2017 Fingerhut Review — A Good Option for Bad Credit?

[current_year] Fingerhut Review — A Good Option for Bad Credit?
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Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: November 9, 2017
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

It took tens of thousands of people over seven years of constant work to build the Roman Colosseum. Hundreds of skilled workers spent over 13 months building the Empire State Building. Even the typical single-family home takes an average of 7.5 months to construct.

In other words? Building stuff takes time. Not only does this apply to stone amphitheaters, skyscrapers, and houses — it also applies to consumer credit.

Fortunately, you won’t need to haul stone or lumber to and fro to build your credit; instead, you can (responsibly) use a credit card to build a positive payment history. A popular choice among credit-building cards is the Fingerhut Credit Account, which can be used to make purchases on Fingerhut.com.

Our Take | Alternatives | Other Opinions | Overall

Our Take: Flexible Credit Req’s & Tons of Product Options

Though few of today’s customers may know it, Fingerhut began life as two brothers who produced and sold automobile seat covers. Over time, the pair expanded their product offerings, creating a mail-order catalog featuring a range of items, including towels and dishes. It was in the mid-1990s, as a little thing called the internet started to become popular, that Fingerhut launched one of the first e-commerce websites, Fingerhut.com.

The modern Fingerhut.com offers thousands of products from hundreds of top brands, such as Samsung, Fisher-Price, and Keurig, all available to purchase through your Fingerhut account. When you apply for a Fingerhut account, you’ll be offered one of two credit products dependent upon your personal credit profile. The WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account is an unsecured, revolving credit line usable only for Fingerhut purchases.

  • Holiday gifts they'll like, payments you'll love! Use your line of credit to shop over 550,000 items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Take advantage of low monthly payments if you apply and are accepted for a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, who determines eligibility and qualifications for the terms of credit
  • Fast, easy online application process and a quick decision
  • Not an access card
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
 
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
5 Minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10

Your Fingerhut Advantage account will operate essentially the same as a regular unsecured credit card, including offering a standard grace period to pay off your balance without accruing interest. You also won’t be charged an annual fee for your Fingerhut Advantage account, nor will there be signup or activation fees. Fingerhut also advertises particularly low minimum payments, which vary with the size of your purchase.

If you don’t qualify for a Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account, your application will automatically be processed for a WebBank/Fingerhut FreshStart Installment Loan. The FreshStart Loan allows you to finance your first Fingerhut.com purchase of at least $50 simply by making an initial $30 down payment at the time of purchase. You’ll then make six to eight monthly payments on your loan to pay off the remaining balance.

Screenshot of Fingerhut Homepage

Both the Fingerhut Revolving Credit Account and the FreshStart Installment Loan can be used to shop Fingerhut.com for thousands of items from top brands.

Fingerhut members who diligently pay off their FreshStart Installment Loan with no instances of late payments will be issued a Fingerhut Revolving Credit Account upon completion of their loan. However, if you decide to pay off your entire balance at the time of purchase, you will not be eligible for a Credit Account. You’ll also be ineligible if you make a late payment, have returned payments, enter a credit counseling program, or die.

While Easy to Obtain, It Can Only Be Used at Fingerhut

The flexible credit requirements and lack of an annual fee make the Fingerhut Credit Account a strong option for credit building, but it does have its limitations — like the fact that you can only use it on Fingerhut.com. While Fingerhut does have a wide range of products, the site doesn’t carry everything, and sometimes you’d rather build credit buying groceries or gas.

Thankfully, the Fingerhut Credit Account isn’t the only fish in the credit-building-card sea; many other providers offer credit cards designed for those with poor credit who need to rebuild. What’s more, these cards carry Visa or Mastercard logos, meaning they can be used to make purchases anywhere their issuing networks are accepted. Our top-rated credit card picks include options for secured and unsecured cards, so you can find the right fit for your finances.

  • Checking account required
  • We may approve those currently building their credit history
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statements
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card activity is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month. Making your payment on time and keeping your balances low relative to the credit limit will result in positive marks on your credit report
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
6 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10
  • Checking account required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a processing fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000. Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate.
  • No minimum credit score requirements. We invite all credit types to apply. No processing or application fees.
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use.  Reports to three national bureaus.
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
  • See additional primor® Secured Visa Gold Card details
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details
   
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 9.99% Yes 9.0/10

+See More Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Other Praise & Complaints Around the Web

Despite its limitations, the Fingerhut Credit Account is a solid option for those looking to rebuild their credit, particularly those who have had trouble qualifying for other lines of credit. In fact, reviewers from across the web have lauded the Fingerhut Credit Account for its credit-building abilities.

“Plain and simple, folks, Fingerhut is for credit rebuilding. The fact is those of us with bad credit got ourselves the bad credit, and Fingerhut is a leg back up to good credit. I applied, did the fresh start program, graduated with a 300 CL. I only buy inexpensive items and pay them off before my statement as to not pay any interest. My credit has boosted over 50 points just from Fingerhut alone.” — CreditKarma Reviewer

The Fingerhut customer service receives the bulk of the complaints, with reports of customer service representatives arbitrarily hanging up on customers. A variety of reviewers also mention issues making orders, shipping errors that result in missing purchases, and double billing. Several complaints also mention having problems when attempting to return a faulty product.

“I ordered a personalized necklace from the site for a total cost of $112.00. After wearing the necklace only two times I noticed it was very weak in construction despite being sterling silver. Needless to say, it broke even though I stopped wearing it and stored it in its original box while trying to reach out to customer service. After three attempts to return the item, I was finally sent a return label. Unfortunately, I was denied a credit or refund due to ‘unreasonable and excessive wear.’ I wore the necklace TWICE. I was also notified that they will be disposing of the necklace and that I still owe them $54.00.” — Consumer Affairs Reviewer

Some of the other common complaints about the company include the price of goods — several reviewers state that items appear to be overpriced. The cost of shipping is also reportedly quite high, with reports of shipping fees of $30 or more for a single purchase. The extra cost doesn’t seem to be a deal-breaker for some reviewers, however.

“Pretty good for improving credit. I got approved for a FreshStart account with $130 credit, so I bought something I already needed. Shipping is pretty expensive, it took every bit of my $30 required deposit. And they take forever to update to the credit companies, but I guess I can’t complain. It boosted my credit an extra 34 points the first month.” — CreditKarma Reviewer

The Fingerhut reviews also have their fair share of complaints about fees, particularly about late fees, which is not uncommon for any credit card. The simple fact is that you will be charged a late fee if your payment is late, regardless of how late it is; even a single day late counts as a late payment, so be sure to pay on time or, perhaps, even early.

Overall Verdict: Use Fingerhut Responsibly to Build Credit

Over 20,000 workers were required to build Rome’s famed Colosseum, a building that, to this day, is still considered to be an engineering marvel. Luckily, it won’t take nearly as many people to build your credit score — you likely won’t even need an engineer.

What you may need is a credit line designed for credit builders like you, one with flexible credit requirements and reasonable fees that won’t break the bank. The Fingerhut Credit Account fits the bill, being available to those with poor or limited credit who might otherwise fail to obtain financing. You won’t be stuck paying an annual fee, either.

As with any type of credit, of course, the Fingerhut Credit Account can only help you build credit if you use it responsibly. This includes making all of your payments as agreed and maintaining low balances on your revolving credit line. With a little hard work, you can build your credit score into an engineering marvel of your own.