Not keeping up a good credit score? Having a bad credit score should not stop you from getting a credit card. If you have a bad credit score and fear that credit card companies might not entertain your request for issuing a credit card then, a secured credit card is what you should go for.
The credit score is a value ranging from 300 to 850 which is allotted to you and represents your ability to pay back credits. The financial institutions use this score as a criterion to determine your creditworthiness and if your credit score is bad, say within a range of 300 to 579, then the credit card companies may decline your request for issuing a credit card. You need not worry as we are going to tell you about secured credit cards, a credit card type that you can opt for despite a bad credit score.
This article covers the following aspects:
- What Is Meant By Secured Credit Cards?
- Who Are The Users of Secured Credit Cards?
- How Secured Credit Cards Work?
- Secured Credit Cards vs Unsecured Credit Cards
- Tips For Choosing The Best Secured Credit Card
Let’s dive in!
What Is Meant By Secured Credit Cards?
A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires the cardholder to furnish security in the form of a cash deposit. This deposit serves as collateral for your account and in case you default in credit card payments then the credit card issuer can cash in this deposit to satisfy the charge reflecting in your account.
Other features are similar to that of a normal credit card and you can spend through your secured credit card up to your credit limit. You can consider applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is not satisfactory.
Who Are The Users of Secured Credit Cards?
Not everyone would like to block their funds in a security deposit and avail the credit facility offered by secured credit cards. Only those persons who have a poor or little credit history opt for secured credit cards. This is because they have low credit scores and their request for a regular credit card is normally declined by most financial institutions.
With secured credit cards, the financial institutions are saved from the risk of loss on account of a default by the cardholder due to the presence of a security deposit. The persons with bad credit cards are thus able to get secured credit cards issued in their favor and they sometimes use it as a tool to improve their credit score. If you are wondering how you can do that, then we can tell you the way out for the same. You just need to maintain discipline in regular credit card payments and over time you would see your credit score improving! After a certain period, say a year your credit card company might even entertain your request for an increase in credit limit attached to your card. All you need to do is be regular in the payments.
How Secured Credit Cards Work?
When you apply for a secured credit card, the credit card company runs a hard inquiry on you. To be specific it scans through your credit history available with the credit reporting agencies to determine your credit score. Based on how bad your credit score is, the company determines an amount of security deposit that you need to submit with the company which serves as collateral. Based on the amount of security deposit your credit card limit is set up, which approximates the amount of security deposit.
Regarding how a secured credit card functions, you can note that a secured credit card works on similar lines of a normal credit card. This means that you make your purchases and you get charged for the same. A monthly credit card statement is served to you which contains the details of your spending and the interest charged on your card. Make sure that you do not default in the payments as it will lead to a further downfall in your credit score.
Secured Credit Cards vs Unsecured Credit Cards
Apart from the fact that a secured credit card is backed up by the security deposit provided by the credit cardholder, there are many other ways in which a secured credit card is different from an unsecured credit card or a normal credit card.
APR and Other Fees
Annual percentage rates (APRs) are more in the case of secured credit cards. This is another way in which the bank insures itself against the risk of non-payment. Higher APRs work as an incentive for the banks for the additional risk they incur by issuing credit cards to those with a bad credit card. There are other fees as well such as monthly maintenance fees which is higher in case of secured credit cards.
Role of Credit Score in Application Process
When you apply for an unsecured credit card then the issuing company conducts a hard inquiry on you for determining your credit score and based on the credit score and your credit repayment history, the company decides whether to approve your credit card application or not.
On the contrary, secured credit cards do not have any requirement for a minimum credit score for approving your application. The credit card company before issuing you a secured credit card assesses your credit score only to decide your credit limit and the amount of security deposit. Thus, secured credit card applications are processed without being affected by your credit score. That is the beauty of secured credit cards; your application is always approved.
Secured credit cards generally do not confer any reward offers to the cardholders. The purpose of these credit cards is to help the holders improve their credit score. The holders of unsecured credit cards enjoy reward offers based on your credit utilization.
Tips For Choosing The Best Secured Credit Card
Don’t rush when you are applying for a secured credit card. You want a card that meets your needs but is convenient also. That’s why here are some tips that we suggest you follow before applying to a secured credit card:
Security Deposit That You Can Invest In
Generally, the credit card companies require a minimum deposit of $200 to $300. You can deposit a higher amount also if you want a higher credit limit. But you should not invest a higher amount just to get a higher limit. Make sure that you have enough funds available with you and the capacity to block them in the form of a deposit.
Credit Reporting Requirements
If you are taking a secured credit card to improve your credit score then you would want your payment details to be reported to the Credit Bureaus so that your credit score reflects better. Having a secured credit card that doesn’t report your payment activity seems worthless.
The credit card company might be charging different types of fee such as annual maintenance fees or processing fees. You must compare what other credit card companies are charging on secured credit cards and then decide which company to go with. In fact, many secured credit card companies might not charge annual fees at all. It is better to compare and then decide as to which company charges you better.
Availability of Grace Period
Sometimes, secured credit cards might not come up with the feature of a grace period. So, it is better to ask beforehand and ensure that the card that you chose has the option of a grace period. This is because in case of some inadvertent reason you miss the due date of payment you do not suffer.
If you are also looking for a credit card product that offers you the credit card facility despite having a bad credit card, then you can consider secured credit cards. Further, use it as a tool to improve your credit score by making regular payments month to month.
It’s all relative: Older generations feel helping out the family financially is more important since the Covid-19 outbreak
Before Covid, 23% of people prioritised helping younger generations out financially, that increased to a third as a result of the pandemic
A recent survey* conducted by Hodge has revealed that the Covid pandemic has led to more people wanting to help younger family members financially.
A third (31%)** of those questioned said that since the Covid outbreak giving a financial gift to children or grandchildren is more important to them, compared to 23% who said it was a priority before the pandemic.
The traditional “Bank of Mum and Dad” is still very much open for financial help, with parents being responsible for 72% of the gifts, but the study also revealed that financial gifts can come from all corners of the family – including children (14%) and siblings (14%).
The survey also found that a third of people have received a financial gift from family, with those aged between 25-34 as the most likely to receive
The most popular reason for gifting money to family is for special occasions such as a quarter of gifts were given for weddings and birthdays but 11% of people have received money to help with big purchases such as cars and houses. In addition, 19% of people have received help with day to day finances, with around 14% of those receiving a gift have done so to pay off debt.
Emma Graham, Business Development Director at Hodge, said of the research: “Our study showed that, as a nation, we all want to help our family out when it comes to money. And whilst we all think of the Bank of Mum and Dad or Gran and Grandad as a traditional source, we were surprised to see that 14% of brothers and sisters are also helping out.”
The findings come from a recent intergenerational study conducted by Hodge, who interviewed over 3000 people about their attitudes towards finances and their aspirations for the future. The full research findings can be found at https://hodgebank.co.uk/2020/05/19/money-its-all-relative/.
As part of the study, people were also asked about paying back the gift, with 40% of beneficiaries expecting to pay their parents back, but this dropped to 28% if the gift came from grandparents.
From the gift donor’s perspective, 26% expect the gift to be paid back, however just 15% of grandparents expected the money back.
Hodge has produced a set of guides on how families can navigate the tricky subject of giving financial gifts within a family, as well as the considerations and steps that be families should think about taking before a gift is given, such as is it a loan or a gift and thinking about contingencies if the family member’s circumstances change. The guides can be found here: https://hodgebank.co.uk/news/
Emma continued: “It’s clear that families feel strongly about offering financial support to each other if they are able and this has increased since the Covid pandemic. Before Covid, 23% of people prioritised helping their families out financially in the next five years. Since the Covid-19 outbreak that has increased to a third of people saying helping a family member financially had become more important.
“So, it is clear that the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent predicted economic downturn, has led to more families looking to share wealth to help younger children or grandchildren during this difficult time. Many people may look to Later Life mortgages, where many products have reduced their rates and have flexible lending criteria, to help out a loved during these difficult times.”
New report identifies the factors which will determine SMEs’ chances of a successful COVID recovery
· Analysis of the performance of over 1,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses by Allica Bank provides roadmap for SMEs
· Regular training, an openness to innovation, and a clear vision all contribute heavily to an SMEs’ chances of success
· Allica Bank has launched a programme of free workshops to expand on the findings and support business owners
Business bank, Allica Bank has combined data and insight from over 1,000 UK SMEs with a multiple regression analysis to determine what factors most closely aligned with an SMEs’ chances of success and separated the highest-performing businesses from their peers. These ‘rules for success’ have been compiled from the research data to support British businesses as they look to chart a course to post-Covid recovery.
The full report identifies six behaviours for small and medium businesses to follow, to maximise their chances of a successful COVID recovery. The six top-line rules emphasised by the data were:
Rule 1: SMEs should regularly train staff
Of the top-performing businesses analysed, 47% provided training for employees at least on a quarterly basis, compared to just 32% of other businesses. Regular employee training was linked closely to success by the model.
Despite this, many small businesses have neglected training and nearly half (46%) of the small businesses analysed only provide training for employees about once a year or less often. This included 15% that never provide employer-funded training. This discrepancy could represent a significant opportunity for small businesses to unlock the potential of their employees and thrive in the post-Covid economy.
Rule 2: SMEs need to focus on innovation and technology
Looking again to the best performing businesses, 76% were found to either continually (39%) or often (37%) be considering new opportunities for technology in their business. This is compared to only 51% for businesses considered to be outside of the top ranks, out of which only 27% admitted to continually looking for new technology opportunities.
Rule 3: Small business must have a formal, long-term vision
Nearly two thirds (66%) of the most successful businesses in the survey had a formal, long-term vision, compared to just 50% of businesses outside the top 100. Looking to the businesses that scored the lowest on the SME Performance index, only 37% claimed to have a formal, long-term vision.
Rule 4: SMEs should broaden their customer reach and find new markets
Of the top-performing businesses, 65% of these have overseas customers compared to just 40% of the worst performing businesses. Among the best performing SMEs, over a third (34%) identified international expansion as one of the top three drivers for their success.
Rule 5: SMEs need to develop reinvestment plans
22% of the best performing SMEs reinvested some of their profits into the business in the past three years with an average 9% of profits being redeployed. Tellingly, this is nearly double what other businesses admit to reinvesting in their business (5%).
Rule 6: SMEs should engage with local business organisations and networks
Of the top 100 SMEs, 30% had obtained external credit to expand over the past three years (compared to 24% of other businesses). Meanwhile, only 16% of all other SMEs had engaged with local enterprise partnerships or growth hubs in the past three years (compared to 23% of the top 100 SMEs).
Chris Weller, Chief Commercial Officer, Allica Bank, said:
“All small businesses are different, as are all small business owners, but one trait they share is an innovative resilience. Whilst the coming months and years will undoubtedly continue to present extreme challenges, there is no doubt that small and medium sized businesses across the UK will rise to meet them head on.
“To give them the best chance to succeed, though, they need to be equipped with the right tools. There is certainly no silver bullet or panacea for every small business, but as this study has found, there are a number of common factors found in the most successful businesses that allow small enterprises to thrive and that they can consider individually for their business.
“This research has identified common ‘rules for success’ that speak to every aspect of running a business, not just the financials. Once we saw these results, we wanted to use them to help small businesses begin to re-build and prosper, by outlining common factors and then examining how best they can be practically applied to businesses in all sectors of the economy.
“Small business owners and their employees have been hit hard by the crisis, but they have the drive and resourcefulness to breathe new life into the economy and bring energy to post-Covid Britain. Our commitment at Allica Bank is to give them the support they need to do so, every step of the way.”
The full report contains a wealth of additional data and insight into each of these topics. As part of its mission to empower small businesses, Allica Bank is making the findings freely available and running a series of free online workshops with relevant partner organisations for businesses to attend.
New research finds that financial wellbeing should be at the heart of banks digital experiences as the UK enters recession
MullenLowe Profero have today launched a new report focusing on two communities who will be hardest hit by the recession: 18-25 year olds and small businesses. These communities need financial wellbeing support at the core of an increasingly digital relationship. MullenLowe Profero partnered with Censuswide to survey 1,004 18-25-year-olds and 504 small businesses.
Concern around financial shocks is harming individual’s wellbeing
The survey finds the ability to absorb financial shocks being the critical worry affecting wellbeing and 40% of 18-25-year-olds are sometimes afraid to look at their bank account.
They are seeking financial education to relieve worries
With over two-thirds of respondents demanding financial education in order to find peace of mind and 40% of 18-25-year-olds state that thinking about their money has a negative impact on their wellbeing the report highlights the audience are open to more active support from banks. 60% of the audience feel banks should help them have the capacity to absorb a financial shock.
When our bank is in our pocket reminding us of our anxieties, is there now a duty of care to support our wellbeing?
The survey finds that the digital experience is now the number one reason for choosing a bank for 18-25 year olds.
With this shift in digital preference, people are expecting banks to play a bigger role in wellbeing. 58% of those worried about their money want banks to help them take control.
More than half of 18-25 year olds agree that a bank’s role is now to:
- provide education on money management
- help them keep on top of financial goals
- help them save enough money to cope with the ups and downs of life
People are feeling closer to local communities, but there is a gap in how brands should engage communities in a digital world
Half of 18-25 year olds agree that in the last few months the importance of their local community to them has increased. 40% agree they’ve engaged more with their local community in recent months. There’s a tension between how to engage a community as 60% agree they prefer a bank with better digital tools over a bank that offers more local branches. However, 60% feel banks need a branch presence to support local communities.
The importance of Global Wellbeing rises
Over half of 18-25 year olds agree that the events of the last few months have made them seek out brands that do better for the world. The research findings show that what they want most is to be recognised for their positive behaviours. 56% of the audience highlighted that they would find rewards and benefits for purchasing ethically and sustainably most useful.
Banks digital experience today lack empathy
In this time of reset, the survey found a third of customers and small businesses are considering changing banks in the next year as a result of the impact of the pandemic. The report concludes that brands that will win will champion financial wellbeing in the digital experience through empathy and emotional intelligence.
For the full report, get in touch with MullenLowe Profero at [email protected]
Howard Pull, Head of Digital Transformation Strategy at MullenLowe Profero, said: “Our findings are a wake up call for digital innovation in banking relationships. With digital experience being the number one choice for selecting a bank, there’s a huge opportunity for banks to support individual wellbeing at scale by understanding and responding to our goals and anxieties to build better money habits.”
The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,004 18-25-year-old current account holders and 504 small businesses with business bank accounts and annual revenues up to £2m between 23.06.2020 and 29.06.2020. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
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