Q: I have no credit cards, and a FICO score of 700. Do I need to apply for a secured credit card to improve my score?
Believe it or not, your 700 FICO score actually ranks as "fair to neutral" under today's economic conditions. Since you might not have to resort to a secured credit card to boost your credit score, you may want to start by shopping for credit cards for fair credit.
Ever since the 2008 financial crisis and the 2009 Credit CARD Act shook up the personal lending industry, banks have looked at credit scores a little differently. Many lenders reserve their most attractive accounts, like the best cash back rewards cards, for borrowers with FICO scores of 750 and higher.
However, even a score as low as 680 won't necessarily limit you to so-called "subprime" credit cards. A handful of lenders have designed accounts that will help you boost your credit with responsible use on your part and without exorbitant finance charges or service fees.
- I'm a 22-year-old female who makes about $1,000 a month. I have a credit union credit card with credit line of $500. I recently applied for a Lowe's credit card and was denied. I'm always on time with my credit card payments. What would be the reason?
- Does a credit union secured credit card make as positive an impact on credit scores as one held by a major commercial bank?
- I am an 18-year-old with no credit history. I have read Curtis Arnold's book and am successfully paying my community college tuition on my own. Which card is best suited for me when I only plan on using my future card for gas purchases?