How Getting a Credit Card Can Improve your Credit Score

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Is your credit score low? Or, at least lower than you would like it to be? Getting a credit card can actually help to improve your credit score, in some situations. Understanding the basics of how your credit score is calculated can help you to raise your score, by making improvements to the various factors.

How Your Credit Score is Calculated

There are basically two factors involved when it comes to calculating your credit score—how much you owe, and how long your credit history is. There are some complicated formulas that go into the figures, but, in a nutshell, these are the most important things. This is why it is so important to keep your credit under control, and why you should establish credit early so that you can have the chance to build up a great credit history.

Long credit histories give you credibility when you are looking to borrow money from any lender. Large amounts of debt make you look like a high risk. It’s all quite simple.

How a Secured Credit Card Can Help

A secured credit card may be just the solution when you are looking to improve your credit score. The Citibank Secured MasterCard can offer those with poor credit a way to dig out of the hole. Because you are not likely to be approved for a traditional credit card, the best way to start improving your credit is to put a deposit down on a secured card, like the one offered from Capital One, and show the bank that you are going to be reliable and make your payments on time every month.

After several months of doing so, you will see that your credit score starts to come up a bit, and, soon, you will be able to qualify for a traditional credit card and you can get your deposit back.

The Nitty Gritty on Secured Credit Cards

The Citibank Secured MasterCard offers cardholders a credit line of up to $3,000, with a security deposit that will vary depending on your credit history. Citibank will place your deposit in an interest earning account while you are a Secured MasterCard holder. You will pay an APR of prime plus 14.99% on purchases and balance transfers. An annual fee of $29 will be charged to you. In order to apply for the Citibank Secured MasterCard, you have to visit a bank branch, and all applications are not necessarily approved.

For Those With “Fair” Credit Scores

If you are trying to raise your credit and already have “fair” credit, then you may have more options available to you. The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard and the Capital One Quicksilver One Cash Rewards Card both offer those with fair credit an opportunity to make improvements. While both have plenty of advantages, the Barclaycard Rewards card has no annual fee, making it more attractive to those trying to save a few bucks.

The Nitty Gritty on “Fair” Credit Cards

Both the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card offer cash back rewards. The Barclaycard has no annual fee, while the Capital One card has a $39 annual fee. For the Barclaycard holders, you will earn one point for every dollar spent, with two points for purchases of gas, groceries and utilities. For the Capital One Quicksilver cardholders, there is an unlimited 1.5% cash back reward.

Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® holders can get instant access to FICO scores, as well, which can help to monitor the improvements to the credit score. The Barclaycard has a 24.99% APR, with no introductory rate. The Capital One Quicksilver card offers an introductory rate of 0% until December 2014.


Improving your credit is not an impossible task. It does take commitment and dedication, and you have to be very careful about how you spend your money and how you pay your debts. If you need to begin with a secured credit card, then the Citibank Secured Credit Card is a great way to go.

If you already have fair credit, the both the Barclaycard and the Capital One Quicksilver offer you an opportunity to raise your credit, but the 0% introductory APR and the higher rate of cash rewards offered by Capital One make this card stand out in the crowd.