Getting a secured credit card

What is a Secured Credit Card?

A secured credit card is significantly similar to a traditional credit card, with the notable exception of requiring an initial deposit. Secured credit cards are offered when a customer provides an amount of money as a security deposit. This deposit will be considered collateral in case the customer fails to repay the amount that is due per month. Customers can offer savings accounts as collateral instead of a cash deposit if desired.

The credit line for a secured card will be based on the potential user's income, the size of the security deposit and the ability to pay back the borrowed money. For example, if a user offers 1,000 CAD as the security deposit, the monthly available credit will be 1,000 CAD. However, this amount can be higher or lower considering the user's income and the ability to pay back. A secured credit card works just like regular credit card. It can be used to purchase items at supermarkets or online retail sites. Secured credit cards may even be accepted for certain transactions that do not usually allow credit card payments, such as booking a hotel room. Just like regular credit cards, secured credit cards require monthly payments with interest. The amount in the security deposit does not count as monthly payments.

Who Should Get a Secured Credit Card?

Anyone can get a secured credit card provided that they offer a deposit. However, they are most beneficial to people with bad credit or people who have no credit history. Borrowers who do not qualify for traditional credit cards based on credit history can apply for a secured credit card. As there's collateral involved, banks are less hesitant to approve these. Secured credit cards are particularly suited for new borrowers, like those who have recently graduated from college and have never taken out a loan before. A secured credit card is a good starting point to build up a credit history, and later be qualified for bigger loans. Secured credit cards undergo periodic reviews by the issuing institution. Holders who get good marks on these reviews can cash in on the deposit and get a conventional credit card.

Borrowers with bad credit can use a secured credit card to rebuild credit history. Responsible use of a secured credit card can improve previously low credit standings, and qualify such borrowers for loans unavailable to them before, such as mortgages or car loans. With improved credit history, borrowers can often get low interest rates on important loans. Also, secured credit cards are a good alternative for reducing hefty debt, such as those incurred by payday loans.

How to Get a Secured Credit Card in Canada

In Canada, applying for a secured credit card is very similar to applying for a regular credit card. Secured credit cards are available from most major and small banks, credit unions and some financial institutions operating in Canada. Requirements for applying will vary depending on who's issuing the card. In general, applicants must be citizens or legal residents of Canada, be considered a legal adult in the province or territory of residence, and be able provide a verifiable source of income. Previous credit history is not a major factor. Some major banks offer secured credit cards to foreign nationals who have no credit history in Canada, such as international students and temporary residents. Requirements for these applicants may differ from requirements for Canadian nationals.

Applicants must be prepared to offer details regarding monthly expenditures and loan payments prior to approval. Documents proving a permanent address in Canada will also be necessary. Most secured credit card applications do not ask for a fee or an advance unlike for prepaid credit cards. Here are some examples of secured credit cards Canadians can apply for:

Learn about secured credit cards, an alternative to prepaid credit cards and borrowing money from non-traditional lenders:

Running a web design business

Everyone needs a website. It doesn't matter if you're a small business or an entrepreneur selling a service, you need your online presence established. It's estimated that over 3 billion people have access to the internet today. This is why a web design business is such an amazing opportunity. Your business can be the one who puts someone else's business on the digital map and brings in a flood of customers to their door.

A Business Plan

Before starting a business of any kind, you need to have a business plan. Wanting to make money is not a business plan. Where do you see your company going in five years? What direction do you want your company to go in? How do you plan on providing a service to customers and what are your plans for product or service expansion?

The Company Website

This cannot be stressed enough, but a company website needs to be amazing. It needs to speak to a visitor inquiring about design and development services. That means, you can't just slap a $50 theme on it and call it a day. You need to showcase your design and developmental skills from a company standpoint to show customers that you know what you're doing.

Responsive Design

The next thing that's essential to surviving in the web development industry today is responsive design. A good percentage of traffic is now through handheld devices and if you don't have responsive designs or mobile first designs, you're letting money walk out the door. A good responsive design will start from the ground up in the creative process. All of your designs should have mobile friendly styling and layout guides before they ever go to your developer to be converted to HTML or WordPress.

Pricing & the Clientele

It's scary when you first step foot into the ring with thousands of other companies hoping to do the same thing you're doing. They all want those same customers you're contacting, so how do you get an edge? You charge adequate pricing. Would you rather deal with 10 customers for $500 or just 1 customer for $5,000? Don't be discouraged if a client laughs away at your initial proposal. You want to build quality websites, so you should be looking for quality clients.

An Office VS Your Garage

There is nothing wrong with starting off as a garage company. A lot of Fortune 100 and even some Fortune 500 companies today started out as just one person in their garage. However, having an office environment is very beneficial to your company once you get to that level.

The Services Offered

You have to determine what kind of services you're going to offer. Being a company that offers "every" service out there doesn't work out well. The Jack of all trades business plan sounds like a great money maker but you'll quickly find yourself overwhelmed. Are you going to provide customers with SEO packages, free hosting or any other benefits? This needs to be determined before you come up with a pricing package for your customers.

Customers can be very fickle when it comes to spending a lot of money and they're going to want to know exactly what they're getting. They want to feel like they're getting a deal that they can't find anywhere else.

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