If you want to buy a house but have a low credit score opening a secured credit card and/or secured installment loan can give a nice boost to your credit score.  Please keep in mind just like it can help you, it can also hurt you if used irresponsibly.  Although these are secured accounts it is still just as important to pay on time and to keep your utilization rate low. 


Try your best to never use more than 30% of your credit card limit. For example if you get a card with a limit of $300.00 try to never use more than $90.00 each billing period (300 x 30% = 90) and be sure to pay it back on or before the due date.  If you do this you should see an increase in your score in 30-90 days.  As far as how much of an increase, I can not say, but any increase is always better than no increase or a decrease all day long.

In my opinion it is safer to open up a secured credit card or installment loan with a bank or credit union. This is because if problems or questions come up you will more than likely be able to speak with a live person when you call. That is something that is very important to me.  However if you do not qualify or meet the requirements to open an account with the bank or credit union choosing an online company is another option to help increase your score.

Secured Credit Cards (Revolving) Offered by Local Banks

US Bank

$300.00 to open. Reports to all 3 bureaus.

PNC Bank

$300.00 to open, Reports to all 3 bureaus

Called: PNC Secured Visa® credit card (The last credit card in the list on PNC page)

First Bank

$325.00 to open, Reports to all 3 bureaus

First Citizens Bank

$500.00 to open, Reports to all 3 bureaus.

Truist Bank

$400 to open. Reports to all 3 Bureaus

Bank of America

$200.00 to open. Unsure if they report to all 3 bureaus. Could not find that information on their page.

Self Help Credit Union Shared-Secured Credit Card

Contact them for more details.

Discover Secured Card

$200.00 to open. Report to all 3 bureaus

Secured Personal Loans (Installment) From Local Banks and Credit Unions

If you’re thinking about getting a secured loan, here are some of the banks and credit unions that offer them:

I would only recommend opening an account with one of the companies listed below if you do not meet the requirements to open an account with a local bank or credit union, or if you lack the funds to do so. 


It is probably much easier to open an account with the companies mentioned below because most of them require little funds to get started, but I think it's just as important to be able to reach a live person via phone if you have questions or concerns.  This is one of the main reasons I recommend doing business with one of the local banks or credit unions.

I have heard customers complain that the customer service with the below companies were terrible, that they were not able to speak with a live person, and that some did not even receive a response when they emailed the company. However I have also heard some people say that their credit score actually went up and that they were happy with the service.


I would suggest you do your due diligence and research each company out before actually signing up.

Secured Online Revolving Account 

Kikoff Credit Builder

Secured Installment Loans

Self Credit Builder**

Reports to all 3 bureaus

Credit Strong**


If you have questions about increasing your credit score schedule a free consultation today or give us a call at 252-320-9082.


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**Please keep in mind that we may receive a commission when you click on some of our links and open an account. This, however, has no bearing on our choice, reviews and/or comparisons. We do our best to keep things fair and balanced in order to assist you in making the best decision for you.