Watch Out For Hidden Fees With Secure Credit Cards

Earlier we talked about how secured credit cards can be useful tool, but it’s important to be aware of their risks. Disreputable secured credit card lenders are infamous for preying on the unsuspecting with hidden fees and charges. Bankrate writes:

Howard Dvorkin, president of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a nonprofit organization that helps people get out of debt, calls secured credit cards “a Clint Eastwood movie — the good, the bad and the ugly. Some are good. They have low fees and treat customers as customers instead of as cattle. The bad ones take advantage and extort the clients because of their situations. Then there’s the ugly, which are completely despicable. They’ll give you the card, but you have to buy this insurance policy for $55 a month.”

Like we said before, if you feel like you need a secured credit card, seek one from a credit union. They’re not going to screw you like some of these shysters who load their cards with fees. Do your research, and avoid a card that makes you pay an application or annual fee or has an abusively high APR or extreme penalties for overages. — BEN POPKEN

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.