Does Fingerhut Help Your Credit?

Poor credit history affects many financial transactions you make. It’ll be harder for you to take out a loan or apply for a new credit card. You need to rebuild your credit first so that you’ll have higher chances of getting approved for new credit and obtaining better loan terms. If you’re looking for options to establish good credit, you’ve probably heard about applying for a Fingerhut credit account.

Fingerhut is an online shopping website that features thousands of products from different brands. From home decors to electronics, customers have a wide range of shopping options. Unlike Amazon, Fingerhut has its own line of credit, which you can use to purchase items.

Fingerhut is an enticing option for borrowers who’ve been turned down for credit several times. If you’re considering applying for one, you need to be cautious. Fingerhut’s credit accounts come with high-interest rates and the items they offer are more expensive than those offered in regular retail stores.

If you decide to proceed with Fingerhut, here’s what you need to know.

How Does it Help Your Credit?

Fingerhut offers credit to borrowers with a less than stellar credit history. If you’re struggling to secure a credit card, don’t have the cash, or can’t get a loan to buy things, applying for a Fingerhut account is one of your options. If approved, you can use your Fingerhut account not only to make purchases but to also rebuild your credit history. When you regularly pay your balances on time, your payments will appear on your credit report since Fingerhut reports on all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian). You’ll eventually reach a credit score that qualifies for a new credit card that you can use anywhere. So yes, a Fingerhut account can help you incrementally build your credit.

Credit bureaus use FICO and VantageScores. See the table below for comparison:

A Fingerhut credit is similar to the revolving loans you get from traditional credit card companies. Unlike other credit cards, it’s easy to apply for a Fingerhut credit, regardless if you have a good or bad credit score. If approved, you can use your Fingerhut account to rebuild your credit by making timely payments as required.

However, there are a number of caveats you need to know before you apply for a Fingerhut account. For starters, a Fingerhut credit comes with a high annual interest rate. Next, items are priced higher than other retail stores. Lastly, you can only use your Fingerhut credit card to purchase items offered by the company and a few selected partner stores.

Fingerhut’s high APR and item prices may worsen your financial problems. If your income is limited, you might struggle to make repayments. It’s best if you use this option as your last resort.

Fingerhut Alternatives For Rebuilding Credit

Opening a Fingerhut account isn’t your only option when rebuilding credit. Keep in mind that the credit comes with steep interest rates on both the credit accounts Fingerhut offers. There are other ways to establish a good credit score that don’t involve paying overpriced products and high-interest rates.

  • Pay your bills on time. When lenders check your credit report, they want to see marks showing that you’re a reliable borrower. They’ll look at your payment history to determine if you’re paying your bills on time. If you are, then they’ll most likely consider you as creditworthy, and you’ll have higher chances of getting approved for new credit. Not only that, making timely payments helps boost your credit score.
  • Open a secured credit card. With the bad credit that you currently have, you’ll probably struggle to get approved for a regular credit card. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get one. You’ll find lenders who cater to consumers with bad credit by offering them a secured credit card. The requirements are more lenient, but you’ll have to pay a security deposit, which will be your credit limit. You can use this card like a regular credit card, make purchases within your credit limit, repay your balances on time, and rebuild your credit eventually.
  • Become an authorized user. If you know someone, a close friend or family member, who has a good payment history on his or her credit card and has a good credit history, you can ask to become an authorized user. It’s low risk and an excellent way to rebuild your credit. Of course, you need to make sure that you make timely payments, so you don’t tarnish the record of the card’s primary user.

How Does Fingerhut Work?

You have to submit a credit application on the Fingerhut website. Your application will be for both the Advantage Credit account and Fingerhut FreshStart Credit account. You’ll know which account you’ll get after you get approved by WebBank, which is the credit issuer. Both credit lines come with an APR of 29.99%.

If approved, you can start using your credit to purchase items offered on Fingerhut’s website. Just log in to the company website and start shopping online. You can also request the company to send you a paper catalog via mail and place your orders over the phone or by mail.

You can call 1-800-603-7052 to place an order. Their sales representatives are available 7 days a week from 7:00 a.m. to10:00 p.m. (CT).

Fingerhut’s mailing address is:

Fingerhut
6250 Ridgewood Rd.,
St. Cloud,
MN 56303

How to Apply for the Fingerhut Credit Card?

If you’re interested in applying for a Fingerhut account, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a US resident.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a Social Security number.
  • You must have enough assets or income to cover your monthly payments.

Fingerhut doesn’t specify a minimum credit score required to approve you. However, your application may be declined if you have an existing loan with Fingerhut, if you filed for bankruptcy, or currently going through debt management.

It’s easy to apply for a Fingerhut credit card. Just go to its application page and provide all the required information. You’ll be asked for your full name, address, and phone number. You also have to provide your social security number, date of birth, and annual income for verification purposes.

On the application page, you need to create a Fingerhut online account. You can also choose to receive your statements and account disclosures via email or in the mail. The approval process lasts only for a few minutes and you’ll get a decision right away. What you need to do after getting approved will depend on the type of Fingerhut credit account you’ll get.

What are the Types of Fingerhut Credit Accounts?

1. Fingerhut Advantage Account

You will have an average Fingerhut credit limit that ranges between $200 and $800. You may or may not be required to make a down payment on your first order. You’ll be informed after you apply. In terms of the monthly payments, the minimum amount you need to pay will depend on your balance. You can link your bank account or debit card to your Fingerhut account and set up recurring online payments.

You will be charged a $38 penalty fee for late or returned payments. Missed payments will not only result in late fees but also lead to a lower credit line. A poor payment history may also result in higher interest charges or account closure. So be sure to pay on time.

Unlike the Fingerhut FreshStart credit account, you can pay off your balance ahead of schedule. WebBank doesn’t impose penalties for early payments under the Fingerhut Advantage credit account.

2. Fingerhut FreshStart Program

If you’re not approved for a Fingerhut Advantage program, WebBank will automatically consider you for the Fingerhut FreshStart program. You’ll be offered a one time loan of at least $50. When you shop under this program, you have to make a down payment of $30 before they ship your order. Credit cards are not accepted for down payments, so you’ll have to use other options, such as your linked bank account, debit card, money order, or a paper check.

You can demonstrate your creditworthiness by paying the remaining balance on time in monthly installments until you’ve paid back your loan in full. You can pay off your purchase usually between six and eight months, depending on the terms set on your agreement.

If you successfully paid off your loan without any missed monthly payment, you will be bumped up to the Fingerhut Advantage account and granted a higher credit limit. Unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for an upgrade to the Advantage account if you pay back the loan in full at the same time you make the down payment because it will cancel out the FreshStart plan.

What are the Pros and Cons of Having a Fingerhut Account?

Just like all other types of loans, a Fingerhut account comes with its own set of pros and cons.

PROS

  • No membership or annual fees.
  • You don’t need to have a good credit score if you apply for a Fingerhut account.
  • Fast processing of applications.
  • You can use your Fingerhut repayments to rebuild your credit.
  • Your payments to the Fingerhut Advantage program are reported to the three major credit bureaus, allowing you to improve your credit standing.
  • You can buy essential goods now and pay for them in installments.
  • You may qualify for higher credit limits if you make timely payments.

CONS

  • You can only use the Advantage and FreshStart accounts to purchase Fingerhut merchandise and at select retailers such as Teleflora.com.
  • Fingerhut items have higher prices than in other retail stores. It may be a good option to purchase from them if the items you’re looking for are not available in other stores or if you don’t have other forms of payment accepted by other retailers.
  • You don’t earn rewards or cash backs unlike when you’re using regular credit cards.
  • Both Fingerhut credit accounts have an APR of 29.99% for both good and bad credit scores.
  • Payments for the Fingerhut FreshStart program aren’t reported to the credit bureaus.
  • Missed payments for the Fingerhut Advantage program may eventually lead to a lower credit limit.
  • Late or missed payments under the Fingerhut Advantage plan will affect your credit score.
  • Since Fingerhut is an online marketplace, you need to cover the shipping fee for all of your orders.

Who is this Credit Card Best For?

Fingerhut credit is a great option for consumers with poor credit history. Unlike regular credit cards, you still have a chance of securing approval from Fingerhut even if you have bad credit. If you have a Fingerhut Advantage credit account, all your payments will be reported to all three credit bureaus.

You can use this chance to make timely payments and improve your creditworthiness. In time, you’ll have a better credit score, which will give you higher chances of getting approved for a credit card that you can use in different stores.

Does Fingerhut Do a Hard Credit Check?

Yes, Fingerhut will do a hard credit check if you want to open an account with them. The good news is that you can apply even if you have bad credit or no credit at all. Unlike traditional credit cards, Fingerhut caters to consumers with poor credit as long as they have a steady income and are not involved in a debt settlement or bankruptcy proceedings.

When Does Fingerhut Increase Your Credit?

If you have a Fingerhut FreshStart account, you will be eligible for a higher credit limit if you successfully paid off your balance on time. You’ll be upgraded to an Advantage account where you’ll qualify for a credit line increase.

Where Can You Use Your Fingerhut Credit Card?

You can only use your Fingerhut credit card to purchase the items offered on the company website and catalog. You may also use it in selected Fingerhut partners, such as Teleflora.com.

Conclusion

Fingerhut is only one of the many options if you’re looking for ways to build your credit. Fingerhut offers two accounts—an Advantage credit account and the FreshStart program. You can think of the FreshStart program as the first step you need to take to rebuild your credit. Although your payments will not be reported to the credit bureaus, you can develop a habit of making timely payments.

Once you successfully paid off your FreshStart loan, you’ll be eligible for an upgrade to the Advantage credit account. You’ll get higher credit limits and your payments will be reported to the credit bureaus. At this point, you’ll finally be able to rebuild your credit standing. Just like traditional credit cards, you need to use your Fingerhut account responsibly.

Consider your choices carefully. Fingerhut may be an enticing option to build your credit, but it comes with several disadvantages such as high-interest rates and expensive product items. If you’re looking to improve your credit score without overspending, find alternatives, such as using a secured credit card or becoming an authorized credit card user.

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