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!
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:
Right about now, your mailbox is likely getting stuffed with catalogs for the holidays, and of those, some are 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? Truthfully, that depends directly on how you use catalog shopping cards.
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.
Need a fresh start on your credit but can’t get a conventional credit card? It can be really hard to get a fresh start when you can’t even get a credit card, especially if you’ve had a financial setback… in fact, there are times when it seems nearly impossible! Relax, it’s not nearly as hard as you think to start rebuilding your credit score.
Of course, the first things you’ll want to do are to pay off as many of the derogatory accounts as possible, and if there are any inaccuracies, make sure that you do everything in your power to correct them – disputing something on your credit report these days is extremely simple. It can all be done online, in a matter of minutes, and it doesn’t normally take very long for the inaccuracy to be removed. (Check out our credit monitoring page for several free and paid options to choose from!)
Once you’ve cleared up as much as you can on your credit report, then you’re ready to think about rebuilding your available credit and payment history, and again, that’s not nearly as difficult as it has been in the past. You have two really good options when you can’t get a conventional credit:
Get a catalog shopping card at an online retailer like a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank. Fingerhut is probably the best known catalog shopping merchant that you’ll find when you’re looking for a fresh start on your credit. Unlike a lot of online retailers, Fingerhut really works with those of us with less than perfect credit, not only to give you the credit that you need, but also to help you improve your credit score in the process. For starters, nearly everyone can get approved for a Fingerhut account just by filling out a simple application, but in the event that you don’t get approved, you may still qualify for a special “fresh start” program that Fingerhut offers (where you would pay a deposit on your first order before it’s shipped). And you’ll love the ease of shopping at Fingerhut – they have hundreds of thousands of name brand, competitively priced items available on their site, and you’ll know up front what your monthly payments will be. And the interest rate? Again… very competitive! And, most importantly, Fingerhut reports your responsible credit usage and payment history to the major credit bureaus, so you can start working on your credit score while you shop!
Set up a secured credit card account, like the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card. Secured credit card accounts differ from conventional credit card accounts in that you put up a security deposit that is normally equal to your initial line of credit. Then you simply use the credit card exactly as you would a conventional credit card, making responsible purchases, timely payments, and so on. The credit card provider then reports your usage to the major credit bureaus, and you will begin to see an improvement in your credit score as your available credit and payment history improve.
Most secured credit cards these days offer very reasonable interest rates, low to no annual fees, and some even convert to conventional credit cards over time. Compare offers to see which one works best for you and get started today!
As with all changes to your credit score, getting your fresh start will take time – but it can be done!