which will work in your favor if you want to apply for a “real” credit card such as one through MasterCard, American Express, or Visa. This is not a direct way of building your credit, but over the course of many months/years it will go a long way in showing your bank that you are worthy of a credit card.

Should I use a debit card since it does not do anything to help my credit? The answer to this question is up to you. Remember, just because it does not benefit your credit doesn’t mean that everything is bad. With a debit card you have quick access to funds in your checking account, while also making it easier to manage and organize your finances.

If you are looking for a direct way to build credit you should not rely solely on the use of a debit card. Fortunately, the responsible use of a debit card can help you build your credit in the future.

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Even With Bad Credit, You Can Get a Credit Card

Even With Bad Credit, You Can Get a Credit Card

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Applying for a secured credit card and paying off your monthly balance can help you to reestablish your credit rating with the major credit bureaus.

Have you been told that you have a poor credit history? Have you run into some trouble with credit card debt before, which now you have cleaned up? Perhaps you have declared bankruptcy and you are trying to reestablish your credit? Here are several key ways that to reestablish your credit by securing credit.

Secured Credit Cards
A secured credit card is one of the most straightforward and safe ways to reestablish your credit. Typically, a credit card will advance you money from the credit card company. Secured credit cards ask you to put up that money in advance. A secured credit card is similar to a debit card; you set up a bank account and deposit an amount of money associated with the card. The account draws from those funds to pay your charges on that credit card. If you put $500 into your bank account, you can only charge up to $500 on your card. You should pay off the balance every month to establish a good relationship. With secured credit cards, you are typically rewarded for good behavior. A bank will increase your credit line without asking you to deposit more money. Slowly, a credit relationship is developed. Some banks only offer secured credit cards to people who are establishing credit for the first time, rather than people who have mishandled their credit in the past.

Be smart when shopping around for a secured credit card. Be on the lookout for a secured credit card that doesn’t charge an application fee. Every secured credit card will charge an annual fee, but they can vary dramatically. Shop around for the secured credit card with the lowest fee. Credit unions often offer secured credit cards to their members at a reasonable cost.

Unsecured Credit Card
Many banks don’t offer secured credit cards, but will offer credit cards with low credits. These cards almost always have high interest rates and fees.

Questions to ask when searching for a secured credit card.

• Does the credit card company/bank report to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion? This is a very important factor in reestablishing your credit. You’ll want to establish a relationship with a credit card company that will make your credit history available upon request.

• How long do I need to have a secured credit card with your company before I qualify for an unsecured credit card? Typically, the time frame is about a year. You’re looking to establish a relationship with a company, so be sure it is one that will meet your needs for the next few years.

• How much interest will my deposit earn? Look for a credit card company that will give you about as much interest as you would get from a savings account at the bank.

• How can this secured credit card boost my credit rating? A secured credit card will boost your credit rating if you use it to charge a few things every month and then pay off the entire amount. Do not carry a balance on the secured credit card.

Keep in mind that if you do have bad credit history, you don’t have to live with it forever and you can take steps to improve it.

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