Credit score required for Citi Secured Mastercard

Secured cards are typically more accessible, but not all are created equal


A secured credit card is an excellent credit-building tool, but it doesn’t mean secured cards have no credit requirements. Here’s what to know before you apply for the Citi Secured Mastercard.

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Due to its less strict credit requirements, a secured credit card is typically a solid choice for consumers with bad credit or a limited credit history.

However, not all secured credit cards are created equal.

If you’re looking for a secured credit card and wondering whether the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a good option for you, it’s wise to figure out what credit requirements this card has.

While it doesn’t advertise the minimum credit score needed for approval, the card is targeted toward those with limited or no credit history. This means potential cardholders with low credit scores or certain negative marks on their credit report may not qualify.

Let’s dig a bit further into what this means for your approval chances.

What credit score is needed for the Citi Secured Mastercard?

The Citi Secured Mastercard is aimed at helping those with no or limited credit – or so-called “credit invisibles” who haven’t had a chance to establish a credit history.

This group of borrowers often has a hard time getting approved for credit, and the right secured credit card can be the solution. If you also fall under that category, you have a good chance of being approved for the Citi Secured Mastercard.

On the other hand, if you’re rebuilding your credit and your credit scores are low due to past credit missteps, you may want to look into other options. Certain negative items in your credit history may prevent you from being approved for the card.

For example, Citi specifies that to qualify for the Secured Mastercard, you mustn’t have any bankruptcies in the last two years.

If you’re rebuilding your credit and have negative items on your credit file, it’s best to find a secured card geared toward those with low credit scores to avoid being rejected for the Citi Secured Mastercard.

What if my application is denied?

If a credit card issuer denies your application, it will send you a notice explaining its decision. This can give you an idea what you should be working on to prevent that from happening in the future.

Remember that the decision might not have anything to do with your score. Issuers also look into factors like your current income and debt, as well as other criteria.

If you disagree with Citi’s decision or think there has been a mistake, you can call the issuer’s reconsideration line. This step will allow you another chance to persuade Citi you’ll make a good Citi Secured cardholder.

Your credit may take a hit from a hard inquiry, which appears any time you apply for credit. However, the fact of being denied itself won’t have any impact on your scores.

That said, it may be a good idea to avoid applying for a different credit card right after being denied. When a creditor sees that a potential borrower has attempted to open multiple lines of credit in a short time period, it may serve as a red flag indicating the borrower is in a dire financial situation. It might be better to give it at least three months before applying again.

How can I improve my score to get the Citi Secured Mastercard?

Generally, you can take steps to ensure you have better approval chances, such as pay off all your current credit card balances, make it a habit to pay all your bills on time and decrease how much credit you’re using overall.

Bear in mind that the Citi Secured Mastercard is a card for credit invisibles and credit newbies. To rebuild your credit, it may make more sense to choose a different secured credit instead of trying to improve your credit for the Citi Secured.

For instance, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is one of the best secured credit cards overall, available to both consumers new to credit and those with poor credit scores. It offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (for up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter) and 1% back on everything else. Plus, the card matches all the cash back you earn in the first year.

Bottom line

The Citi Secured Mastercard is targeted toward consumers new to credit. If you belong in this category, it can be a useful tool for building your credit.

However, if your credit isn’t in good shape due to negative items on your credit report, there’s a chance you won’t be approved for the card.

To see credit cards tailored to your credit profile, check CardMatch. Using this service, you can browse credit card offers you’re likely to be approved for. Checking your offers won’t impact your credit.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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