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If you have bad credit, you may find it hard to get any type of credit card. Fingerhut is here to help. The company was founded to help people just like you. It’s a retail establishment for people with bad credit and they promise to help increase your score.
Here’s how it works.
In This Post:
- What is Fingerhut?
- How does Fingerhut Work?
- Does Fingerhut Build Credit?
- Pros and Cons Fingerhut Credit
- Is Fingerhut Legit?
- Can I use my Fingerhut Credit Card at Walmart?
- Other Ways to Build Credit
- Final Thoughts
What is Fingerhut?
Fingerhut is an online and catalog merchant selling thousands of products (think Amazon). The retailer is meant for consumers with less than perfect credit that don’t qualify for standard credit card or financing options.
Fingerhut offers store-branded credit to help you build your credit when you shop there. They offer two opportunities depending on your qualifications – a revolving credit card and FreshStart card for people that don’t qualify for a revolving account.
How does Fingerhut Work?
To shop at Fingerhut, you must first get approved for a credit account. When you create an account, you apply for both accounts. First, they try to get you qualified for the revolving account. If you don’t qualify, they’ll see if you qualify for the FreshStart account.
Fingerhut Revolving Account
The Fingerhut revolving account is a standard credit card. You get a credit line limit that you can use to shop at Fingerhut. You make at least the minimum payment each month, but it’s best if you pay the full balance. If you carry a balance, you’ll pay interest at a rate of 29.99%.
Some consumers may have to make a small down payment with another payment method when they make the purchase, so make sure to read the fine print on your terms.
Fingerhut FreshStart is a one-time purchase program. You make a $30 down payment and the remaining amount is split between into 6 or 8 monthly payments. Your purchase must be for at least $50. If you make your payments on time, you can upgrade to a Fingerhut revolving account.
Your down payment must be from a debit card, check, or ACH transfer. You cannot use a credit card for it.
Shopping at Fingerhut
Once you have your credit approval, you can shop at Fingerhut. Browsing the catalog, you’ll see the total price, and the estimated monthly cost for that item only IF you qualify for the revolving account. In the Fingerhut catalog online shopping guide you can find everything you need for the home. Think of it like a giant department store catalog selling everything from name brand toasters to vacuum cleaners, mattresses, watches, jewelry, clothing, shoes, toys, luggage and more.
Always read the fine print to make sure you understand the full cost, though.
Does Fingerhut Build Credit?
Fingerhut reports both the revolving credit card and FreshStart accounts to all three credit bureaus. This helps increase your credit score (if you make your payments on time).
They claim that users of the FreshStart program raise their credit score as much as 30 points with on-time payments. Since payment history is the largest part of your credit score, it makes sense how it can help.
The key is to make your payments on time. Even one late payment can derail your efforts in increasing your credit score.
Pros and Cons Fingerhut Credit
Like any credit opportunity, there are pros and cons of Fingerhut credit. We’ll look at each credit option separately.
Pros of Fingerhut Revolving Credit
- There’s no annual fee
- Your on-time payments can help your credit score
- You can pay your balance off any time
- You might get special offers from other partners
Cons of Fingerhut Revolving Credit
- The interest rate is high (29.99%)
- You won’t know if you must make a down payment until you apply and make a purchase
- You can’t use it anywhere else
Pros of Fingerhut FreshStart
- You only need a $30 down payment
- You get 6 – 8 months to pay off your purchase
- You can have bad credit or no credit
- Fingerhut reports to all 3 credit bureaus
Cons of Fingerhut FreshStart
- You’ll pay finance charges to spread your payments out
- It’s only for a one-time purchase
- It only works at Fingerhut
Is Fingerhut Legit?
Fingerhut is legit. The card is issued by WebBank, which is an FDIC insured bank and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Like any credit, though, you should make sure you understand the terms and the total cost. Using either Fingerhut financing option costs money while helping you build credit, but make sure the cost is worth it.
Can I use my Fingerhut Credit Card at Walmart?
The Fingerhut credit card is a closed-loop credit card. This means it only works at the retailer that issued it. In this case, that means Fingerhut. Occasionally, they will partner with other offers which allow you to use your card with those companies, but Walmart isn’t one of them.
How can I Order a Fingerhut Catalog?
Other Ways to Build Credit
While Fingerhut offers a great way to build credit, there are alternatives if you don’t want to pay the fees.
- Become an authorized user
If you have a close family member with good credit, ask to be an authorized user on a credit card. You don’t have to use the account, but if your family member uses it and pays the balance on time, you’ll get credit for the proper use of the credit card, especially the on-time payments.
- Try Experian Boost
Experian Boost helps increase your Experian credit score (not any others). It connects to your bank account and tracks payments made to your cable, streaming services, and utilities. If you make your payments on time, you get credit for the payments on your Experian credit score.
- Apply for a secured credit card
If you want a credit card you can use anywhere, try a secured credit card. Your credit line is equal to the deposit. If you miss a payment, the credit card company keeps your deposit, so there’s no risk for them.
Look to alternative credit building sites like Perpay.
Fingerhut helps you build credit, but make sure you’re aware of the cost and terms. Most people need a down payment, but it’s typically small. If you have trouble getting credit in any other way, Fingerhut can be a good option for at least the short-term to boost your credit.
Kim is a personal finance expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kim enjoys helping people take charge of their personal finances and has been doing so with her freelance writing for 15 years. She loves helping people break down difficult personal finance topics, helping them make smart financial decisions that make them feel empowered.