Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Five Questions to Ask When Applying for a Secured Credit Card

Written by Joslin Woods on June 24, 2013 in Credit  |   No comments

If you have poor credit history, you may have difficulty qualifying for a credit card. Missed payments can show up on your credit report and negatively impact your credit score, making you appear risky to lenders and credit card companies. A secured credit card is…

credit report, credit scoreIf you have poor credit history, you may have difficulty qualifying for a credit card. Missed payments can show up on your credit report and negatively impact your credit score, making you appear risky to lenders and credit card companies.

A secured credit card is one option for you to obtain a credit line to help you re-establish your credit and improve your creditworthiness.

The terms “secured” and “unsecured” do not refer to privacy or security issues. Instead, they refer to the requirement of a security deposit as collateral. For example, an initial cash deposit of $300 will become the credit limit of your secured card. On the other hand, an unsecured credit card comes with a credit limit that is determined by factors like your credit history and income.

Before shopping around for a secured credit card that meets your financial needs, consider these five tips:

1. What are the terms, fees and charges associated with the card?

While secured credit cards generally carry all of the same fees associated with unsecured cards—including application, annual, and transfer fees—the rates are normally higher, says Deatra Riley, financial education manager at CredAbility, a nonprofit credit counseling and education agency.

Make sure you consider how much of your credit limit will be drained by fees. Some secured credit cards, for example, only allow a $500 deposit and then require that $99 be put towards the card’s annual fee, Riley says. In this case, only a $401 credit limit would remain for charging.

Interest rates are another important factor to consider. While many companies are currently making secured credit cards attractive by offering them at low interest rates, those rates may increase significantly after about 12 months, Riley says.

2. Will my payment history be reported to the three national credit reporting agencies?

One of your primary reasons for opening a secured credit card may be to restore your credit by continually making on-time payments. You’ll want to make sure the card issuer reports your payment history to the three national credit reporting agencies so you get this benefit.

3. Can I use the deposit for monthly payments?

A common misconception associated with secured credit cards is that the initial deposit can be used to make monthly payments if the consumer has insufficient funds, thereby avoiding a late fee or additional interest, according to Riley.

“The deposit is just going to secure the credit limit,” Riley says, “The client is still responsible for making the monthly and timely payment for the purchases they make.”

If you are unable to make a payment, the financial institution will charge a late fee or other penalty that is associated with your contract.

4. Will I be able to use the card anywhere?

Not all secured credit cards come with a major credit card logo, like Visa or MasterCard. If you plan to use your card extensively—for hotel reservations, airfare, or car rentals, for example—picking a secured card with a major credit card logo will help ensure that your payment is accepted.

5. What is my financial goal?

Because one of the main reasons for having a secured credit card may be to increase your credit score, Riley says that it’s important for you to evaluate your current financial state—including household budget, personal savings, and credit score—before opening an account.

By having a clear goal in mind before using a secured credit card, it will be easier to monitor how your creditworthiness and financial state change as your payment history is reported to the credit bureaus.

But Riley cautions that a secured credit card should not be used as a “regular means of credit” unless the user is a college student or recent graduate establishing credit for the first time.

The amount of time it takes for a secured credit card user to qualify for an unsecured card will be based on the individual’s payment history. Riley says that after making on-time payments for six months to one year, a consumer may be able to start thinking about applying for an unsecured card.

Joslin Woods is a researcher, writer, and web producer at Think Glink Publishing, with a background in print and digital media. Previously, Joslin worked as a news reporter for the international news agency Agence France-Presse and as a freelance reporter for the Sun-Times News Group. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University, where she received a master’s degree in journalism.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Credit Archive