Peeples is a married mom of three working to rebuild her family's credit.
Repairing Your Credit With Fingerhut
There are many reasons we may end up with bad credit. Most revolve around our bad decisions, but some are decisions we have to make based on life situations. Things happen, but as we get older, we have to start fixing our mistakes. There are many ways to repair credit. The most obvious is paying down debt. This article, though, will cover something we tried successfully.
My husband made a lot of mistakes in his early years. The time came to repair it, and a friend mentioned Fingerhut. When I heard Fingerhut, all I could think of was the old-school giant catalogs. So I did some digging to find out what Fingerhut was all about, hoping for a credit miracle!
Fingerhut FreshStart Program Details
The Fingerhut FreshStart Program is designed for people with low credit scores and lots of past mistakes. So it was ideal for my husband. Just for reference, when my husband started this, his credit score was around 460. I have heard some people do not get approved. So, of course, this isn't for everyone, but it is worth a try if you are desperate.
How to Get Started With Fingerhut FreshStart
So what do you need to do to get started? Simply place an order between $50 and your credit limit (usually less than $130) and make a one-time, $30 down payment. At some point in this process, you will have to select the FreshStart option. Your order will ship once your $30 down payment is processed. Try to find something as close to $50 that is lightweight and equals cheaper shipping.
Once you have your order, pay it off within two weeks. Freshstart starts out as a loan on your credit. So use a site like CreditKarma to track your score. Once you see that your Fingerhut account is on your credit, get it paid off as soon as possible. This will make your loan paid in full.
Now usually, within two weeks, you will get an email saying that they have approved you for credit. Once they do so, you will be able to open a revolving credit line with them that does not require a down payment. So it will show up on your credit like a credit card.
Remember you are only using this to improve your credit. Don't go overboard. Buy something cheap, pay it off, and repeat.
"A whopping 80 percent of Americans are in debt"
Cons of Using Fingerhut Freshstart Program
So this part is where I tell you all the negatives before you put your money into this. Most of them are fairly common sense, in my opinion.
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- High interest. Let's all be honest on this one; good credit gets good interest rates. Bad credit equals bad interest rates. Low rates are earned.
- High shipping costs These are so high they shock me at times, which is why I said pick something lightweight. The lighter, the better.
- If you don't make a payment on time, and when I say on time, I mean a couple of days early at least, they will call you over and over again. You are a bad investment for them. So if they have any doubt about your payment, they will call every number they have on file repeatedly. Remember, the goal here is to be making your payments on time anyway.
- The cost of the items is higher. Everything on their website is priced higher than you can find it elsewhere.
Do you see the trend here? Everything costs more! The reason for that makes plenty of sense, and in my opinion, it is just how it is when your credit is awful. The reason for doing all of this is to get your credit up to where you can get better interest rates later. Paying extra is like giving them a bonus for taking you on as a risk. This might not sound very nice, but it is the reality of being someone with poor credit. So let's get that credit better!
Our Experience Using Fingerhut FreshStart
As I said before, my husband's credit score was around 460 when we began. With NO other things done, my husband's credit score went up 67 points after doing this two times. He did the FreshStart program; then he did another after they gave him revolving credit. Both were paid off in the first month of ordering. We used CreditKarma to track it. Once we saw it on his credit, we paid it off. We never spend more than $60 at a time on the website. We have now done many transactions just to keep it open.
Since the first two times doing Fingerhut, my husband's credit has improved to a 618! Now granted, that is still not amazing, but we started 15 months ago. So I would say pretty great results. After the first two rounds, we were even able to get him one small unsecured credit card. Since then, we have added a Victoria's Secret card! We even bought a new (only slightly used) car with a decent, but still not great, interest rate and low down payment!
We get no referral fee for recommending this. We are not affiliated in any way. We are not credit professionals either. We are just everyday people working to repair our credit just like you!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on April 03, 2018:
Great read! I am so glad his score is improving! That is actually an amazing jump for a credit score in 15 months!