How Much Will a Secured Credit Card Raise My Score?

In this article, we’re answering “how much will a secured credit card raise my score?”

This will include a discussion about how secured credit cards work and

We’ll also discuss how foreign non-residents can use secured credit cards to access US financing. Including, how to get a US credit card for a European resident and residents of many other countries.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. How Much Will a Secured Credit Card Raise My Score?
  2. How Does a Secured Credit Card Impact Your Credit Score?
  3. How Can I Build Credit With a Secured Credit Card?
  4. How to Apply for a Secured Credit Card as a Non-Resident
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Ready to Explore Your Options?

How Much Will a Secured Credit Card Raise My Score?

A secured credit card will raise your score when used responsibly and in combination with other positive actions, including a reasonable level of credit utilization, and not missing any credit-related payments. However, the exact amount a secured credit card can raise your score depends is difficult to predict.

That said, in most cases, individual users report that it takes up to 12 months for a major change in “credit brackets” to take place. In other words, to go from bad to good credit it takes 12 months of responsible credit usage. Likewise, to go from good to excellent, it will likely take another 12 months.

Of course, the time it takes to improve credit also depends on the reason that a person’s credit is bad, to begin with. For example, if someone does not have any credit because they have never established credit, then the process is relatively straightforward. This is true for US persons as well as foreign non-residents. On the other hand, if someone has had a bankruptcy or missed a large number of credit payments, it’s possible that it could take many years for their credit to improve.

All things considered, a secured credit card is an excellent way to tackle bad credit, empowering the credit card holder to establish a track record of responsible credit use that can open up further credit card and financing opportunities.

Do You Want Our Free Non-Resident Banking Guide?

Sign up here to receive our Free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide and weekly updates on the best account opening options available:

How Does a Secured Credit Card Impact Your Credit Score?

A secured credit card impacts your credit score by giving you an opportunity to establish a positive credit track record. That said, a positive track record of payment and utility with a secure credit card is not the only factor that can impact your credit score. Here’s a look at all the factors impacting your score.

Factors Impacting Credit Score

  • Payment history
  • Credit balance
  • Mix of credit
  • Length of credit history
  • New credit accounts

Each of these factors impact your credit score differently, with payment history and credit balance being the two most important factors generally. So, if you plan on getting a secure credit card to improve your credit score, you should also keep these factors in mind.

How Can I Build Credit With a Secured Credit Card?

Secured credit cards help you build credit by establishing a positive track record of responsible credit usage. The reason this works is that secure credit cards report to credit bureaus, just like an unsecured credit card. So, in many instances, it is a fast and easy way to start building a credit history in the United States.

Ways to Build Credit With a Secured Credit Card

To build credit with a secure credit card, it’s important that the cardholder actually uses the card and proceeds to pay off the card each month. Additionally, cardholders should be aware of their utility score. This utility score reflects the amount of credit available in comparison to the amount of credit used which gives you the utility score.

For example, if someone has available credit of $1,000 and has a balance of $300, they have a utility score of 30%. In most cases, this would be considered an acceptable utility score as anything below this amount is considered acceptable.

How to Apply for a Secured Credit Card as a Non-Resident

If you are a non-resident, you can apply for a secured credit card in the United States. In most cases, this will require that the individual applying visits one of the applicable banks in person. That said, very few banks offer secured credit cards to foreign non-residents. So, bank, branch, and even banker selection is a critical step in making sure you set yourself up for success.

With this in mind, our team has prepared a dedicated US credit card report, covering how to not only build credit but also access some of the most sought-after US credit cards available.

This report is called US Credit Card Strategies for Foreigners & Non-Residents. It includes the step-by-step process for foreigners and non-residents to navigate US credit card applications, including options with 100% remote applications.

If you’re interested in this report, you can get access to it immediately when you join GlobalBanks USA (see below for more details).

Requirements for Applying for a Secured Credit Card

  • Qualifying deposit (the amount held to secure the credit limit)
  • Two forms of government-issued identification
  • Proof of address (foreign or USA depending on the bank)
  • Telephone number (foreign or USA depending on the bank)
  • In-person (often required to get a secured card)
  • Completed account opening application

Factors to Consider When Applying for a Secured Card

If you are planning on applying for a secure credit card as a foreign non-resident, you need to consider the banks that you can realistically access. And, while it is more difficult to open accounts as a foreign non-resident, it is entirely possible, including 100% remotely.

But, if you want a secure credit card, you will likely find that the banks offering this option will want to see you in person. So, if you are planning an upcoming trip to the United States, this would be the time to think about where you should apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions we receive from people looking into how much a secured credit card will raise their score. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

How Fast Will a Secured Credit Card Build Credit?

In most cases, a secured credit card can build credit in a few months. But, to have a measurable impact on your credit score, you will need to continue using it for six to twelve months. That said, the lower the credit score is to begin with, the longer the individual will need to use a secure credit card to see a positive impact.

Will a Secured Credit Card Boost My Credit Score?

Yes, a secure credit card can boost your credit score. However, for this to happen it needs to be used responsibly. Additionally, other factors like utilization of credit (e.g. how much credit you use compared to the amount available to you) and payment history can dramatically affect your credit score.

How Can I Raise My Credit Score 100 Points in 30 Days?

It’s hard to say if you will be able to raise your credit score by 100 points in 30 days. However, several tactics that you can use to do this include reducing your credit utilization score as much as possible, making all payments on time, and building a track record of responsible credit use through credit products like a secure credit card.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options in the USA, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks USA, our dedicated US account opening service, in just a few clicks.

GlobalBanks USA is 100% personalized, with dedicated account management, tapping into our team’s expertise, including suggestions on which banks are best for you and direct banker introductions.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

Share This Article on Your Favorite Platform
GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

Sorry, but you cannot copy the content on this page.