Outdoor Girl wrote:
"Is that the same as a pre-paid credit card? Because that's what I was going to suggest. And that way, they can't scam you for very much money because once the balance on the card is gone, you can't get blood from a stone."
It is, but the idea of "once the money is gone" doesn't directly fit with how a secured card works. It's not like a prepaid debit card or gift card, where you put money in and then spend it out. The amount you pay in is held as a deposit and that amount becomes your credit limit. Then the company treats billing exactly like a credit card. You charge stuff, they send you a bill, you pay it. If you default on your payments, they can take it out of your deposit, so there's no need for creditworthiness checks to get one, and most companies that issue secured cards will release the deposit (turning the card into a standard credit card) after some span good payment behavior, so it's a good way for someone without credit history to create that history. In any case, if you pay the balance on time there's never any interest to pay and there are plenty of companies that will issue a secured card with no fees, so you get a card to use that isn't directly tied to your bank account.