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It sounds like you might be thinking of a prepaid card, not a secured credit card – but either way, we can help you.

A prepaid card looks like a credit card and is used similarly, in that you can use it anywhere credit cards are accepted. However, you put money into it on the front end, so you don’t ever have to pay anything back. In that sense, you “deposit money into” it –but it isn’t actually a credit card.

A secured credit card requires a deposit that’s used for collateral, and is meant for people with limited or poor credit histories, to help them rebuild their credit. Your initial deposit might be between $200 and $2,000, and that will become your line of credit.

Whether you should go with a secured or a prepaid card depends what you want to use it for. Are you trying to rebuild your credit? Go with a secured card that reports to major credit bureaus – a prepaid card won’t help you. Do you just need a card as a substitute for cash, but you’d rather not risk racking up debt and having to pay interest? A prepaid card is perfect for you.

Both types of cards carry some fees, so be sure to thoroughly read the terms and conditions of each before you choose one.