Unsecured Cards vs. Secured Cards: 5 Things You Need to Know

Unsecured vs. Secured | OneUnited Bank

When you have bad credit, the last thing you want is another credit card.

Or is it?

A secured visa credit card can actually help you rebuild credit, let’s take a look at how this card differs from a regular, or unsecured, credit card.

Secured Card vs. Unsecured Card – What’s the Difference?

A secured credit card like the UNITY Visa Secured Card is a credit card that is funded by you. The amount you deposit for the card determines your limit.
On the other hand, an unsecured card does not require you to fund it. Your credit limit for these cards is based on factors like your credit score and credit history and is determined by your lender. If you continue to demonstrate good credit usage, your lender may decide to raise your credit limit.

Another big difference between the two is that secured cards are usually easier to get. They are known as second chance cards for a reason. An unsecured credit card, on the other hand, typically requires the applicant to have a decent credit score. To qualify for a card that comes with perks, you may need a good to excellent credit score.

Which Card is Best?

While both cards have their own merits, a secured card is the way to go if you have money management issues or are trying to rebuild credit.


There are three big reasons:

  1. Using a secured card can help you live within your means and avoid falling deep into debt when trying to rebuild your credit.
  2. It can strengthen your credit score by helping you use credit wisely, and it’s a great card to start off with when you’re first learning to use credit.
  3. When you have bad credit, unsecured cards may carry high fees or come with high interest rates, and neither option is good for someone trying to rebuild credit.


Tips to Rebuild Credit with a Secured Visa Credit Card

To help strengthen credit with a secured card, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • Charge in small amounts. It’s easy to keep a low limit since you’re funding the card, but it’s also wise to charge only what you can afford and pay off the entire balance.
  • Keep your credit use low. If you do carry over a balance, keep the balance-to-limit ratio low.
  • Pay your bill on time, every time. Doing so shows good money and credit management and will help raise your credit score.


How to Open a Secured Credit Card

If you’re as serious about rebuilding credit as we are, we recommend applying for a UNITY Visa Secured Card.

It comes with a fixed rate, access to our How to Rebuild Credit Program and reporting to the major credit bureaus, so you can see your efforts paying off when your credit score starts rising.

You may think avoiding another credit card is the best thing to do when you want to rebuild credit, but that’s not always the case. Consider opening a secured credit card. If you place limited funds on it, use it sparingly and pay it in full each month, this credit card can easily help you rebuild your credit.

OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank, the nation’s largest Black-owned bank and FDIC insured, understands we have to focus on money and technology to close the racial wealth gap. With your support, by simply opening and actively using a OneUnited Bank account, we will continue to accomplish our mission!

  • Nicole Riley
    I would like to apply for a unsecured credit card.
    April 1, 2017 Reply
      • Ashley
        I am disappointed you do not offer business funding or unsecured credit cards - By only offering secure cards you imply that all persons of color do not have good credit - I have a 700 FICO on all 3 bureaus so your secure card would not be of interest to me. I am also own a business - You offer me business checking but no other financial benefits that could help me expand my business or establish jobs for my community.
        August 29, 2018 Reply
    • Kobie Monroe
      I have a few more questions can you help me?
      December 28, 2017 Reply
  • Harriet Johnson
    Thank you for this information. I would like to take advantage of the offer to rebuild my credit, however if I apply for the secured card, what are my chances of receiving the card; since my credit score is low at this time?
    April 2, 2017 Reply
  • Dain DillonDain DillonD
    Customer Service at its best.
    April 6, 2017 Reply
  • trier
    So happy I found this bank as I was actually online looking into racism in the healthcare setting and a link came up about Black lives Matter . I am in the "baby Boomer" Generation so I have seen , heard and been around for a lot but i didn't know this bank existed until today. I'm moving in 3 weeks and will be coming back to this site to open a saving account. Thanks so much. MS. Trier
    April 8, 2017 Reply
  • Casena Michael
    Is there a credit check required for an unsecured card. Or nothing is required except having the monetary deposit
    April 10, 2017 Reply
  • Patrick Atkins
    Would like to read more on the advantages of banking with ONE UNITED instead of other banks/credit unions.
    April 14, 2017 Reply
  • Mr.Otis Smithson
    Dear OneUnited Bank,I was totally unaware that you even existed until about an hour ago-and quite frankly,I feel somewhat bothered by that.You see,I have always advocated the importance of banking,building and buying black,yet I never heard of(according to you)the biggest black owned bank in the country!I'm 50 yrs.of age and am beside myself with this new founded information.I definitely would like to join.However,can you please send me more information on your services,interest rates,etc?I'm in the Baltimore,Marland area.My mailing address is Mr.Otis Smithson,P.O.Box 25648,Baltimore,Md.21224.My email address is:[email protected] am trusting that this site is secure because I am really not comfortable with this online method of doing thingsHey,I'm old school....what can I say?Why don't you guys have locations here in the Maryland areas,particularly Baltimore?I work hard for my money and I'd like my money to work hard & smart for me!I also want to invest,as well as establish accounts for my children.please feel free to reach out to me.I look forward to hearing from you soon.Have a great evening.
    May 23, 2017 Reply
  • Cordell Edwards
    I would like more information on the secured cards please.
    May 28, 2017 Reply
      • Coy Evans
        I WAS interested in applying for a secured card, but when I called to ask if it was a hard pull or soft pull, the first representative didn't know what I meant and the second representative said legally they couldn't disclose that information to me (confused face). Is there anyone competent enough to answer simple questions at customer service? I'm really trying to "join the movement", but talking to your representatives just now is making it VERY hard for me to switch over.
        November 9, 2017 Reply
        • Jimmy
          Coy Evans point is vital to gain new customers like me. The last bank that told me they would do a “soft pull”, instead did the usual “hard pull” and it showed up as a double inquiry and hard at that.
          December 2, 2017 Reply
  • Carolyn Aird
    Dear OneUnitedBank, Thank you for all you do in our community. Is it a good idea to own an secured credit card when your credit score is good, like in the 799 range, or does this hurt? Is this Boston Branch located near the Boston Back Bay area? Thank you,
    May 30, 2017 Reply
    May 30, 2017 Reply
  • James
    Does the Secured Visa become Unsecured and deposit returned after a time like some other cards or no? Thank you....
    May 31, 2017 Reply
  • Linda Mitchell
    Hello am trying to rebuild my credit could you tell me which card would be gest for me. Thanks Linda Mitchell
    June 3, 2017 Reply
  • Linda Mitchell
    Hello am trying to rebuild my credit could you tell me which card would be best for me. Thanks Linda Mitchell
    June 3, 2017 Reply
  • Simeko Revador
    Very interesting and long over due, I am definitely considering after further review of polices and which card would work best for me. Blessings and much continued success.
    June 6, 2017 Reply
  • Elle
    After deposit..how long does it take to get card? Thanks
    June 10, 2017 Reply
  • Jay Billups
    What are my chances of receiving a card if my score is in the 500 range? I'm definitely interested!
    June 12, 2017 Reply
  • Ron Keith
    I. AM. Interested. In. Joining!
    June 20, 2017 Reply
  • Carolyn LeBlanc
    Last year I contacted Swiss America for information on how to invest in precious metals--Gold and Silver. I was inquiring for someone else. They sent a packet of information, but I did not feel qualified to interpret the information that was sent and told the individual who asked me to inquire just that. With that said, can an individual invest precious metals with your bank? For someone who knows nothing about the Stock Market, investing in gold, silver, foreign currency,etc. and would like to learn, how would you advise them as to the protocol? I have already decided to open an account that will take One United because of your mission. When I heard the Owner's story about the officer who treated her with such disrespect is what convinced me that this bank was indeed Black owned as I had been searching for a "Black Own" bank, but up to now believed that the ones I have been investigated are truly Black owned. They have the face of bein Black owned, but really are not. Also, the various programs that you have begun to launch in the Black communities such as teaching Financial Literacy to our people is indeed one of the things we need in order to help change the mindset that so many of us have. Kudos to you One United Bank.
    August 6, 2017 Reply
  • Seems like a good company
    August 10, 2017 Reply
  • Big Jack
    I have a secured visa card I want to increase my credit limit on the card. They say its on the website I can't find it can someone help me out thanks in advance.
    August 16, 2017 Reply
      • Michael herb
        I live in Raleigh NC can you help me?
        March 8, 2018 Reply
  • Brenda
    Hi. I would like. To open a secured. Card im so glad. I found. This site
    August 26, 2017 Reply
  • Brandon
    Looking forward to starting this journey of building my credit up with this secured card I put a order in for! Just completed all the steps and just waiting to get approved in getting my card!
    September 1, 2017 Reply
  • david jones
    I Love the design of the Amir debit card is that design available for the secured credit card.
    October 13, 2017 Reply
  • Chris emanual
    Hi, I took the time to read more about one United, and I am inspired to share with my friends & associates the good news! I am a home owner with a fairly good credit score of 716, and looking to build excellent or A-1 credit, to do business in my community in new jersey; can you advise me on the fastest way to get excellent credit? and business loans? I Thank you in advance respectfully!
    October 13, 2017 Reply
  • patricia Thomas
    I only found out about this about a week ago. I was so excited. I will be opening an acct with this bank very soon. This is what our community needs, I thank you for investing in our heritage. I will pass this information on to those that have no idea of this site. God blessings and favor for prosperity
    November 10, 2017 Reply
  • Arthur
    I have a large group (1000+) that need debit cards on a closed loop system. A few thousand accounts right away. Can you help me?
    November 19, 2017 Reply
  • Karen
    Hi Will you offer an insecure credit cars any time soon?
    November 27, 2017 Reply
  • Don Fowler
    Dear OneUnited Bank, Thank you for the in-depth information on your website and offering both secured and unsecured credit products (In addition to your other offerings). I like the message and information you provide about your products. More financial institutions should follow your lead. Hats off to all of you at One United Bank!
    December 11, 2017 Reply
  • Rashad Mowatt
    i currently have a secured card with you guys. i was wondering whats the process of transferring from a secured on a unsecured credit card. Can i use the same card?
    December 20, 2017 Reply
  • Brian
    What builds credit faster, secured or unsecured? My wife put me on her acount as an authorized user, will my credit score increase at the same rate as hers or will there be a difference? Let's assume that the ratio is right, payments good and what not.
    January 8, 2018 Reply
  • Keneia Simmons
    I am unsure as to how this works actually. I thought it was a good idea but no one seems to be able to give me a accurate response. I got your card. A 250 balance. I paid my first bill infact paid more than what was due. do I have to apply more money to use the card?
    January 11, 2018 Reply
  • Carmen B. Clark
    Opening an account with One United is a birthday gift to myself to ensure I keep my resolution to take necessary steps daily in rebuilding my credit and making a sound financial plan for my family.
    January 13, 2018 Reply
  • Tristan Spencer
    Is this a black owned bank
    January 21, 2018 Reply
  • Pete Coulter
    February 17, 2018 Reply
  • Irving
    if I apply and get approved. can I add funds periodically to increase my limit or whatever I deposit at first is all I get?
    February 23, 2018 Reply
  • Millicent Robinson
    [email protected] Before applying Is there a way to get a general Id on the interest rate on an unsecure card and the credit limit that I would be eligible for? What I am looking for is to get the two credit cards I have under one card. My credit limit is in the 700's.
    March 14, 2018 Reply
  • deon
    How long does it take to find it if you are approved for the secured card
    March 15, 2018 Reply
  • deon
    My credit is horrible but my income is excellent now I'm trying to turn things around
    March 15, 2018 Reply
  • shauntay
    How do I go about applying for a higher credit limit? I have had the Unity card for almost 2 yearsnow
    May 22, 2018 Reply
    Very interesting it in the bank and everything that it offfers.
    December 16, 2018 Reply

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