Greylock Federal Credit Union Elevate Secured Card
No Annual Fees While You Build Credit
- Regular Purchase APR 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
- Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
- Processing Network Visa
- Establish or improve your credit
- Earn interest on your secured share account
- No annual fee
- Travel and accident insurance
- Regular Purchase APR: 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 2% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater (maximum $25)
- Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $27
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $27
- Minimum Deposit Required: $250
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At a Glance
The Greylock Federal Credit Union Elevate Secured is an attractive secured credit card that has no annual fee but also low APR – a rare feature for cards for poor credit to have. Whether you are looking rebuild or establish your credit history, this card offers a cost-effective way to do so for those in Western Massachusetts.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Want to rebuild their credit score with a deposit less than $500
- Students who need to establish a credit history for the first time and are likely to carry a balance
- Don’t want to pay fees for the chance to fix their credit
- Want to earn interest on their security deposit
- Already a Greylock Federal Credit Union customer
Greylock Federal Credit Union Secured Elevate Card Review
The Elevate Secured doesn’t offer many frills, but that suits the purposes of the card just fine.
For those who already bank with Greylock Federal Credit Union (or live in the western Massachusetts area), the Greylock Federal Credit Union Secured Elevate Card is an attractive credit-repairing card option that does so without many of the high costs associated with fixing a bad credit score. There is no annual fee, an impressively low APR range that rivals the low interest rates available for great credit scores, and a credit limit that ranges from $250 to $10,000, (which is determined by your down payment).
Related Article: What Are the Easiest Credit Cards for Bad Credit to Get?
Strengths & Weaknesses
Unlike the three other non-secured credit card options offered through Greylock Federal Credit Union, this card does not come with the six months 0% introductory APR for new cardholders. However, this is the norm for these types of credit cards and is not a detriment. Instead the card has a surprisingly low APR, that is exceptionally competitive compare to secured card products – not just from major lenders (which tend to have higher rates), but other credit unions as well.
The card also benefits form no annual fee – something many secured cards lack. While secured card annual fees can range from as little as $30 to upwards of $100, Greylock instead allows you to put those funds towards your initial security deposit to enjoy the largest credit line you can afford.
There is only one area where the Secured Elevate falls short compared to secured card from the larger issuers. Often, bigger card issuers will automatically review secured accounts for a potential credit increase after a certain number of on-time payments. Unfortunately, with Greylock you are stuck with your secured card credit limit unless you deposit more money towards your credit line.
Requirements for a Secured Greylock Credit Card
As with all credit unions, you will need to be a member before you are eligible to apply for any of their credit cards (or other products). If you fall under one of the criteria to be eligible for membership, becoming a member can be done either in-person at a physical branch or online. Both methods will require a Social Security number, a driver’s license (or other valid government ID) along with $5 for a primary share account.
However, there is an additional requirement in order to open a secured card as you’ll need funds available to set your credit line – a minimum of $250. This is referred to as the security deposit and must be available in your account, either in a savings or a checking, before the card can be issued.
Although applications for a secured card are almost always accepted, they’re not guaranteed.
Greylock Federal Credit Union Membership Requirements
Greylock Federal Credit Union is based in western Massachusetts, and like all regional credit unions, has very particular membership criteria. Potential membership is limited to those who live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer, or are a member of an association that is headquartered in the following locations:
- Berskshire County, MA
- Westfield, MA
- Southwick, MA
- Granville, MA
- Montgomery, MA
- Russell, MA
- Columbia County, NY
- Bennington County, VT
Associations that are currently affiliated with Greylock Federal Credit Union are:
- Berkshire Museum
- Berkshire Humane Society
- The Berkshire Conservation District
However, there is a loophole for those who don’t reside in New England, as anyone with an immediate family member or a household member that is eligible for membership can be considered as well.
The Benefits of a Secured Card
No one wants to have bad credit, but it’s an unfortunate reality for many. The Elevate Secure Card from Greylock helps rebuild and establish good credit practices with every purchase.
Secured cards work by requiring applicants to put a deposit down to open the account. This security deposit “secures” the line of credit and serves as protection for the issuer, should the cardholder fail to make regular payments. If the holder makes their payments on time, Greylock reports this positive behavior to the major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – and, in time, they may graduate to an unsecured card with the credit union.
Tips for Boosting Your Credit Score
Boosting a low credit score may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be, as, with regular payments and patience, a credit score can be repaired in as little as a year.
One of the most essential tips for building or repairing a credit score is to make your payments on time. Paying on-tie and paying your balance in full is a great way to practice good credit habits, and to show lenders like Greylock that you are on the lath to financial responsibility.
Keeping your credit utilization low is another important aspect of building your credit score. Credit utilization refers to the proportion of your available credit you use. For example, the Greylock Elevate Secured Card comes with limits between $250 and $10,000 (depending on your deposit). If you have a $1,000 limit and use $300 of that limit each month, your credit utilization ratio would be 30%
Issuers like to see cardholders use less than 30% of the credit line, as this shows they are responsible and not a danger of maxing out their credit line and going into debt. Ideally, however, you should aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 10%.
Should You Apply for the Greylock Federal Credit Union Elevate Secured Card?
The Elevate Secured Card is an excellent option for those who either already bank with Greylock or meet the requirements for membership. While the card doesn’t come with rewards, like the Discover It Secured Card or the BB&T Spectrum Secured Card, it does offer a great APR and no annual fee.
Building credit isn’t glamorous, but it is essential, and Greylock understands this. The Elevate Secured provides the necessary tools needed to establish best practices with your credit and work your way up to an unsecured card in the future. Even better, if you keep your account in good standing, you’ll earn interest on your deposit.
If you want to take the guesswork out of improving your credit, opt for the secured version to ensure an approval (and interest as you grow your score).
Greylock also offers an unsecured version of the card (with the same namesake) which features 0% introductory APR for 6 months, a slightly higher starting credit limit, and guarantees the lowest possible APR. As such, the non-secured version of the Elevate Visa is recommended if you intend to carry a balance, on your card but have some sort of pre-existing credit history to your name.
Related Article: What Are the Best Secured Cards for Rebuilding Credit?