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Summary:  Fingerhut is an online retailer. You can buy items and pay in installments. Your payments are reported to all 3 credit reporting agencies, helping you build credit.  Approval is instant and you can qualify with poor credit.

A Fingerhut account is a useful credit-building tool. It’s free to open an account, it boosts your credit quickly, and just about anyone can qualify.  The downside is that you can only shop in the Fingerhut store and goods in the Fingerhut store are very expensive.

You may feel that the extra cost is worth it for the credit-building impact, but be sure you’re weighing the costs accurately.

Here’s our Fingerhut review showing how it works and how to get started.

In this review:

Fingerhut Review & Ratings

Fingerhut

6 out of 10

Fingerhut lets you shop, pay in installments, and build credit.

The goods Fingerhut sells are typically priced well above the price of the same items in other stores. Keep that in mind when you shop.

You will receive a hard pull on your  Experian credit report which can have an initial negative effect on your overall credit.

Effectiveness
6/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Support
6/10
Price
4/10

Pros

Easy to qualify

No annual fee

Credit building tool

Reports to all credit bureaus

Cons

A hard pull on your credit report

Can only use credit with Fingerhut

Overpriced products

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. Their site carries everything from furniture, bedding, and jewelry to the latest electronics. 

They also offer two different credit accounts through WebBank. One is called the Fresh Start, the other is the Advantage plan. 

Who Is WebBank?

WebBank is an FDIC-insured, state-chartered industrial bank located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

They offer a wide variety of products like savings accounts and time deposits. They also partner with companies like Fingerhut to provide niche financing solutions to businesses and consumers.

⚠️ Important note: There’s no such thing as a free lunch in the credit-building world. A Fingerhut account can help you build credit, but the goods you’ll purchase are much more expensive than they’d be in other stores. Keep that in mind, and buy only inexpensive items and as few items as possible.

Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account Review

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.  

You can shop for over 400,000 items, but this account is primarily used to help people establish or rebuild their credit.

The main features of the Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account include: 

  • No Annual Fee
  • 29.99% Interest Rate
  • SafeLine Insurance Benefit (Optional)
  • 10% Back Through Payment Rewards Program
  • $38 Fee For Late Payments Or Returned Payments
  • Account Reported To All 3 Credit Reporting Agencies
  • Easy Approval Even With Limited Or No Credit History

After you have been approved you’ll be given a credit limit, based on your credit profile. You can make purchases up to that limit. 

You won’t receive a physical card. All transactions are 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.

If you aren’t approved for this account, your application will automatically be considered for a FreshStart® Credit Account.

Fingerhut FreshStart Credit Account Review

If your credit is poor you could initially get approved for the Fingerhut FreshStart® Account. 

This account is a type of Installment loan. It involves 3 steps:

  • Make a one-time purchase of at least $50.
  • Put a minimum of $30 as a down payment on your order. Only a debit card, ACH payment, paper check or money order can be used for your down payment.
  • Pay off the balance in monthly payments split into either six or eight payments.

If you make your payments on time you can get your account upgraded to an Advantage Account.

💡 Don’t pay off the item all at one time or you won’t be able to qualify for the upgrade.

This should give you an idea of the fees involved: 

FreshStart Account Fees
Item Price$50.00$150.00
Required Down Payment$30.00$30.00
Finance Charge$1.79$10.68
Repayment terms6 monthly payments of $3.636 monthly payments of $21.78

Fingerhut Payment Rewards Program

This program is associated with the Advantage account. It gives you the ability to earn 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 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:

  • The Spring Reward is earned during February, March and April
  • The Summer Reward is earned during May, June and July
  • The Fall Reward is earned during August, September and October
  • The Winter Reward is earned during November, December and January

During each 3-month period, you’ll earn 10% of the payments you make. 

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.

There is no limit to the rewards you can obtain.

👉 You get the payment rewards only for all-new posted payments less any refunds or reversals.

Fingerhut Credit Pros & Cons

PROS

  • No Annual Fee
  • Improves Payment History
  • May Improve Credit Score

CONS

  • Costs Money
  • Credit Check Required
  • High APR
  • High priced goods.

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 account.

Buy Smart

Remember that the goods sold in the Fingerhut store are more expensive than the same goods in other stores. That’s how they make their money and cover the risk of extending credit to borrowers with poor credit scores.

You can minimize the price damage with a few steps.

  • Buy only what you need.
  • Buy only inexpensive items. The higher the price, the bigger the markup.
  • Select the longest possible payment term.
  • Don’t buy again until the last item you bought is paid off.

This will maximize the benefit to your credit score and minimize the damage that the overpriced items do to your budget.

Make On Time Payments

I am sure you are tired of seeing everyone saying “on-time payments”. It gets repeated for a reason: it’s the single most important part of building your credit score.

If you use a product designed to build credit but fail to make on-time payments you will damage your credit instead of building it.

No matter what, avoid late payments.

Keep Credit Utilization Low

Another factor to consider is credit utilization. This is the percentage of your credit limit that you actually use. If you have a $500 limit on your Fingerhut card and you charge $250 worth of items, your credit utilization is 50%.

You want to keep your credit utilization low, and you want to avoid spending a lot of money in a store that has high prices. You can do that by buying only inexpensive items and buying only one thing at a time. Make another purchase only when you have paid your previous purchase off.

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 cannot 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 Fingerhut Account?

Outside of the fees associated with your remaining balance, there is no fee for closing your account.

A Better Alternative

A Fingerhut account is easy to open and will place a revolving credit account on your credit record. If you make your payments on time that will help you build credit.

The downside is that the goods you buy are more expensive than they would be in other stores.

If you want to build credit without buying overpriced goods, consider applying for a secured credit card. You’ll get the same impact on your credit and you can use your card in any store. That means better deals on the goods you buy!  

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.