First, ignore any advice about getting a $300/500 secured credit card from any bank. Find a large enough credit union to serve your needs. Open a savings account. Save at least $1,000.00 ($2,500 to $5,000 is better). Secure this savings against a Visa or MasterCard with your credit union. Use no more than 30% of the balance within any month. The use of 10% is best. Keep in mind you must use the credit. You are proving you can responsibly manage credit. Your FICO rewards are higher credit scores which lead to lower cost home and auto loans, insurance and credit cards.
In searching for the credit union that is going to be a fit with you, do your homework. Call or stop in and ask about secured credit cards (this will lead you to someone that can answer or can get answers to your questions).
About credit union member bases: you need to belong to a group that offers credit union benefits. Most credit unions have a non-profit group that you can join for $5.00. Among the more traditional groups are family members or residents within a geographic area or church, school districts, utility companies and political parties.
Finally, when your account goes from being secured to unsecured make sure you will have the same account number reporting to the credit bureaus. You need to keep the good credit history you have created in the year or so of becoming established with your credit union.
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