Fingerhut is an online retailer that also finances its customer’s purchases. It offers over 450,000 products from well-known brands through its website and catalog. And to make shopping easier, the company extends Fingerhut credit accounts to customers.
Like a credit card, you can use a Fingerhut Credit Account to make purchases and pay off your balance over time. And getting approved is easier than the approval process of most credit products on the market.
Sound interesting? Learn all you need to know about Fingerhut Credit Accounts in this in-depth review.
An overview of Fingerhut and WebBank
Fingerhut’s credit accounts are issued by WebBank. To get one, just apply online through Fingerhut’s website. If approved, you can start shopping with your credit line right away.
Once you use your credit line and develop a balance, you will owe a minimum payment each month. How much you pay depends on your balance. Check out the chart below to see how it works.
Fingerhut was founded in 1948 by brothers Manny and William Fingerhut. It began as a private company that sold seat covers for automobiles. By 1952, the company expanded its product line and began selling them through a catalog. Then, in 1969, the company went public. Now, Fingerhut offers more than 450,000 products both online and through its catalog.
Founded in 1997, WebBank is a state chartered industrial bank. It has its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah and provides customized financing solutions for individuals and businesses nationwide. All deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Fingerhut’s credit offerings
WebBank and Fingerhut offer two credit account options: Advantage and FreshStart.
The Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account
The Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account is a revolving credit line. Upon approval, you will receive a credit limit and can make purchases up to that limit. To get approved, you need to have some positive credit established.
The Fingerhut FreshStart Credit Account
The Fingerhut FreshStart Credit Account is a one-time use installment plan designed for those who can’t immediately qualify for an Advantage account.
If approved, Fingerhut gives you a credit line. To use it, you must make a purchase of at least $50.00 value (including shipping, handling, and taxes) and pay a down payment of at least $30.00. Then, Fingerhut will ship out your product. The remaining balance is split into a six to eight-month installment plan. See examples below:
|Price||Required down payment||Finance charge||Terms of repayment|
|$50||$30||$1.79||6 payments of $3.63|
|$100||$30||$6.25||6 payments of $12.71|
If you make your payments on time, you’ll establish a positive credit history. This may enable you to open an Advantage Credit Account with a higher credit limit.
Note that if you pay the whole amount upfront (rather than using credit), it won’t help you earn the Advantage account.
Fingerhut Credit Account costs
What costs are involved in Fingerhut’s Credit Accounts?
- Fees: Fingerhut doesn’t charge any application, annual, or over-limit fees. However, if your payment is late or returned, Fingerhut will charge you up to $38 per occurrence.
- Interest: You will have to pay interest on your account balance. Fingerhut charges a non-variable annual percentage rate (APR) which can be found on your credit account agreement. The higher your balance, the more you will pay.
However, if you pay your balance in full each month, you will not owe any interest.
Fingerhut Credit Account’s impact on your credit
If you’re wondering, “does FingerHut help build credit?”, here’s what you need to know about the impact. Fingerhut and WebBank report to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax). As a result, managing your account responsibly can help you build your credit. On the other hand, making late payments and developing unpaid debt can hurt your credit score.
Fingerhut may also increase or reduce your credit limit at any time for any reason. But typically, you can earn a higher credit limit by making payments on time and will have your credit line reduced for late payments, poor account management, etc.
Perks of a Fingerhut Credit Account
Next, here are some perks that come with Fingerhut/WebBank credit accounts.
- Promotional deferral periods: Fingerhut occasionally offers special deferral periods. These give you extra time before you need to start making payments.
- Gifts: Fingerhut also offers gifts on their website via promotional codes. When available, enter the code at checkout and the gift will be sent to you. However, you can only enter one code per order.
- SafeLine: SafeLine® Account Protection Plus is a benefit you can add to your account. It will cover your minimum account payments for three to 12 months if you experience a qualifying hardship. Qualifying hardships include involuntary unemployment or a disabling accident. The plan will also waive your balance if you file bankruptcy or experience an extended hospitalization.
- Extended warranties: Next, you can purchase extended warranties for many Fingerhut products. They kick in when the manufacturer warranty expires.
- Payment Rewards: You can also enroll in Fingerhut’s Payment Rewards program to earn money back when you make payments. Once enrolled, each payment you make on an Advantage Credit Account earns you 10% in Payment Rewards. However, you must earn at least $5 in rewards over a three-month period to reap the benefits.
- Large inventory of products: Lastly, Fingerhut offers a variety of products from many leading brands. Departments include home, furniture, patio, bath, bedding, kitchen, appliances, household cleaning, furniture, décor, pet supplies, storage and organization, and more. As such, you can do much of your shopping in one place.
Sound like a good fit for your shopping needs? Let’s take a closer look at the application process.
How to apply for a Fingerhut Credit Account
Fingerhut has an online application which makes it simple to apply for a credit account. You just need to visit the website and click “Apply Now.”
Here’s what you can expect from the application process:
1. Answer whether you are applying in response to a catalog offer, and provide your name and address.
2. Enter your primary and secondary phone numbers.
3. Provide your social security number, birthdate, and annual income amount.
4. Set up your online account by entering your email address and creating a password.
5. Decide whether you want to sign up for electronic disclosures or not.
6. Read and agree to Fingerhut’s terms and disclosures, and submit your application. That’s it!
After submitting the application, you will receive an answer within a few minutes. If approved, you can start shopping with your credit line right away.
Should you apply for a Fingerhut Credit Account?
Is a Fingerhut Credit Account right for you? Let’s review the pros and cons.
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
- Pay for your purchases over time.
- Easy online application.
- Quick credit decision and access to credit.
- Large inventory of products from trusted brands.
- Lenient approval criteria.
- Program for those with bad credit.
- Multiple perks.
- No membership fees.
- Longstanding company.
- Not everyone will get approved.
- Annual percentage rate is on the high side.
- May get a better rate elsewhere.
If you like the products that Fingerhut has to offer, a credit account with the brand may be a good fit. The financing built into the site is convenient. And if you’re struggling to get approved for a line of credit with other lenders, Fingerhut may offer you the best deal.
However, the interest rate does tend to be high. If you plan on paying your balance in full each month, then you don’t have to worry. But if you plan to let balances carry over, be sure to run the numbers and figure out how much you will pay in interest over time.
Once you understand the costs, compare them to a few other credit cards, credit lines, and even personal loans. Then you can make an informed decision on whether a Fingerhut Credit Account offers you a good value.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.