If you have a bad credit score, a secured credit card might look attractive. Here’s why Brigit’s Credit Builder has them beat. 

Forty-five million Americans have no credit score, and millions more have credit scores below 580, considered to be  “poor” credit scores

If you fall into this category, credit card companies won’t usually issue you a credit card, which leaves you few options. But there are exciting tools that can help you build credit fast, like Credit Builder by Brigit, and help you qualify for a regular credit card. 

Another option is opening a secured credit card, which is available to anyone regardless of their credit score. With a secured credit card, you pay an upfront security deposit to the credit card company. The deposit is usually at least $200 and is equal to your credit limit on the card. That reduces the risk for the issuer; if you don’t pay your bill, they can take the money out from your deposit. The credit card company holds onto the security deposit until the account is closed and then it will be refunded. 

Unfortunately, secured cards take a while to impact your credit score, so you might be waiting 6-12 months to see the improvements you want. They also tend to charge annual fees and high interest rates, ranging from 17 to 25 percent, which makes them very expensive.  

For a secured card, you’ll need hundreds in cash that you’re willing to lock up until the card is closed (and the willpower to not spend too much). 

Using more than 30 percent of your available credit can hurt your credit score, so if you have a $300 credit limit, you’ll want to spend less than $100 a month on your card. Add in the cost of annual fees and high interest rates, and a secured card might be more trouble than it’s worth. 

Luckily, that isn’t your only option for building credit. 

Meet Brigit’s Credit Builder, a tool designed to do the heavy lifting on your credit score so that you can enjoy the benefits — like being able to qualify for a standard credit card. 

Unlike a secured credit card, Brigit’s Credit Builder doesn’t require any deposits upfront, doesn’t charge interest, and targets the most important part of your credit score, your on-time payment history. 

It’s simple — we open a 12-month installment loan in your name, and all you need to do is pay as little as $5 a month towards the loan so we can report your on-time payments to the major credit agencies who build your credit report used to calculate your credit score (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). 

All of your monthly payments will be returned to you in full once the loan has ended (more on that here). Better yet, extra features like instant cash up to $250, a full credit report, credit monitoring, $1 million identity theft protection, and budgeting tools and insights are included in a Brigit Plus subscription so you can invest in your financial future. 

Save yourself the cost and hassle of a secured card and sign up for Credit Builder here.