Tips for Using Fingerhut Advantage for Improving Your Low Credit Score
I’ll be the first to admit that I had never thought much about my credit until a few months ago. I wish I had known the things I know now last year and I’m sure I would be in a different place credit wise. This year my husband and I started talking seriously about purchasing a house. It’s a conversation we’ve had on and off, but our family has long outgrown our current space. I’d been nervous about the prospect of finding a new home because I didn’t think it was something we could afford to do. This year I promised to research the process and get us on the path to homeownership.
First I’ll start off by saying it’s never too early to start thinking about your credit. I hate to admit how long I’ve completely ignored our credit. We didn’t nurture it, we did nothing to help it grow, and we were careless about monitoring it. A few months ago I started reading up about credit, how the score is calculated and created a plan to improve our scores. One of the programs I’ve seen online on multiple sites is Fingerhut Advantage.
If you’re struggling with credit, Fingerhut Advantage is supposed to be a great way to help you establish or rebuild your credit. Getting started is very easy, just visit the Fingerhut Advantage website or call their customer service department and ask to apply for a new account. Remember this is a credit application and they may pull your credit report. Once you’ve established your account with Fingerhut, set up your online account for easy access to your credit limit, payment information, and you can even access your credit score for free. The goal of using companies like Fingerhut to improve your credit is to use it wisely. Here are a few tips to help based on personal experience.
Never Use More than 30% of your Credit Limit
Just like any other credit card account you have, keep your utilization below 30% for the best results and improvement with scores. Credit card companies like to see you use your credit but carrying high balances can result in lower scores. Since Fingerhut reports to all three credit bureaus, it’s best to make sure you are not using your full credit limit.
Always Pay More than the Minimum Payment
The low payments on Fingerhut accounts are attractive to people using their accounts. For example, most regular credit cards start with their minimum payments at $25 and increase when you use more of your credit line. With Fingerhut, you can use as much as $349.99 of your credit limit before having to pay $25 per month. While the low payments may be attractive it’s always better to pay more than your minimum payment amount. It will help you save on interest over time.
Read Your Statement Carefully
Make sure you read your statement carefully each month. If you opt for paperless statement log in each month and see exactly where your payments are being applied. How much you’re being charged for interest and use the payoff guide to help you make smarter payment decisions.
Check Your Credit Score for Free
Each month log into your online account and check your credit score for free. See how your score has changed and use it as a guide to determine how your score is growing, staying the same, or getting lower. Staying on top of your score will help you make decisions about whether or not you’re ready to apply for other credit cards and/or loans.
Do Not Use Temporary Credit Line Increases
Fingerhut offers temporary credit line increases at different times during the year. Do not take temporary credit line increases. I was surprised by this tactic by Fingerhut since they market to consumers looking to repair and rebuild their credit. Their temporary credit line increases are a way to get customers to spend more money with Fingerhut. In order to keep the temporary increase, you must spend up to the new account limit. This might seem great if you’re looking to purchase a big ticket item, however, there’s a big catch. When Fingerhut reports your balance to the credit bureaus that you’re using your full credit line, they see it as a maxed out account. It’s over the 30% utilization and therefore it can actually hurt your score instead of helping. Even with minimum payments, you end up stuck with the almost maxed out account on your account for years or months unless you can pay it off faster.