Secured Card Market Update








Man sitting on a sofa looking at a cell phone in one hand and holding a credit card in another.

Report

Larry Santucci

by

Larry Santucci

Senior Advisor and Research Fellow, Consumer Finance Institute

The secured credit card market has undergone a number of recent changes. In this special report, we update previous research by the Consumer Finance Institute on secured cards using data from the country’s largest financial institutions.


For more than 40 years, secured credit cards have enabled borrowers with limited or damaged credit histories to obtain credit, often with many of the benefits of traditional, unsecured credit cards. Despite the recent development of alternative credit-building products, the secured card has not been left behind and, in fact, continues to be a focal point of fintech innovation and new product offerings. In this special report, we update previous research by the Consumer Finance Institute on secured cards using data from the country’s largest financial institutions. As of September 2023, about 3.7 million general-purpose and private-label secured cards are held by the country’s largest financial institutions, with $817 million in balances. We examine how the market fared through the COVID-19 pandemic and document significant shifts in the distribution of credit limits, annual fees, annual percentage rates, and rewards programs.

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