The Top Secured Credit Cards in Canada
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Credit cards are one of the most frequently used financial products in Canada. You might be wondering, what sets a secured credit card apart from a regular credit card? The main difference is that a cash deposit is required to secure the credit card, as the name implies. Furthermore, secured credit cards have various uses that a regular credit card would not be suitable for. To explore further what a secured credit card is, its pros and cons, the various uses and the top secured credit cards in Canada, continue reading below.
What Is a Secured Credit Card?
A secured credit card requires a cash deposit to use. Secured credit cards are also referred to as guaranteed credit cards.
Typically, the cash deposit becomes the credit card’s limit. Although it depends on the credit card provider, some will require a higher cash deposit for a lower credit limit. Secured credit cards are designed for higher-risk borrowers which is why a deposit is required. In the event that the credit card user defaults, the credit card issuer will keep the deposit to repay the owed balance.
Other than the fact that security is required, a secured credit card is the exact same as a regular credit card. You will be able to make purchases in-store, online, through payment processing services, and use it to pay bills.
Do you know the difference between a secured credit card and a prepaid credit card? Find out here.
Advantages and Disadvantages
All financial products have corresponding pros and cons. Before getting a secured credit card, it’s important to understand all of the advantages and disadvantages so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Below is a list of all the advantages and disadvantages of secured credit cards.
- Build or Rebuild Credit. If you have no credit history or poor credit, a secured credit card is one of the easiest ways to build or rebuild credit. So long as you make payments on time and in full, you will be amazed at how quickly your credit improves.
- Introduction to Credit Use. If you’re new to credit entirely, a secured credit card is a great introduction to what it’s all about. It can help you prepare for larger credit commitments in the future.
- Little to No Requirements. To qualify for a secured credit card, you need to be the age of majority in your province or territory and have the funds available for the deposit – that’s all.
- Versatile Purchase Options. You might be thinking, why go through the hassle of getting a secured credit card if I already have the cash available for use? Cash is a limiting payment option these days. With a secured credit card, you can make purchases online, in-store, through payment processing services, and more.
- High Interest and More Fees. Most secured credit card users are perceived to be a higher risk in the eyes of lenders. For this reason, interest rates tend to be higher and more fees are applicable.
- Doesn’t Fix Bad Financial Habits. If you’re getting a secured credit card to rebuild credit, the card itself won’t fix your bad habits. You still need to work on your spending habits which can be tough.
- Can’t Access Deposited Funds. Once the cash deposit has been given to the credit card issuer, you won’t be able to access the funds until the end of the card’s term. Be sure that you don’t require the cash for anything else since it will be tied up for quite some time.
Check out these 8 secured credit card myths, click here.
When Would I Use a Secured Credit Card?
If you’ve never heard of a secured credit card, you might be wondering what instances where using one would be favourable. Secured credit cards actually have many uses and purposes compared to what you might initially think. A list of common secured credit card uses follows below.
- Build credit history if none exists
- Rebuild credit if credit is currently poor
- Alternative to regular credit cards if having trouble obtaining one
- Use to make an anonymous or one-time purchase
- Recently moved to Canada
Secured vs. Prepaid
The major key difference between a prepaid credit card and a secured credit card is where the money comes from.
- When you make purchases using a secured credit card, you are borrowing money from your credit card provider, which you repay at a later date.
- When you make a purchase using a prepaid credit card, you are using your own money. Prepaid cards are loaded with your own money that you can later use to make purchases.
- When you make a purchase using a secured credit card, the payments are reported to the credit bureaus, which can help build your credit.
- When you make a purchase using your prepaid credit card, it is not recorded to the credit bureaus because you are not borrowing money that must be repaid. It is simply a tool that allows you to manage your spending and make purchases.
Can Your Secured Credit Card Application Be Rejected?
It may come up as a surprise, but you can get denied for a secured credit card. Despite, providing a deposit to your lender for security, certain factors can cause your lender to deny your application for a secured credit card. Bankruptcies, multiple missed payments, accounts in collections, etc. can cause your application to be denied by some lenders. If you are unsure as to why your lender has rejected you, you have the legal right to ask for an explanation. It is important to ask, as it can provide you with direction on what you should be trying to improve.
Effect Of a Secured Credit Card On Your Credit Score
Getting a credit card when you have really bad credit can be extremely difficult. That’s where a secured credit card comes in. It is a powerful tool that is designed to help borrowers with poor credit to rebuild their credit. Every payment you make is reported to the credit bureaus, which in time helps you build your credit enough to get an unsecured credit card. It can take as little as a year before you can reap the benefits of an unsecured credit card such as the low-interest rate, lower fees, and reward points.
The Top Secured Credit Cards in Canada
You’ve made it this far along which must mean you’re interested in getting a Canadian secured credit card. Not all secured credit cards were made equal, below are the top five secured credit cards in Canada along with what you can expect when applying and using the card.
Learn how to increase your credit score without increasing your debt, click here.
Refresh Financial Secured Visa
- Annual Fee: $12.95
- Interest Rate: 17.99%
- Minimum Deposit: $200
Refresh delivers with a low annual fee and a lower than industry standard interest rate with their Refresh Financial Secured Visa. The lender also guarantees approval because they do not perform credit checks, only the minimum deposit is required. This can bring individuals with poor credit or no credit peace of mind when applying. If you would like to contribute more than the $200 minimum you can do so up to $10,000. Lastly, Refresh Financial offers free online financial education courses to their card users with the goal of improving their customer’s financial literacy.
Home Trust Secured Visa Card
- Annual Fee: $0 or $59
- Interest Rate: 19.99% with no annual fee, 14.9% with an annual fee
- Minimum Deposit: $500
If you are prepared to pay your balance in full every month, this is an ideal card for you. There is no annual fee if you agree to a higher interest rate. Although, the interest rate will not impact you so long as you make payments on time and in full. If you don’t intend to make full, timely payments every month, you’re a revolving credit card user, then the annual fee with lower interest is the best option with this card. Finally, the maximum credit limit is $10,000 and a second user can be added to the account.
Vancity enviro Secured Visa Card
- Annual Fee: $0 – $395
- Interest Rate: 11.25% or 19.50%
- Minimum Deposit: $500
The Vancity secured credit card is a great option for residents of British Columbia who have struggled with financial issues in the past but are now back on track and ready to rebuild their credit. This secured credit card works slightly different than other secured cards. To start you will need to open a Vancity TFSA or high-interest savings account and invest at least $500. Your investment will act as your security and you’ll be issued a credit card with a limit equal to your investment. Another benefit is that you’ll be able to earn interest on the security amount because it’s been invested.
TD Secured Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $29
- Interest Rate: 19.9%
- Minimum Deposit: $500
The TD secured credit card requires a deposit upfront which then becomes the credit limit. There is an annual fee and high interest, but there are other unique benefits to using this card. So long as you manage the card successfully by making payments on time and in full for seven continuous months, you will become eligible for an unsecured credit card with TD. This card will definitely help you along the path to improved credit and personal finances.
Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard
- Annual Fee: $59
- Interest Rate: 19.8%
- Minimum Deposit: $75
The Capital One Guaranteed credit card has one of the lowest minimum deposits on the market making it easier to commit to. However, the low minimum deposit is offset by the annual fee and high-interest rate. The annual fee is unavoidable, unfortunately, but as long as you always pay off your full balance every month, you can dodge any interest charges.
Need help choosing the right credit card for your needs? Check out this article.
Secured Credit Cards Overview
|Capital One||Refresh Financial||TD||Home Trust||Vancity Enviro|
|Annual Fee||$59||$12.95||$29||$0 – $59||$0 – $395|
|Interest Rates||19.8%||17.99%||19.9%||19.99% -14.9%||11.25% – 19.5%|
Secure a Better Financial Future
Regardless of your financial situation, secured credit cards can help you build or rebuild credit and are a great introduction to credit in general. Of course, there are annual fees and interest rates to consider along with establishing and improving financial habits. Secured credit cards are simply an excellent tool to secure a better financial future.
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