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I Got a Secured Card But My Credit Score Didn’t Shoot Up. – Cary

“Dear Steve,

My credit score was mid 600′s with no credit history at all, until about a year ago a cable provider claimed I didn’t return an HDMI cable, and it took me two years to finally settle up with a law firm I owed a few thousand dollars to. My credit score dropped 75 points. I paid these off 6 months ago. Credit score is hovering @ 600

I finally got a credit card, per Steve’s advice. Only has a 500 limit. I have applied for car loans at two banks and they tell me I need more credit history.

I’m having trouble figuring out how to raise my credit score from 600. I followed your advice with a secure credit card, but the limit is small and 2 banks have told me that I need more credit history for a car loan. How can I improve my credit history with a low credit score?”


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The Answer

I Got a Secured Card But My Credit Score Didnt Shoot Up.   Cary

Dear Cary,

It sounds like you followed my guide How to Easily Rebuild and Repair Your Credit.

I’m not surprised you were rejected after just applying for one secured card.

Credit needs time to increase. A new card carries little weight. Also, if the limit is only $500 it carries less weight as well. It sounds like you applied for a secured card, and those are good to build credit.

You should consider increasing the limit on the card. If it is a secured card it will require you to put down an additional deposit to extend your limit.

Now the problem is the two recent credit inquiries are going to lower your score a bit. Every time you apply for credit, except within a short period of time, it will be recorded and reported as a hard credit inquiry, showing you are shopping around and not getting credit.

If you followed my advice you should have your consolidated credit report handy. What does it specifically say what is holding back your credit score at this time?

Also, how many open and unsecured lines of credit do you have with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover that are reporting to the credit bureaus?

You might want to use the free service provided by Credit Karma and monitor your credit score.

Before you apply for credit again, make sure you know what your credit score is and check with the lender if you would qualify based on your current score. It will save you from needless credit inquiries.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

I Got a Secured Card But My Credit Score Didnt Shoot Up.   Cary
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Jared Strauss

    Hey guys,

    Two things. First, pretty much all lenders are looking for at least 3 active trade lines. Cary it sounds like you only have one at the moment. Acquire 2 additional secured cards as soon as possible.

    Another possible option is to call the banks back and ask them if they consider community credit. Community credit is your rent, phone, electric, etc…

    Either way, I would acquire 2 additional secured cards just so you minimize any future issues.

    Good luck.

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