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secured credit card ---advice needed


i have never had a credit card ever.i filed bankruptcy a few years back.everytime i apply i get turned down.well a new deal has come along where i'll be able to get a secured credit card.i have to put up a few hundred in a savings account as collateral and then i'll get a card.ok here is the question.on average how much does a person usually pay each month for fees.lets say i don't buy anything in june do i still owe a fee for that month.give me a few pointers.lets say i go buy a 39.99 fan to put in my room for air but thats all i buy then what am i looking at as far as that goes?  curious,so i hope others can give me some ballpark figures and advice,thanks!!

Entry #1,142


Comment by jim695 - May 25, 2007, 7:34 am
First of all, it's necessary to understand that a qualified bankruptcy does not equate to bad credit. Bankruptcy no longer carries the negative stigma it once did, and in recent years has been recognized as an effective and flexible financial tool.
     Bankruptcy was once a nearly-secret strategy, brought about by the magnates of old who needed a way to discharge their obligations while protecting their assets from their own creditors. However, they can't pass a law which applies only to the upper class while excluding the masses from employing the same law. So, in the eighties and nineties, sharp operators would set up companies with the sole intention of bankrupting them. Their obligations would be discharged, and they'd walk away with most of their assets intact. This is actually a very old trick, and was aggressively and extensively employed by the robber barons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (for more on this, see "A History of the Great American Fortunes" by Gustavus Meyers - a very good book).
      In recent years, the government plugged a major loophole which allowed the common man to enjoy the benefits of bankruptcy. Now, we have to pay the first $10,000 of unsecured debt before the remainder can be discharged. In keeping with American constitutional policy, this requisite applies to the rich and the poor alike, and so it's deemed to be perfectly fair.
     Now, on to secured credit cards.
     For all the good they do for your credit rating, you're better off paying cash for everything you buy; your credit rating will not be affected one way or the other, and the fees and finance charges you'll pay will quickly drain your checking account.
     LOTTOMIKE, you have a good, solid work history, and that's the most important element the credit card companies consider when you make your application. Many of the larger banks and credit unions have credit card programs available to help people get back on their feet. Some that come to mind are Chase, Bank of America (not recommended), National City, Wells-Fargo and Capital One (highly recommended). They'll issue you a card with a low limit (usually around $300) if you have at least three years of continued employment at your present job. If you don't have a mortgage, go to your local bank (wherever you have your accounts) and talk to the credit manager. Explain that you want to reestablish your credit, and that you'd like to apply for a low-limit card. He or she will want to see some recent utility bills, pay stubs and your checking account history. Even if your initial credit line is only $100, you'll build your credit back up in a very short time. You should never carry a balance, if you can help it, especially for the first year. If you continue to pay your balance, they'll periodically raise your credit limit. If you must carry a balance, then try not to use the card until it's paid in full. The issuer will notice that you're exercising financial responsibility by not overextending yourself, and you'll soon find your mailbox flooded with offers from competing credit companies and banks.
     Another effective strategy is to apply for a gas credit card, such as BP, Marathon or Shell. Use this card for gas purchases ONLY - DON'T buy snacks and sodas with it, because you won't notice how quickly those 89 cent purchases will add up to many dollars by the time they send your bill, and you could get yourself into financial trouble again. You want to make it as easy as possible to pay your bill in full at the end of every month.
     PM me if you need more specific advice, or if you want to discuss this further ...

Rick GComment by Rick G - May 25, 2007, 9:27 am
Jim, that was excellent advice.
Comment by pacattack05 - May 25, 2007, 11:27 am
A secured credit card will help build your credit. But like Jim said, get it through a reputable bank, not one of those offered by a credit agency 5 states away from you. They keep sending me those offers, but they're crazy if they think I'm gonna send them money for a pre-paid card from another state far away.
LOTTOMIKEComment by LOTTOMIKE - May 25, 2007, 9:43 pm
ToddComment by Todd - May 26, 2007, 11:44 pm
A secured credit card is a good idea IF YOU NEED A REGULAR CREDIT CARD and can't otherwise get one. A Exxon or Shell gas card can't pay the restaurant tab if you want to eat dinner at a nice restaurant without plunking a wad of cash on the table.

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