After my credit score had not improved in months, I realized that the only credit card on my report was not going to be enough. I needed a second credit card with a higher limit to help boost my scores. Since I was in the process of rebuilding, my chances of getting a prime unsecured credit card were really slim to none, especially since I still had some old delinquencies on my reports. So after considering all my credit options, I decided to apply for the Bank of America Secured Visa Card.
I applied in person and was approved. I already had a checking account with Bank of America, so I figured it would be easier to get approved by them. I’ve heard that even though this is a secured card, not everybody gets approved, so I guess these two things worked well for me.
The following timeline will give you an idea of the progress I’ve had with the Bank of America Fully Secured Visa Card. If you are using or have used this card in the past, feel free to post your comments. If you are considering applying, don’t hesitate to post your questions. You can read more about this card and other related topics in our forums.
I am not a credit expert, this is my personal experience dealing with Bank of America and a description of how I used their secured credit card in order to rebuild my credit. If you are interested in checking the progress I had with my first secured card, the Capital One Secured Visa Card, please read: “Capital One Secured Credit Card Review“.
- Starting Credit Score: 636 (Experian)
- Keep credit card balance below 30% and pay in full each month
- Take care of negative items on credit report
- Take advantage of the cash rewards this card offers
- November 2, 2011: Credit score went from 579 to 636 after paying off two collection accounts on my report (a 57 point jump!). I had been stuck on the same score for months.
- November 3, 2011: Applied for card in person at Bank of America. Was denied for an unsecured card but approved for a Cash Rewards Fully Secured Credit Card with a credit line option of $300 up to 10,000 depending on my deposit. After 12 months the account will be reviewed and If everything goes as planned, it will be unsecured and I will get my deposit back. Made a $4k deposit. I didn’t even know that a cash rewards secured card existed. I’m hoping that the larger limit will help my score
- November 4, 2011: Not even 24 hours after opening this secured card, it’s already showing on my report as “Current”. My score improved 29 points just for opening this new account. My new Experian score is 665! I couldn’t be happier (86 points in two days)
- November 10, 2011: Received my card in the mail.
- November 12, 2011: Made an extra 1k deposit over the phone which was applied to my account on the same day. I had to give all my information again to do this, but noticed they didn’t do a hard pull as I had read on other forums (probably because they still had my application and report on their system).
- January 7, 2012: I have paid first two statements in full and on time. I’m trying to take advantage of the cash rewards so I pay everything I would pay cash with this card and then pay the balance.
- November 11, 2012: My card graduated after using it and paying it on time for one year. I called the bank at the one year mark and my card was unsecured, my security deposit refunded.
- Comments: My credit score went up 29 points right after this account posted as open on my reports. At exactly the one year mark my card was unsecured and my security deposit refunded. To this day, I still have this card and have been able to greatly improve my credit scores by always paying on time and never exceeding my credit limit.
- Final Rating: This is an excellent secured card and I would recommend it to anyone looking to rebuild or establish credit. It’s one of the only rewards secured card I know of and eligible to unsecure after only 10-12 months.