Poor or no credit can make it difficult to get approved for a credit card. Because of this, you might have few options to establish good credit, and as a result, you may want to apply for a subprime credit card/account, such as Fingerhut.
Fingerhut is a good way to build your credit but only if you adopt a mindset for it. DO NOT USE IT LIKE A NORMAL CREDIT CARD. You should go in using this card knowing that this is only a step into getting a more premium credit card
Fingerhut is one of those companies that focuses on those individuals who may be coming from bad credit to help re-establish it.
The following information will help you understand how Fingerhut credit accounts work, along with what you could do instead for building your credit.
Here’s how Fingerhut’s credit account works
The Fingerhut Advantage Revolving Account and the Fingerhut FreshStart Credit Account are the two types of accounts that are offered by Fingerhut. Neither account can be used to buy items outside of Fingerhut’s online store. Fingerhut accounts cannot be used at other retailers, which is similar to when you buy goods with a store card.
On Fingerhut, the merchandise is more expensive than on other retailers. A Cuisinart Round Waffle Maker currently costs $49.99, but if you search on the internet many other retailers have the same waffle maker for much less than that. Bed Bath & Beyond charges $29.99.
While there are no application fees or annual fees to open a Fingerhut account, you could potentially incur interest charges on any balances that are not paid in full or if you make a late payment.
The Fingerhut Advantage Revolving Credit Account will be considered. If you don’t qualify then the Fingerhut FreshStart Credit Account will be considered.
Getting a Fingerhut Credit Card
You can apply for the Fingerhut credit card online, and you’ll receive an instant decision once you submit your application.
The Fingerhut website’s main page will have a link for you to apply. Click on “apply now” on that page.
Applying for credit means applying for both the installment loan and the credit card. You cannot apply for a credit card without applying for an installment loan.
You’ll receive an instant decision if you click “submit” at the bottom of the page after completing the application.
Ease of access
The best thing about Fingerhut is that they will approve anybody. They have what we like to call an “open door”.
It is an unsecured card, so you don’t have to give them cash to make that happen.
Reported to credit bureaus
The Fingerhut website is a good way to increase your credit score because it reports to all three major credit bureaus.
There’s no annual fee. At times they do charge a lot but at least once that turn of the year comes around, there won’t be a fee that will be charged.
In other words, if you have a set billing schedule and you have to pay a few days later for any of the products you bought then they won’t charge you interest.
The annual percentage rate is high
The annual percentage rate is 29.99% and it is non-varying. Typically, when you have an interest rate, you have what they call prime and then you have the margin. Prime is based on an index that you can find on the Wallstreet Journal, which is always under 5% on average. The margin is what they add on top. That is what the credit card companies add on top to make their profits. That can be anywhere from 15,16,17%. For Fingerhut, that same number is always 29.99%
The price point
If we take 3 products off Amazon and compare them to those same products as Fingerhut then we can see the price has a major difference between one another. Fingerhut prices can be 60% more than other stores. This is what many people may see as a bad financial decision.
You can only use the Fingerhut credit card to make purchases at Fingerhut. They say you can buy from select partners only when Fingerhut notifies you about their special offers.
Build credit in a better way
Overpaying for products on Fingerhut is not a good idea if you want to build credit. Additionally, you often incur high-interest charges or fees if you carry any balance with the FreshStart or Advantage accounts.
CNBC Select recommends you use these credit building options.
- Get permission to use someone else’s account:
A person can piggyback off of someone else’s good credit score to improve his or her credit. You’ll get a card you can use for new purchases; however, you won’t have to pay the bills yourself, so arrange with the primary account holder to repay it. It is possible to build credit this way, but you need to be sure that the account holder does have a good credit score.
- With Experian Boost, you can get credit for your monthly bills:
If you pay recurring utility, phone, or streaming service bills, Experian Boost may help. This free service lets you link your bank accounts and receive credit when paying eligible bills on time. Good payments on Netflix, internet, cable, water, gas, and electric bills qualify.
- A secured card can be opened:
It may be difficult to get a standard credit card if your credit is bad, but you may be able to get a secured card, such as the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. Getting a secured card usually involves a cheaper credit score and a lower credit limit. However, you have to deposit a significant amount of money up-front.
We researched a review site called Credit Karma. This shows customers’ experiences when using this credit card, and we found many mixed reviews.
One of the members said the card had 1 and 1 purpose only, and that was to build credit. Fingerhut gave him a chance when no one else could and by sheer discipline, he managed to turn his credit score around and got him a proper one. Time payments and covering costs that are more than his minimum was his best way to go about the card. In general, you will find cheaper products on Amazon and Walmart all the time. But if you have to get out of the crisis of having bad credit then this is a worthy way to go as long as you are disciplined about it.
Another spoke of how he has done everything he had to. Fingerhut increased his credit temporarily to $1000. To make it permanent he had to spend the whole budget. The customer realized that everything was so expensive so he didn’t spend any of that money. Over time Fingerhut started to reduce his limit over a period leading many to believe they are being played.
The Fingerhut credit card offers no annual fee and easy approval. This allows people who have a poor credit history to get access to a credit card that lets them repair their payment history.
Although 29.99% APR comes with a relatively low interest rate, the products they offer are more expensive than comparable products that you’d find in other stores.
In summary, the Fingerhut credit card may be a good choice when you don’t have many other options. However, you should be committed to paying back your purchases on time to avoid racking up interest.