Secured credit cards require deposits that the card issuer uses as collateral if you fail to pay your balance after an extended period. Other than the security deposit requirement, secured cards work the same way as regular, unsecured cards. Your credit limit equals the amount of your security deposit. Most card issuers allow you to increase your credit limit at any time by making additional deposits to your collateral account. You can use your increased credit limit for additional purchases, or because increased and unused credit limits improve your credit card utilization percentages, you may decide to deposit additional funds simply to boost your credit score.
Verify your card allows additional deposits to your collateral account. The account disclosure information you receive when you open your account explains deposit requirements. If you can’t locate your account disclosure booklet, call the customer service number on the back of your card.
Determine the amount of your additional deposit. Card issuers that permit additional deposits to secured card collateral accounts generally require deposits in incremental amounts, such as in increments of $20 or $50. In this instance, it may be possible to make an additional deposit of $100, but not $132.
Make your deposit. If a local bank issued your secured card, you may be able to add funds to your collateral account by visiting the bank and making a deposit. If an institution without local branches issued your secured card, call the customer service number on the back of your card for instructions. In some cases, you must make additional deposits by an electronic funds transfer, or EFT, from another bank account, and in other cases, you may be able to mail a check or money order for deposit.
- If you're not adding additional funds to your secured line of credit, but rather funding your initial credit line, the card issuer will provide you with deposit instructions when you receive approval for the card.