Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account review
A line of credit for those looking to build their credit scores while buying name-brand merchandise.
- Get this card if you want to build your credit while shopping for name-brand merchandise.
- Pick something else if you want a credit card you can use with other merchants.
- Apply if you’re trying to build your credit score, however approval isn’t guaranteed.
Purchase APR (fixed)
Recommended credit score
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account lets you buy items from Fingerhut and pay them off over six or eight months after a down payment. It has a $0 annual fee, but watch out for its very high 29.99% fixed APR on purchases.
After you place a qualifying order and pay off your balance, you may graduate to the WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account. This lets you spend up to your credit limit and potentially qualify for credit-line increases.
You can’t apply for the Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account directly. Rather, you’ll apply through a general Fingerhut application, after which you may receive the WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account or the Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account depending on your creditworthiness.
How to apply for the Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account
- Go to the provider's site and click Apply now.
- Fill out the application with details like your name, email address, Social Security number, annual income and date of birth.
- Review and submit your application.
No annual fee.
Similar accounts charge a monthly or annual fee, but you don’t have to worry about paying either to keep this account open.
You may qualify with a lower credit score.
If your credit has seen better days, you may still be approved for a Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account. The program is designed for those seeking to improve their credit scores, and some customers have said they were approved with no credit history. Of course, approval is never guaranteed.
Good customers are rewarded.
If you pay off your first purchase within six payments — with no late or incomplete payments — you could qualify for the WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account. You may also receive a higher credit line.
Low monthly payments.
Depending on your purchase volume, you could have a low monthly payment if you apply and are approved for a Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account. Accounts are issued by WebBank, who determines eligibility and qualifications for the terms of credit.
Sample of monthly payments
Once you make a one-time purchase of $50 or more on Fingerhut, you’ll need to make a $30 down payment. Afterward, you’ll pay off the purchase in six to eight monthly payments, including finance charges.
This is an example payment structure from Fingerhut’s terms and conditions.
|Cash price of product||$50||$100|
|Terms of repayment||6 monthly payments of $3.63||6 monthly payments of $12.71|
According to Fingerhut, these are estimated monthly minimum payments. Your actual payments may be different after you’re approved for your credit account.
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As soon as you’re approved, you can begin using your account.
Reports to credit bureaus.
Fingerhut reports your payment history to all three credit bureaus. This can help you grow your credit score and build your buying power.
What to watch out for
Potentially high APR.
APRs for similar cards can be as high as 30% variable. Visit the Fingerhut terms and conditions for their rates.
Late and returned payment fees.
For each late payment, you’ll incur a fee of up to $40. For each returned payment, you’ll incur a fee of up to $40.
Terms apply to graduate to a revolving-credit account.
You’re not eligible for the WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account if you pay off your entire balance at the same time you make your down payment.
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What should I know before I apply?
You can get all of the information needed from the Fingerhut website before you apply.
- You’re at least 18 years old.
- You have a valid Social Security number.
- Your name and current residential address.
- Your phone number and email address.
- Your date of birth and Social Security number.
- Amount of available income.
What credit score do I need?
The Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account is designed for customers who are rebuilding credit. You won’t find a specified minimum credit score on Fingerhut’s website.
Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account reviews and complaints
Many customers say they’ve seen their credit scores increase after using the Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account. However, some customers mention it’s important to make payments on time to not jeopardize the chances to move up to a WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account.
Fingerhut’s parent company, Bluestem Brands, Inc., is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and receives a B+ rating from the agency. As of October 2020, Bluestem Brands, Inc. has over 2,500 customer complaints. Unhappy customers complain of difficulty making payments, poor-quality merchandise, unsolicited marketing and unexpected finance charges.
I got the card. Now what?
Make on-time payments.
Making payments on time gives you a chance at graduating to the WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account.
Late payments come with fees of up to $40. Returned payments come with fees of up to $40.
Contact customer service.
If you have any questions, you can call Fingerhut customer service at 800-208-2500 — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT.
If you’re looking to buy merchandise while potentially making low monthly payments, the Fingerhut FreshStart® Credit Account could be an asset. As with any credit card or line of credit, read the fine print and shop around to find a card that fits your spending habits.