Since you already bank with Wells Fargo, getting the secured card shouldn't be a problem, just don't apply for credit for a while after that. Each time that you apply for credit regardless of whether you're approved or not, you lose anywhere between 3-5 points. With a secured card, your chances for getting denied are far lower. My suggestion to you would be once you get the secured card, build the limit as high as you possibly can during the 12 months that it's secured. I would only make SMALL purchases ($20/max) and pay that off on time every month. This way, you show activity, without a high balance. It's not about how much you charge that builds credit, it's how well you pay on time every month. And remember, once the card converts to a regular card, you get the deposit back. My suggestion would be to start up an emergency fund with it.