Fingerhut: Shop Online & Build Your Credit Score
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Fingerhut Review - Our #1 Credit-Building Tool
Summary: Fingerhut is an online retailer similar to Amazon that offers you the ability to shop online and establish or rebuild credit by reporting your account to all 3 credit reporting agencies. It's quick and easy to apply with instant approval.
We analyze a LOT of credit-building tools here at Credit Knocks. But Fingerhut stands head and shoulders above the rest because it's free to open an account, boosts your credit quickly, and just about anyone can qualify. Here's our Fingerhut review showing how it works and how to get started.
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Credit Building with Fingerhut
Yeah, we're biased... Fingerhut helped our co-founder!!
It wasn't too long ago (2018) that our co-founder, Mark Huntley, got declined for a car loan with a 475 credit score. Mark, determined to turn his score around, started our 90-Day Credit Sprint in January 2019 and by September 2019, he had increased his credit 163 points! He shows how 50-60 of those points are from Fingerhut in this video.
How It Works
How it Works:
Build your credit by shopping in Fingerhut's online store, similar to how you use Amazon.
Easy Steps to Start:
1. Apply for Fingerhut Credit
Instant approval, Free to apply
2. Shop from Fingerhut Store
Over 450,000 products from brands like Dyson, Sketchers, and Samsung
3. Make On-Time Payments
Grow your credit while making payments as low as $7.99 per month
What We Like:
Adds Account To Your Credit Report
Free To Apply For An Account
EASE OF USE
Apply in less than 2 minutes
Respond pretty quickly
Credit Knocks Overall Star Rating:
Fingerhut gives you access to thousands of items you can shop for online with the added benefit that you can pay it off over time and it can help you establish positive credit history if you pay your bills on-time.
However, you will receive a hard pull on your Experian credit report which can have an initial negative affect on your overall credit, but this is typically outweighed by the increase in new credit, which reduces utilization and raises your score.
I created this Fingerhut Credit Review so that you can understand how their accounts work, their benefits and short comings.
Who Is Fingerhut?
Fingerhut was started back in 1948 by William Fingerhut as an automobile seat cover firm.
In 1952 they became a mail order catalog company.
Through their site you can buy everything from furniture, bedding, jewelry, and the latest electronics, all at low monthly prices.
They also offer two different credit accounts through WebBank, one is called the Fresh Start and the other is the Advantage plan and if you apply online you can get an instant decision.
Who Is WebBank?
WebBank is an FDIC insured, state-chartered industrial bank located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was created in 1997 and operates under federal banking law.
They offer a wide variety of products like savings accounts and time deposits and they also partner with companies such as Fingerhut to provide niche financing solutions to businesses and consumers.
What Makes Them Different?
Fingehut prides themselves on being able to issue credit to people that have already been turned down by someone else.
Even though the primary purpose of this account is to build your credit history, Fingerhut offers over 450,000 products and has 24/7 customer service.
What also makes them different is that you can pay with credit, and make monthly payments until your orders is paid off.
Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account
The Advantage Credit Account is an unsecured store credit card, which means that you can only use the card to shop with Fingerhut or its partners.
While you can shop for over 400,000 items, this account is primarily used to help people establish or rebuild their credit.
The main features of this account include:
After you have been approved you’ll be given a specific credit limit, based on your credit profile, and can make purchases up to that limit.
You won't actually be receiving a physical card either, it is all online and you can access your account through the member portal area.
You have the option to pay off your purchases over time or in-full.
However, we recommend paying off balances as fast as possible because if you carry a balance, you will have to make minimum payments and incur interest.
It is always a good idea to keep your credit utilization low anyway.
If you aren’t approved for this account don't worry, your application will automatically be considered for a FreshStart® Credit Account, which we'll discuss a bit further down in our Fingerhut review, and works a bit differently.
Below is a Payment chart that shows what your payments could be based on how much you purchase:
|Account Balance||Minimum PMT $|
Fingerhut Credit Accounts help you to establish a solid payment history with no annual fees required.
Fingerhut FreshStart Credit Account
Depending on your credit, you could initially get approved for the Fingerhut FreshStart® Account.
This account is a type of Installment loan and is set up with taking 3 steps:
Once you have your first item purchased, in order to get your account upgraded to an Advantage Account, you need to make on-time payments over several months.
Also, don't pay off the item all at one time or you won't be able to qualify for the upgrade since it is an installment loan.
Below should give you an Idea of the fees involved:
FreshStart Account Fees
Required Down Payment
6 monthly payments of $3.63
6 monthly payments of $21.78
In my personal opinion, purchasing something you need and paying a small fee over time, to establish credit is 100% worth it; just be sure to make your payments on-time.
Fingerhut Enrollment Review (Video)
I created this video review to show you how easy the enrollment process is.
Payment Rewards Program
While it isn't your typical rewards program, it is something, and the best thing about this program is that once you are enrolled in it, it works automatically.
This program is for the Advantage account and gives you the ability to earn 10% towards Payment Rewards when you make payments on your account.
If you earn $5.00 or more in rewards by the end of the 3-month period you will be given Payment rewards in that amount that can be redeemed on a new Fingerhut purchase.
Payment Rewards Earning Periods
Payment Rewards has four 3-month (quarterly) periods each year in which you can earn Payment Rewards.
The earning periods are named for the four seasons and are divided as follows:
Fingerhut does a Hard Pull on your credit through Experian. This means you will receive an inquiry to get this account. These stay on your credit for 2 years; however, they usually no longer affect your score after one year.
Earnings For Each Payment
During each 3-month period you'll earn 10% of the payments you make.
The total payment amount is all new posted payments less any refunds or reversals.
If you earn $5 or more in Payment Rewards by the end of the 3-month period, you'll be issued Payment Rewards in that amount that can be redeemed on a new Fingerhut purchase with your credit account.
The best thing about these rewards is that there is no limit to how many you can obtain.
Safeline Account Protection
SafeLine Account Protection Plus is an optional benefit available with your WebBank/Fingerhut credit account.
It's basically insurance protection in the case of major life events, unpaid leave of absence, hospitalization, involuntary job loss, disability, or even death.
SafeLine Plus will cover your current month's minimum payment on your account for up to twelve months if you're laid off or disabled, and up to three months if you are hospitalized, take an unpaid leave of absence from work or experience a major life event.
You may even be eligible to have your balance canceled for extended disability, unemployment or hospitalization.
If eligible, in the event of your death, bankruptcy, or foreclosure, your outstanding account balance (up to the assigned credit line) will be waived.
You pay for this coverage only when you have a balance on your statement, and you may cancel the coverage at any time.
SafeLine Account Protection Plus Cost
You only have to pay for the coverage when you have a balance on your account and can cancel the coverage at any time.
The cost is only $1.19 for every hundred dollars ($100) of your Fingerhut statement balance.
If you do not have a balance on your statement, your SafeLine Plus coverage remains active and you pay nothing.
Fingerhut Credit Pros & Cons
No Annual Fee
Improves Payment History
May Improve Credit Score
Credit Check Required
Alternatives To Fingerhut
I hope you see in our Fingerhut review that we've shown you a great option to get things started with your credit profile.
However, there are a few other options available for building or re-building your credit, and if you can, I would get them in addition to the Fingerhut account.
Credit Builder Loans
These loans have a small monthly fee attached to them and they don't do a hard pull on your credit report.
Just like Fingerhut, Credit Builder Loans will report to all 3 credit reporting agencies, but once the loan is paid off, the funds will be sent back to you.
Secured Credit Cards
If you have about $200 dollars to invest in building your credit, then a secured credit card is probably going to be a great option for you.
There are several options you can chose from and it is usually easy to get approved for them.
Secured Credit Cards will report to all 3 credit reporting agencies and you can actually use them anywhere a Visa or MasterCard is accepted.
You can check out our guide to secured credit cards here and our Secured Card Reviews page here.
Steps To Take After Approval
It feels great getting approved for something, no matter what it is, you feel like you have just won something.
But, now that you have been approved, there are some things you should be doing with your accounts.
Make On Time Payments
I am sure you are tired of seeing everyone saying "on-time payments".
If your application goes to "Pending" status it doesn't mean Declined. Usually, more information may be needed.
But it is super important and is one of the largest factors in your credit score.
No matter what, avoid late payments.
Keep Credit Utilization Low
Another factor to consider is credit utilization, you really want to keep this under 3% of total credit if you can but try to never get it over 15%.
For example, if you have 3 credit cards with $1,000 limits on each of them, your total credit is $3,000.
If you spend $500.00 the percentage of credit you are utilizing is around 16.6% and is above the recommend credit utilization, so be mindful of how much you spend.
How Do I Cancel My Fingerhut Account?
You can close your Account at any time by writing to them at WebBank, Fingerhut Credit Account Services, P.O. Box 0260, St Cloud, MN 56395-0260.
You cant use your account for any purchases after you cancel or close your Account.
If you don't pay any remaining balance in full when you cancel, your outstanding balances will continue to accrue interest charges.
Is There A Fee For Closing My Account?
Outside of the fees associated with your remaining balance, there is no fee for closing your account.
Taking Action On Your Credit
Hopefully, you found this Fingerhut Credit Review helpful because store Cards or Catalog Accounts are a great option to help build or rebuild your credit.
There is no better time than now to get things started and the sooner you get your accounts, the faster it will hit your report and start helping you.
Still not convinced?
Or, start building your credit today with a Fingerhut Account!
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.