Your credit score is more than just a three-digit number, it’s an indicator of credit health that helps you qualify for loans and get the best interest rates.
Credit is crucial to financial stability; but unfortunately, some consumers downplay the importance of maintaining a high score. Experian’s 2013 State of Credit report ranks the worst and best credit scores among the largest U.S. metro areas. And, based on the latest report, the average credit score in Chicago is 687.
It’s not the most impressive credit score, given that credit scores range from 300 to 850. However, it’s certainly high enough to qualify for a mortgage and other types of loans.
Of course, this score is only an average; and while some residents have already taken steps to achieve a stellar credit rating, others need help.
Fortunately, help is available. If you need to revive your credit score, here are the five best credit cards for rebuilding credit in Chicago.
1. MB Financial Bank’s Secured MasterCard
This credit card is an excellent tool for rebuilding or establishing credit; however, it’s more than just a credit-building card.
As a rewards card, you’ll earn one point for every $1 you spend with your MB Secured MasterCard, plus 5,000 bonus points if you make a purchase within 60 days of opening an account. Points are redeemable for cash back, gift cards, travel and merchandise. You’ll enjoy a credit line between $500 and $3,000 based on the size of your security deposit. The purchase APR is 17.90%.
2. U.S. Bank’s Secured Visa
Apply for the U.S. Bank secured Visa card and take control of your credit history. With a minimum security deposit of $300, you’ll receive a credit line of equal value plus the chance to demonstrate your creditworthiness.
This credit card offers a variety of cardholder perks, such as zero-fraud liability, auto-rental insurance, free online banking and bill pay, as well as FlexControl to help you avoid late fees. This card comes with an APR 20.99% for purchases and a $35 annual fee.
3. The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
Between security deposits, start-up fees and activation fees, secured credit cards can be expensive. It’s a different story with Bank of America’s secured credit card. Apply today and rebuild your credit with no activation or application fees.
The bank offers a generous credit line of up to $4,900 based on your security deposit and income. After 12 months of responsible card use, you might qualify to have your security deposit returned. The standard APR for purchases and balance transfers is 20.24%, and there’s a $39 annual fee.
4. Capital One’s Secured MasterCard
Not only does this credit card feature a fair 22.90% APR and a low $29 annual fee, you can apply with no processing or application fees.
Enjoy a credit line up to $3,000; and as a cardholder, there are a variety of tools to help you monitor and manage your score and history with this credit card.
5. First Progress’ Platinum Elite Secured MasterCard
Whether you have no credit history or a low credit score, the First Progress Platinum Elite secured card can get your credit life on track. Use your card for any purpose, such as renting a car, grocery shopping or reserving a hotel with a credit line between $300 and $2,000.
And, since the bank updates credit reports monthly, paying your bills on time and maintaining a low balance can build or rebuild your credit history sooner. The credit card features an annual purchase APR of 19.99% and charges a $29 annual fee.
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