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Canadian Educational Resources & Learning Center
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What is the difference between a secured credit card and an unsecured credit card?
A secured credit card means that a security deposit account is needed to secure the card. The security deposit will equal your credit limit. This amount allows you to build your credit history while enjoying all of the benefits of a credit card. An unsecured credit card is set in accordance with your credit history. There is not a security deposit required for this type of card. As your history changes so will your credit limit.
Why is credit important?
If you are looking for a loan, credit card, or low-interest rates, having good credit will increase your chances of getting one of these. If you have credit problems, it may be hard to acquire a loan when you need it the most.
What is the Equal Credit Opportunity Act?
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) ensures that all consumers are given an equal chance to obtain credit. This does not mean that all consumers who apply for credit get it. Factors such as income, expenses, debt, and…
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- Credit Cards: A revolving credit line that is typical with a VISA or MASTERCARD credit card is the most often used (and abused) loan today. Typically with relatively high-interest rates, credit card loans are allotted based entirely on your credit rating. If you have a history of paying your bills, you can get a credit card. It is quite easy to get a credit card and it is also quite easy to get in over your head in debt.
- Auto Loans: Typically auto loans are secured by your car. That is, the bank has a lien against your car until you pay off the loan. Usually lasting from three to five years, auto loans are often provided to consumers by auto dealerships, banks, and savings and loan companies. The interest rates are usually higher than home mortgages, but they are lower than credit cards. If you do not pay the loan, the bank will repossess your car. This helps protect them from total loss if a debtor does not repay his or her loan.
- Personal Loans: These are generally small loans that your bank may give you. Often called signature loans, these loans may be secured by your personal assets or not secured at all. The interest rates are usually higher than auto loans, but less than credit cards. Usually, you will have already had a relationship with your bank for some time before they will give you a loan. Often people use these loans if an emergency comes about.
- Payday Loans: Payday loans typically have high fees and interest rates. They are usually for small amounts of money. The loans are secured by your future paycheck. Let’s say you need a few hundred dollars today but you do not get paid until Friday. You can apply and receive a payday loan if you promise your Friday paycheck to the lender. The market for payday loans is small and filled with many fraudulent companies.
- Mortgage Loans: Simply, this is a loan that is secured by a piece of real property like a house or apartment. The interest rates are typically the lowest and the government allows you to deduct the interest.
- Student Loans: These are loans guaranteed by the government that are used to pay for education. Most college students these days graduate with several thousand dollars in student loans.
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