If you have just filed for bankruptcy, a credit card is likely the last thing that you need or want. However, not all credit cards are equal, and some of them can be a great tool to help you rebuild your credit score in the aftermath of filing bankruptcy.
Secured credit cards are a great credit enhancement tool, whether you have poor credit or just a short credit history in general. Secured credit cards require a deposit that then turns into the maximum limit for the credit card, as per NerdWallet.
How is this different from a Visa gift card?
Many people confuse secured credit cards with gift cards, but they are very different. If you are using a gift card, essentially you load up the card with cash and then you spend it until there is no more cash left on the card. Then you can put more money on the card if you wish.
A secured credit card is actually a credit card. You put down a deposit and that deposit becomes the limit of the card. So if you put down a $500 collateral deposit, you can use the secured credit card just like you would a regular credit card. You will need to pay it off each month and there is a possibility of carrying a balance, just like with an unsecured credit card.
How can a secured credit card help me?
Secured credit cards report to the three major credit bureaus. So, having a secured credit card and using it responsibly will help you to improve your credit. Again, this is in contrast to the gift card which is not a credit card and does not report to credit bureaus.