Skip Black Friday Sales

Right about now, your mailbox is stuffed with Black Friday ads for the impending holidays, and catalog shopping ads offering you “Preapproved” credit of $300.00 or more with your first order… but is catalog shopping really a smart way to handle your Christmas shopping?   Catalog shopping can actually be far better than trying to fight those “Black Friday” shoppers, and depending on how you handle the buy now / pay later option, you could have a stress free Christmas!

At first glance, that preapproved credit line can be very appealing, especially if your credit is less than perfect or if you don’t have enough money saved to actually pay for holiday shopping.  But should you actually take advantage of the offers in your mailbox or should you consider alternatives?

Obviously, if the offer in your mailbox is from a well known, respected catalog merchant, like a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, then you’re probably safe in sending an order in based on what’s in the catalog, but if you don’t recognize the catalog merchant or it’s just an application for credit, I’d be a little leery of sending in a written credit application. Instead, find the merchant online, read any independent reviews you can find, and apply online once you’ve determined that the vendor is legitimate.

Applying online is also typically faster as most applications get near immediate responses AND once you’re approved, you can usually shop the same day.  However, it’s best to take your time, study the products you’re interested in, study the pricing, and then decide how you’ll pay for what you plan to order before you actually place the order. You don’t want to be surprised by the payment terms (or interest rates) when the bill comes in after the holidays are over. Some sites, like Fingerhut, actually post the monthly payment that you’ll need to make along with the full price of the item, so you can determine if you can afford the payments.

Personally, I prefer to make a plan to pay off the account balance early if at all possible, so that I can save money on the interest rate AND see the little bump that I get on my credit score when I pay a balance in full. But in the event that you can’t pay it off early, then do try and pay extra when you can so that you, too, can save a little on the interest rate over time.

Remember, catalog shopping in itself can be a lifesaver when you don’t have the cash to buy the things that you need to buy, but you want to be a smart catalog shopper and use your credit wisely above all else.

Here are the most popular catalog shopping sites:

Can’t Find the Right Credit Offer?

Sometimes, even after you’ve perused all the websites that you can find searching for the right credit card, the perfect loan, or even the right credit reporting / monitoring vendor, you still can’t find what you want.

What should you do?  Just take whatever offer you got in the mail?  Settle for less than you want or need?  Pay more interest?  More annual fees?

Absolutely not!

When you run out of options, we encourage you to let the experts help you to find just the right credit card, or personal loan, or whatever you need.  Use the tools that you’ll find online, get your free credit scores, let them “match” you to the best credit cards for your credit score.

Otherwise, you’ll pay way too much for far too little.

Credit Cards & Catalogs

Well, the season is here again! If your mailbox is like mine, every day it is stuffed with both catalogs and credit card offers.

Buy now! Pay later! 15 months interest free! Pre-approved! Save money on interest!

But before you fill those credit card applications out, you might just want to sit down at your computer and compare what exactly you would be getting when you sign up for that new credit card.

Are you getting the best possible interest rate for your credit score? Remember, most of those mailers are based at least partly on the demographics for your area, meaning that it’s not just your credit that is considered, but also that of your neighbors, and other people around you.

Are there hidden fees? Is the length of the balance transfer offer the best one available for your particular credit score range? Read the fine print carefully. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of credit card companies charging a monthly usage fee as opposed to an annual fee, especially if you’re in the lower tiers of the credit score ranges. That monthly usage fee could apply even if you don’t carry a balance on your card.

Are you absolutely certain that the offer is legitimate? Sadly, some of the credit card offers that you receive in your mailbox could very well be identity theft scams masquerading as credit card offers. Before you fill out any application (mail-in or online), verify the source!

Here at Fresh Start Card Offers, ALL of our online applications link directly to the credit card, catalog, or loan provider, so you can be sure that your personal information is safe!

Christmas is Upon Us Once Again

It’s almost impossible to believe, but it’s here again… time for Christmas shopping!

It’s literally just a little over 3 months until Christmas Day. How’s your Christmas budget this year? Do you have the cash saved up to buy all those gifts? If not, how’s your credit score? Do you have enough room on a credit card to charge it all? Do you have a credit card? Do you have credit?

You see, if you don’t have the extra cash or the credit that you need, your Christmas season quickly becomes the most stressful time of year… you try and you try to figure out where you’ll get the money for even just a few nice gifts for your family, your spouse, or your kids. And if you don’t have the money? Or a credit card to use? Relax. You still have options.

Fingerhut has long been known for working with those of us with less than perfect credit. Not only will they extend credit at times when others won’t, but opening a Fingerhut account might even improve your credit score!

So, go ahead – apply now and get the credit that you need to do this year’s shopping AND work on your credit score while you’re at it!

Planning Your Christmas Shopping Yet?

Last month, I wrote about the school supplies flooding the stores in anticipation of the onset of back to school shopping… hard to believe the kids are already back in school, isn’t it? Now we’re beginning to see Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving dinner ideas, and even Christmas decorations appear in the seasonal merchandise aisles, but it’s true. Yes, Christmas is literally just around the corner, and you know what that means? Yes, it’s the most expensive time of the year!

How will you afford this year’s Christmas gift giving? While there are a select few who have faithfully been saving all year, the rest of us will end up having to rely on Christmas bonuses from work, credit cards, and catalog shopping as a way to afford all of the Christmas gifts that we end up buying every year. And for some of us, even that can be a struggle, especially if you really don’t have the extra money, or you’ve had a financial setback recently.

Personally, one of the best ways that I’ve found to recover from those financial setbacks, as well as those severe cash flow shortages, is to consider doing your Christmas shopping through Fingerhut. Not only do they have nearly all of the big, brand name, most requested gifts available at competitive prices, but Fingerhut is well known for working with those of us with less than perfect credit, so not only can you get the credit you need to do your Christmas shopping, but your responsible use of that credit can be used to improve your credit score, as well.

You see, Fingerhut reports your available credit and your timely payments to all three of the major credit bureaus, so over time, and assuming that you’re seriously working at improving your credit score, most people see their credit scores begin to rise as these two factors are the most important ones on your credit report. And, Fingerhut is really good at increasing your available credit over time, too, so you’ll always have the credit with them that you need to buy those important gifts, or even something for yourself.

Isn’t it time to start planning your Christmas shopping?

(Did I mention Fingerhut’s Christmas Catalog? It is AWESOME!)

Christmas is NOT That Far Away!

The other day, I was in one of the department stores near my house, and I noticed that they’re already pushing school supplies.  Row after row of school supplies, as a matter of fact.  Then, it dawned on me.  Once school starts, the stores will be putting out Halloween and even Christmas decorations… in less than a month, we’ll start to see them.  And Christmas is now only five months away.

Have you figured out how you’re going to pay for this year’s Christmas gift giving?

Wait, you’re still trying to figure out how to put the kids back in school, right?  And now we’re talking Christmas?  Yep, Christmas really isn’t that far away, is it?  And if your money is as tight as mine at times, just the thought of having to come up with the money for Christmas triggers a sick little feeling right in the pit of your stomach, doesn’t it?

So, how will you afford Christmas?

You know, one of the best ways that I know to do your Christmas shopping when you don’t have a lot of money is to use a trusted catalog shopping site, with a credit program like the Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank.

The thing that I like about Fingerhut, to be very honest, is the simple fact that when my credit was bad and no one else would even work with me, Fingerhut issued me a credit card for their site, and not only was I able to afford Christmas, but they also reported my regular payments to the credit bureaus, then rewarded my responsible monetary behavior with more available credit.  In fact, I probably have more available credit with Fingerhut than I do with any other creditor (and now that my credit score has bounced back, I actually have other credit cards, too).

So, when someone asks you how you’re paying for this year’s Christmas?

You might want to consider one of these catalog shopping sites:

 

Summer Vacation?

If you’re like nearly half of the population of this country, you’re not planning a summer vacation this year, and the biggest reason most people aren’t going?  Money.  That’s right, many of us simply cannot afford the overall expense of spending a few days or a week away from home.  The money just isn’t in the budget (or the savings account), so we’re skipping that trip to the beach, or the mountains, or anywhere else that we may have wanted to go.   But, what if you could still go?

What if you could take that vacation and, instead of draining your savings account, charge it on a credit card that offered you an interest free introductory period, or cash back rewards, or even travel rewards?   Would you be able to rearrange your schedule (and your budget) to take the trip and pay it off over time when you returned?  It’s definitely something to consider, isn’t it?

Why not take a look at these credit card offers and see if one of them might just enable you to take that vacation and still stay within your budget?


Back to School Shopping Starts Soon!

Even though it’s only been a couple weeks since school let out for the summer, it’s no secret that summer vacations keep getting shorter and shorter.

back to school
Fall is just around the corner!

In fact, there are already schools in our country that go year around.  That’s why you might want to start thinking about this year’s back to school shopping expenses sooner rather than later!

Let’s face it, it costs a lot of money to get the kids back in school every year – between all the fees, books, and other required gear for school, there usually isn’t much left for new clothes, shoes, or even that computer that your oldest needs to start college this fall.  What’s a parent to do?

Well, here’s an idea… Why not start your back to school shopping now?

Rather than wait until the week before (or even the day before) school starts, you can go ahead and get some of the necessities out of the way now, then maybe your expenses won’t seem so insurmountable later on, when it’s time to pay those hefty fees to the school.

Especially if you shop online, there are deals EVERYWHERE right now!   All of the major retailers are running specials, sales, and promotions galore… and you can take advantage of those savings to spend less or get even more for your money.  And if your money is tight?  What then?

Well, if your cash flow is limited, you might want to think about opening a Fingerhut account, so you can still take advantage of their online specials and sales but you’ll have plenty of time to pay for your purchases.

Worried about your credit score?  Relax.  A Fingerhut account might just be easier to get than you think!  Fingerhut has a reputation for working with those of us with less than perfect credit  – so don’t delay, open your Fingerhut account today!

 

Interest Rates are Climbing!

If you’ve been watching the financial market lately, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the Federal Reserve has raised the interest rate on federal funds once again.  It’s now at 1.75% to 2.00% and they’ve signaled that there are two more interest rate increases coming this year.  But, what does that mean to you?  And how will it affect your finances?  Even though you may not think so, this rate increase will most certainly hit your pocketbook in less than 30 days, and the next two rate hikes?  You will feel those almost immediately, too.

So, if you’re planning to buy a home, refinance the car, or take out a personal loan to pay off those credit cards, there is no time to waste.  Interest rates on that new home, car, or personal loan will almost certainly go up immediately, as will the rate on those credit cards that you’re paying on every month.

Personally, we’re looking at taking out a personal loan to pay off the credit cards, to save money on the credit card interest and pay them all off sooner, so we will do this sooner rather than later, as that extra .25% will affect both the personal loan rate AND the interest rate on the credit cards.  Plus, with two more increases expected this year, NOW is the time to lock in that fixed rate, regardless of what you’re planning to buy.

What about you?  Think a personal loan might be the right choice for you?  Take a look at these offers:

New Credit Card Offers Added!

Just a quick post to let you know that we’re adding new credit card offers almost daily! In addition to credit cards for those of us with less than perfect credit, we’re now able to offer choices for those with Good to Excellent credit, Student credit cards, rewards cards and much more!

If you haven’t explored our financial products lately, you could be missing out!