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|Considers applicants from a range of credit scores||Minimum security deposit of $200 required|
|Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus||High variable APR on purchases|
|Initial credit limit of up to $3,000 in the amount of your security deposit||$36 annual fee billed upfront the first year, then $3 per month after first year|
|No rewards program|
What you need to know about The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank
Considers applicants with a range of credit
Merrick Bank says on its website that it considers people with a range of credit histories and credit scores for The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank.
To apply, you’ll need to …
- Pay a security deposit
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Have a verifiable physical U.S. home address
Merrick notes that you may not be approved for the card if you have an undischarged pending bankruptcy or if you owe any outstanding taxes.
Reports to all three major credit bureaus
The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank may help you build your credit because it reports to all three major credit bureaus.
Making on-time payments can help you build a strong credit history, which could increase your chances of upgrading to an unsecured credit card down the road.How to build credit from scratch
High purchase APR
This card has a 18.95% variable APR for purchases, which is higher than the average credit card APR of 15.13%, according to Federal Reserve data from May 2019. But some secured credit cards come with much higher APRs than The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank offers, so this card could be a better choice if you have to carry a balance.
And if you don’t want to pay interest on your purchases, you can take advantage of the card’s grace period by paying off your statement balance, which Merrick Bank calls your “New Balance,” in full by the payment due date each month.
When you get The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank, you’ll pay the first year’s annual fee of $36 right away. After the first year, you’ll be billed $3 per month for the annual fee.
One thing to keep in mind: Your first-year annual fee is taken out of your initial credit limit, so this fee can eat into a significant portion of your available credit. For example, if you make an initial security deposit of $200, you’ll have an available credit line of only $164 until you pay your balance.
Minimum security deposit required
If you’re approved for The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank, you’ll have to put down a security deposit of at least $200. Your initial credit line will be equal to your security deposit, and you can put down up to $3,000.
Coming up with $200 or more may seem like a big task when you’re trying to build your credit. But a larger credit limit gives you more room to make purchases without negatively affecting your credit utilization rate. Ideally, you’d want to keep your utilization rate below 30%.
Other factors to consider
Here are a few other things you may want to consider before applying for The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank.
- This card doesn’t come with any rewards.
- The money you put down as a security deposit is insured by the FDIC.
- You’ll have no fraud liability for unauthorized charges.
- Merrick offers online banking.
- You may be charged a returned- or late-payment fee of up to $39.
Who is The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank good for?
The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank may be a good fit if you want to establish your credit history and bank with Merrick. While the card’s 18.95% variable APR on purchases is higher than the average credit card APR, it’s still relatively low for a secured credit card. Just remember that the card comes with a $36 annual fee (which is billed upfront when you get the card, then $3 per month after the first year).
If you don’t plan to carry a balance, other secured credit cards may be a better fit for your situation.
Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.
If The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank isn’t the best fit for your particular situation, consider these other options instead.
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card: This card may be a better option for you if you want to earn credit card rewards.
- Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: Consider this card if you don’t want to pay an annual fee.
- OpenSky® Secured Credit Visa® Card: If you want to avoid an inquiry on your credit reports, this card doesn’t require a credit check when you apply.