Most everyone has heard of Fingerhut, the retailer founded in 1948 and one of the first (and more popular) catalog stores to offer credit. Unlike other stores, where you would need to apply for a store card with approved credit terms, Fingerhut allowed consumers to break up their payments into installments, often with a fee or interest percentage built into the price of the product. Fingerhut is owned by Bluestem brands, which also owns Bedford Fair, and Blair.
Despite changes in product lineup, marketing methods, and customer base, Fingerhut remains a household name that appeals to those who may not qualify for a traditional credit or loan arrangement. Here’s a bit more about how their credit program can be used to purchase Fingerhut merchandise, as well as goods and services from other retailers.
Fingerhut Credit Can Only Be Used with Its Select Partners
Fingerhut credit was designed to be used for Fingerhut merchandise. This makes it easy to buy towels, home décor, kitchen gadgets and more – directly from the company – and without a cumbersome application process. However, an additional feature of the Fingerhut credit accounts is the chance to use spending power outside of Fingerhut’s catalog and website.
Among the select partners that honor Fingerhut credit accounts are florists and insurance companies. These partnerships change, and Fingerhut will notify you of your eligibility to participate once your credit application is accepted. (Teleflora has been a well-known partner in the program for many years.)
How to Apply for the Fingerhut Credit Card
Since Fingerhut has traditionally been a buy-now-pay-later option for those with bad or no credit, it’s not surprising that the company’s credit accounts are marketed to this consumer group. Many with bad credit have found it easy to be approved.
Both credit accounts are designed to make purchasing from Fingerhut’s catalog of 700,000 products (including brands such as Samsung, Dyson, and KitchenAid) a seamless process.
The Fingerhut Advantage Revolving Credit Account is issued by WebBank and may require a one-time down payment. This is usually applied toward your first order. Subsequent purchases, upon continued good use of the card, will not require a down payment. Revolving accounts traditionally have the same payment amount each month, making it easy to budget your Fingerhut purchases.
The Fingerhut chart below shows what your minimum payment would be, based on an account balance with an APR of 25.40%.
The Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account is a three-step installment credit program that works like a credit card. While it takes a bit more to get approved, it’s a legitimate credit account for reporting purposes. It works by requiring the account holder to make a one-time purchase for the total of your credit limit (usually very small upon opening). A $30 down payment ships your order.
Once the balance is paid in full over several monthly payments, the credit account will be yours for future use with no down payments. You will also have your credit limit raised at that point.
For More Purchasing Power, Try These Instead
For those who are not interested in buying Fingerhut merchandise, or who want the freedom to use credit anywhere, the following cards are good options for those with bad credit. Card applications are usually processed within minutes. All of them are equally useful for rebuilding or establishing credit.
This card is a solid choice for those needing a secured card with the flexibility of MasterCard. The card charges no annual fee and reports to the major credit agencies, making it a better option than a prepaid card. Approved card members pay a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200 (to be determined at application), and are granted an initial $200 credit line. After five months of on-time payments, the credit limit is increased.
This card requires a checking account at the time of application, and approved applicants will pay a processing fee to access their credit line. The card offers the perks of a genuine VISA card and reports to all three major credit bureaus, making it a reliable option for establishing credit.
This card requires a small annual fee for cardholders, but applying will not impact your credit score. As a genuine MasterCard, it comes with fraud protection and reports to the three bureaus. This is a good choice for those with less-than-perfect credit histories.
As with any card offer, it’s wise to review the terms of the contract at the time of application. Take note of fees, interest rates, any annual membership fees, or late payment fees before you apply. You can view our full list of the best credit cards for bad credit here.
Any of These Offers Can Help Rebuild Your Credit
The Fingerhut credit account is popular among those with bad credit who want to build their credit histories. However, it isn’t the only (or even the best) way.
The truth is that any credit account, if handled responsibly, will report to the agencies that create your credit score and history. Consistent on-time payments and respect for the terms of your card will put positive marks on your report. After six months to a year of stellar performance, you could be considered creditworthy enough for a card with a great rate, excellent perks, and generous limits!
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.