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rockypatel

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does applying for a secure credit card lower my credit score? does it count as hard or soft inquiry?
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A secured or unsecured credit card will affect your credit score the same way--it's still a hard inquiry, and it's still a brand new line of credit. The hard inquiry will cost you a few points (3-5), and once your new account reports to the bureaus (and this can happen anywhere from a couple days to a couple months after you activate your card--it depends on their billing cycles and closing dates), you can probably expect another dip. It could improve your score though if you have high utilization. In this case a new line of credit will bring your total utilization percentage down, thus increasing your score.

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As said you will get a Hard Inquiry and will take a slight ding to your credit for that, but that is necessary in order to build credit. Short term damage is necessary for long term progress. The basic tools for building credit, (just the basic) is three credit cards and one installment loan that are all reported to all three credit bureaus. If you currenty do not have any credit cards, just the act of getting one can really improve FICO scores, in fact you usually get a boost with FICO on the opening of your first two cards.

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Now it isn't an suggestion nor recommendation, OpenSky dosent need a credit check for its secured card. And some local credit unions like Patelco in my area can do it with a soft inquiry. of course you still be ding for new account. Inquiry(s) shouldn't be your first concern when you try to build/rebuild your credit, not saying you should apply credit blindly and racking up 20 inquiries, but few isn't the end of your credit.

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