You may be familiar with buy now, pay later sites. Instead of paying cash upfront, they allow you to pay in installments when you buy everyday items like clothing, electronics, furniture, and more. One such company is Fingerhut, a catalog and online retailer that’s been around since 1948.
But Fingerhut isn’t the only retailer offering buy now, pay later arrangements to customers. In this article, we’ll explain precisely how Fingerhut works and share some popular Fingerhut alternatives so you can make an informed decision about using buy now pay later sites.
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What Is Fingerhut?
Fingerhut has been selling mail-order goods to consumers since 1948. Nowadays, they sell items not only through their catalog but also online. Fingerhut caters primarily to low-income clients with limited or bad credit by offering affordable monthly payments for the things they buy.
Their retail selection includes items such as:
- Clothing and shoes for men, women, kids, and babies
- Home and furniture items
- Patio and garden
- Tools and home improvement
- Jewelry and watches
- Toys and games
- Art and craft supplies
- Pet supplies
- Movies and music
You can find just about anything you need at Fingerhut. And if you qualify for Fingerhut credit (90% of applicants do), you can make low monthly payments.
How Fingerhut Works
Fingerhut offers two types of credit: A WebBank/Fingerhut credit account and a FreshStart credit account.
The WebBank/Fingerhut credit account is a typical revolving account. The FreshStart account is a starter account with shorter payment terms. If you only qualify for the FreshStart account, good management of that account can build eligibility for the WebBank/Fingerhut account.
There are no annual fees or over-the-limit fees with your Fingerhut credit account. However, the interest rates are quite high, up to 30% or higher. This is the case with most credit cards or loans for those with poor credit, and Fingerhut is no exception.
Depending on the items you’re shopping for, you may find other companies that do the same thing as Fingerhut, only with better terms. Here are eight Fingerhut alternatives to consider if you’re looking for a buy now, pay later retailer.
8 Fingerhut Alternatives
We’ve compiled a list of the best Fingerhut alternatives that can help you shop and build credit simultaneously. Read the full details on each site to learn more about what they sell, how financing works, and any other details you may want to know before shopping.
HSN (also called Home Shopping Network) is a store you’ll find online and on TV. Like Fingerhut, you can buy pretty much anything here. HSN sells clothing, kitchen items, home decor items, linens and more, beauty products and accessories, fashion accessories, shoes, and more.
However, expect limitations on offerings of kids’ items and pet items. They do have some, but Fingerhut has a larger selection.
You can choose ExtraFlex or VIP Financing when you shop and buy on HSN. ExtraFlex gives you low payments, but check the interest rates as they are often high. On their website, HSN states the ExtraFlex interest rate is 26.99% as of this writing.
VIP Financing gives you interest-free payments on purchases of $399 or more. However, you’ll need to qualify, and most applicants will need stronger credit.
Also, for a limited time, we have a $20 off $40 or more purchase promo code – HELLO10.
Venue offers the following types of items for sale:
- Clothing and accessories for men, women, and kids
- Appliances, cookware, bedding, decor, furniture, and other home items
- Tech and electronics
- Sports and outdoor equipment
- Musical instruments
- Auto accessories
Like Fingerhut, Venue has several financing options, including a “no credit needed” option. This is essentially a lease-to-buy option. With lease-to-buy financing, you’ll pay a low monthly payment, eventually leading to ownership of the purchased item. However, if you stop making payments, the money you’ve paid toward ownership of the item is usually forfeited.
As with most financing offers on these sites, you’ll want to check the interest rate as it could be quite high. However, Venue does tend to be more flexible with the pricing on the items they sell. The site has regular sales and discount codes as well.
This means that you may be able to find better prices on the items you need to buy if you shop through Venue. Visit Venue’s website to shop around and compare.
Ginny’s is an online shopping site that carries items in the following product categories:
- Shoes and clothing
- Health and wellness items
- Bed and bath items
They issue their own revolving credit accounts, so they can extend credit to people who might have difficulty getting credit elsewhere. If you choose to buy through Ginny’s credit program, make sure to pay on time as the company reports to credit bureaus.
If you have a limited credit history or poor credit, Ginny’s may ask you to put a down payment on purchases.
As you use your Ginny’s credit account and manage it well, making on-time payments and using it regularly, Ginny’s may increase your initial credit limit when it reviews its regular credit accounts. Like most buy now, pay later sites, you may see higher interest rates for credit and potentially higher prices for the items they sell.
According to its website, Stoneberry is the offspring of a 100+-year-old company based out of Wisconsin. Stoneberry has a large selection of everyday items in the following categories:
- Tools and electronics
- Jewelry and watches
- Home decor
- Furniture and beds
- Kitchen and dining
- Health and beauty
- Clothing and shoes
- Toys, games, and outdoor items
Like many other sites, Stoneberry offers buy now, pay later credit. You can get approved instantly when you apply online at Stoneberry.
The payments on Stoneberry credit accounts are small, making them more affordable. Payments with Stoneberry credit start as low as $5.99 per month. However, you can expect to pay high interest rates.
The good news is that Stoneberry does not charge annual fees, membership fees, or over-the-limit fees. Minimum payments increase as your credit balance increases. Balances of over $1,300 will be subject to a minimum payment of 5% of your credit balance.
5. Country Door
Country Door is a long-standing online store that specializes in home decor goods. However, the site also sells other items such as:
- Men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and shoes
- Holiday decor
- Gift items for adults, kids, and pets
- Outdoor games
As you may have guessed from the store’s name, the theme at Country Door is farm and country. Most of the items for sale on the site have a distinct farm theme. One exception is the outdoor games and pools with various themes and styles.
Country Door credit accounts feature no annual fee and monthly payments as low as $20. Submit your credit application with your first order, and you’ll know within 24 hours if you are approved for Country Door credit.
Country Door does report to credit bureaus. This means that making on-time payments on your Country Door account may help improve your credit score. Conversely, late payments may lower your credit score.
6. The Swiss Colony
The Swiss Colony is a family-owned business specializing in food gifts. They’ve been in operation since 1926. You can buy a variety of items meant for gift giving or entertaining from The Swiss Colony, including:
- Meats and cheese
- Baked goods
- Cakes and desserts
Each item comes specially packaged in attractive tins or boxes. You can apply to get your Swiss Colony credit account to buy now and pay later. If you don’t get approved right off the bat for Swiss Colony credit, they may offer you credit with a down payment on your purchase.
This is their way of meeting you halfway. Swiss Colony credit is extended directly through The Swiss Colony and not issued through an outside bank. The Swiss Colony reports your credit activity to the major credit bureaus. There is no annual fee to get a credit account with The Swiss Colony.
7. Midnight Velvet
Midnight Velvet is an online site specializing in women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, but they have some items for men, as well as some home products, like furniture, linens, decor items, and more. These products tend to be very expensive.
When you qualify for Midnight Velvet credit, you can shop with payments as low as $20 per month. There is no minimum purchase required when you buy with Midnight Velvet Credit. Credit is extended directly through the company and not through a bank.
Midnight Velvet reports to major credit bureaus, and extends credit to those with damaged credit. However, they may ask you for a down payment for your purchase instead of giving you full credit on your purchase.
Your interest rate on your Midnight Velvet account depends on your credit history. You can expect to pay anywhere between 5.75% and 25.99%.
8. Seventh Avenue
Seventh Avenue specializes primarily in home decor items and furniture. However, the company also carries women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. You can also find kids’ clothing, shoes, toys, and gifts for special occasions, like graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc.
Seventh Avenue’s in-house credit offers low monthly payments and fast approval. A down payment option is available for those who can’t get approved via the company’s regular credit process.
As with other in-store credit terms, you can expect the interest rates with Seventh Avenue credit to be higher, with exact rates being dependent on your credit history.
Yes, unfortunately. You will find higher prices on Fingerhut items. This is the case with many Fingerhut alternatives as well. The solution? Do comparison shopping before you buy. Also, check online sale sites like Craigslist and similar sites to find cheap clothing and other items you might need.
Yes, Fingerhut will do a hard inquiry on your credit if you apply for credit with them. Fortunately, they are quite lenient with their credit so most applicants do get approved.
Yes, you can pay off your Fingerhut credit account early, and there is no penalty or cost to do so.
Why should I Use a Site Like Fingerhut?
Most people who use Fingerhut and sites like it do so to get the items they need and simultaneously work to build good credit. However, it’s important to remember that other ways to build credit might not cost as much, such as a secured credit card.
If repairing credit is your primary goal, check out the following articles and see if one of the options listed can help you build credit while spending less.
- How to Build Credit Without a Credit Card
- Chime Credit Builder Review
- Extra Debit Card Review
- How to Rebuild Your Credit Score With Secured Credit Cards
- Self Credit Builder Review
Also, consider cashback shopping sites to save money when you do buy things you want to buy. Using these sites can put even more money in your pocket.
The best Fingerhut alternatives offer a wide selection of products and credit options to make payments even if you don’t have the best credit. But remember, your best bet is not to borrow but to have the cash up front before you spend.