As a secured credit card, the Capital One Platinum Secured is available to borrowers with poor or no credit to help them boost their credit score.
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is designed to help you rebuild your credit, even with defaulted loans and other negative marks on your credit report. Because this secured credit card from Capital One is meant for rebuilding credit, it has low credit score requirements that most people will be able to meet.
If you need help rebuilding your credit – or building it for the first time – this secured credit card might be the right tool for you. Keep reading to learn what credit score you’ll need for the Capital One Platinum Secured card, how you can improve your credit score to qualify and what you can do if Capital One declines your application.
What credit score do I need to get the Capital One Platinum Secured?
If your credit score isn’t quite where you’d like it to be, you’re in luck. The Capital One Platinum Secured is intended for those who are rebuilding their credit, meaning you can qualify even with a bad credit score.
In fact, Capital One’s website specifically says that this card could be a good fit if you’ve defaulted on a loan more than once or have been declined for another credit card within the last three months.
Keep in mind your credit score isn’t the only factor that affects whether you qualify for a credit card. Card issuers also consider your income and the other contents of your credit report.
And in the case of a secured card like the Capital One Platinum Secured, you’ll have to make a security deposit to get the card. The amount you put down as your security deposit is the size of the credit limit you’ll be eligible for.
What can I do if Capital One declines my application?
It’s true that you can qualify for the Capital One Platinum Secured even with a bad credit score. Unfortunately, there’s still a chance you’ll be declined.
First, like most credit card companies, Capital One has a reconsideration line you can call to request a re-examination of your application. Even if Capital One doesn’t change its decision about your application, you’ll learn more about why you were turned down.
If contacting Capital One’s reconsideration line doesn’t work, try spending six to 12 months working to improve your credit in order to boost your chance for approval the next time you apply for a Capital One credit card.
And if it was an error on your credit report that held you back from being approved, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus.
How to improve your credit score with the Capital One Platinum Secured
Unlike many credit cards, you can qualify for the Capital One Platinum Secured even with a bad credit score. It’s designed for those who are rebuilding their credit and have defaulted loans on their credit reports (which actually makes this card the perfect tool to improve your credit score). Below you’ll find a few tips to help you boost your credit score by using the Capital One Platinum Secured.
Make on-time monthly payments
The most important factor that affects your FICO score is your payment history. In fact, this one factor makes up 35% of the formula for calculating your credit score.
Because your payment history is so important, the best way to improve your credit score with a secured credit card is to make your monthly payments on time. After all, missing a payment could count as another delinquency on your credit report, which will only further harm your credit score.
The simplest way to ensure you make on-time monthly payments is to set up automatic payments. You’ll never have to think about when the payment is due – the money will simply come out of your bank account on the due date. If you prefer to not set up automatic payments, consider setting a monthly reminder for yourself a few days before the payment is due.
And remember, don’t just make the minimum payment each month. Pay your balance off in full if you can so you aren’t accruing credit card debt. Not only will you pay a hefty interest rate on your unpaid balance, but it could also harm your credit score even more.
Use your card at least monthly
The purpose of a secured credit card is to show lenders you can use credit responsibly. But to do that, you’ll have to actually use your Capital One Platinum Secured card. Consider designating at least one type of recurring purchase to your card – like a cellphone bill or subscription service payment, for example. Doing so should be enough to demonstrate regular activity on the card without overdoing it.
Spend below your limit
While it’s important to use your card to build your credit score, you should also be mindful of just how much you’re spending.
First, if you spend too much on your card, you may find you have a hard time paying your balance off in full each month. Second, spending too much on your card can affect your credit utilization.
Credit utilization is one of the most important factors in determining your credit score. It refers to the percentage of your available credit you’re using at any given time. A credit utilization below 30% will have the most positive effect on your credit score. So, as you spend on your card, be sure to keep your balance below 30% of your overall credit limit.
Upgrade to an unsecured card
If you use your Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card regularly, stay below the recommended credit utilization and pay your balance off in full each month, you’ll probably see your credit score slowly increase. And when this happens, you’ll eventually be in the credit range to qualify for an unsecured credit card.
There are several credit cards on the market for borrowers with fair or average credit, and once your credit score exceeds 580, you could apply for one. Just like a secured credit card, these cards will help you boost your credit score if you use them responsibly.
You could also wait until your credit score exceeds 670 (the threshold for a good credit score) and apply for a card with slightly higher eligibility standards. While you’ll have to wait longer to upgrade to this type of card, they often offer better rewards, welcome bonuses and overall benefits.
Finally, keep in mind if you use your secured credit card responsibly, your card issuer may automatically upgrade you to an unsecured card. The benefit of this is that you may not have to complete another application or have another hard inquiry on your credit report.
Thanks to its flexible eligibility requirements, the Capital One Platinum Secured is an excellent choice for anyone rebuilding their credit and unable to qualify for an unsecured credit card.
Because borrowers with bad credit are eligible, most people will qualify for this card. And once you’re approved and pay your security deposit, this card could be the perfect tool to help you boost your credit score to qualify for even better credit cards.