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Added August 31, 2010 from: Mike Killian
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 Mike Killian
Answered By Mike Killian: There really is no "best card." Different financial institutions will have slightly different policies. You can check with the major financial institutions in your community; most will probably offer secured debt card programs. Regardless of whether you inquire at a local major bank or find a card at CardRatings.com, there are a few things you'll want to know about a program before you decide which one to choose.

For example, each secured card will require you establish a savings account to secure the credit card, so one question to ask is, "How much of a balance is required to establish a secured program?" Normally the amount is $250 or more. You should also be interested whether that amount earns interest. Another question you should ask of the financial institution is whether they report your payment history to the credit bureaus monthly--and do they report to one or all three of the bureaus? Finally, you might want to know whether or not, after a history of on time payment, they automatically convert your card to an unsecured credit card.

Over 33 percent of your credit score is based upon on-time payment history, and the financial institution will be reporting your payment history to the credit bureau, or bureaus, on a regular basis. Keep in mind that one of the worst things you can do to yourself is to make late payments, because of how heavily your credit score will be based on your payment history. I cannot stress enough that on-time payment is essential for a good credit score. I would strongly suggest you also insure the accuracy of your credit report, as oftentimes errors can create an erroneous score. You can get a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com. This is the only resource available for a free copy, and it's provided by the government.

Therefore the question, "Which card is best?" is based on the answers you get to the questions above.

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