New Year, New Credit Score

With the passing of the New Year, and now the month of January, you’ve probably received most of your credit card bills from November and December, so you probably know just about how much you spent on Christmas. But, have you checked the impact of those new credit card balances on your credit score?

Unfortunately, when your credit usage rises dramatically (like it does when you spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts), you’ll often see a drop in your credit score beginning around the first of the year and continuing until you get those credit cards paid back down to their pre-Christmas shopping levels.

While this little dip doesn’t hurt much, it actually can affect the interest rate that you’ll get on that new home, new car, personal loan, or even just a new credit card that you’re considering. And over time, a higher interest rate on any type of loan or credit line can cost you a significant amount of money.

So, your best bet is to ALWAYS consider the effect a few points on your credit score can have on your overall financial picture. And the best way to do that is to ALWAYS know about where your credit score is.

These days, that information can be found just about anywhere, but here’s where you might want to start:

Easiest Way to Pay Off Credit Cards

As the year winds down, those Christmas credit card bills start rolling in, and many of us wonder how we’ll ever get them all paid off, especially with interest rates running as high as 29% or more on some cards.

If you’re like most people, you probably spent way more than you planned to over the holidays, and those monthly payments are going to eat up most of your budget for the next few months. But, there are some options out there, especially if your credit score is fairly good.

Now, I know over the past couple of months, you were probably inundated with credit card offers, but more than likely, with the holidays gone, so are the offers. Relax. You can still find some really excellent rates on both personal loans and balance transfers.

Balance transfers are especially good if you’re trying to pay off your credit cards – you just transfer the balance on an old higher interest rate card to a new card with an introductory, interest free period. And, honestly, if you can pay the new balance off within the allotted time frame, a balance transfer may just be your best option to pay off Christmas debt. Not only will you not have ANY interest charges during the promotional period, but most offers give you at least 12 months (and usually even longer) to pay off the balance – just make sure that you have a plan to pay the balance transfer off so that you’re not stuck with a big interest payment down the road.

But where can you find balance transfer offers for your credit range?

Here’s a good place to start:

Easiest Way to Lower Your Monthly Payments

As the end of the year approaches, one of the smartest things that you can do for yourself is to start planning your budget for 2019…

How much money do you have to work with?  Where did you overspend this year?  Where can you save money next year?

That said, one of the easiest places to look for savings is at your monthly expenditures.  Once you’ve taken care of housing, transportation, and basic necessities, how much are you spending on monthly credit card bills?  How much is the interest on those credit cards?  And how long will it take you to pay them off if you’re only making the minimum payments?

If you don’t like your answers to any of these questions, you might want to look into a personal loan.  With a personal loan, you can easily consolidate all those monthly credit card payments into one, typically lower payment each month.  And since interest rates on personal loans are usually lower than the interest on those credit cards, you’ll be able to pay the personal loan off much sooner than the credit card bills.  

So, would your monthly budget benefit from a personal loan?   Take a look and see for yourself:

Is There Still Time for Christmas Catalog Shopping?

As November winds down, finishing up Christmas shopping becomes more of a priority, especially if you’re doing any online shopping at all. (Yes, there still are those places that take up to two weeks to ship your orders!)

But, if you have no money for Christmas, and you’re starting to get desperate, what can you do? Is there still time to do some Christmas Catalog shopping online and get the order delivered before Christmas?

YES! There’s still plenty of time to apply for credit at most catalog shopping sites, get approved, and place an order that will be delivered in time to put it under the Christmas tree for someone special! In fact, most of the catalog shopping sites are offering their best deals of the year right now… you could qualify for free shipping, a percentage off your first order, and even no payments for several months.

So, if you’re as tight on money this year as some of us, you might just want to study these offers and see which one fits your shopping needs best:

Easiest Christmas Catalog Shopping Site!

Looking for the easiest way to pay for this year’s Christmas gifts, maybe save some money, and potentially give your credit score a little boost?

Look no further than Fingerhut!  Fingerhut really has some great things to choose from… quality, name brand merchandise at truly competitive pricing.  Choose from a fantastic selection of clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, electronics, toys and more!

Think you won’t qualify for a Fingerhut account because of your credit?

Think again!  Fingerhut approves nearly everyone for at least $300.00, and those who aren’t approved usually qualify for the Fingerhut Fresh Start program which not only offers you the credit you need, but can also help you to improve your credit score!

It’s easy, simply fill out the online application (takes about five minutes), and that’s all there is to it!  Now, go on…

Christmas is Just Around the Corner

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner once again…but it is. As much as I love the Christmas season, it gets so expensive, and sometimes it’s really difficult to come up with the money needed for all of the Christmas gift giving. That’s why so many people rely on credit cards to get them through the Christmas holidays.

But, what if if your credit is less than perfect? What if you don’t have the credit score necessary to get a major credit card? What if you don’t have the cash? Then what do you do?

Unfortunately, when you’ve had a couple of financial setbacks, the first thing that is affected is usually your credit score, and once your score takes a hit, it’s hard to get it back on the right track. And that makes it really hard to get the credit that you need when you need it.

However, there are certain companies that not only work with you to extend the credit you need, but they can also help you to raise your credit score in the long run, which goes a long way toward getting your credit score back on track.

Fingerhut is one of those companies. Fingerhut is known for working with those of us with less than perfect credit not only to give us the buying power needed to get things like Christmas gifts, but also to give you the opportunity to rebuild your credit by reporting your responsible use of the credit they extend.

With Christmas just around the corner, isn’t it time to start thinking about where those gifts are going to come from? Better hurry, so you can get your Fingerhut Christmas Catalog and start shopping soon!

Are You Paying Attention to Interest Rates?

If you’ve been paying attention to the financial markets over the last six months to a year, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that interest rates are on the rise again.  True, at this point, the increases are only a quarter of a point, but still if you take all of those little quarter points and add them up, they become a little more significant.  And those rate increases don’t just create ripples in a few places, but everywhere.

Chances are, if you’re thinking of buying a car or a house over the next few months, your interest rate will be higher than it would have been if you purchased the car or house last year at this time.  And as for your other loans?  Not only can you expect to see other loan interest rates increase, but it’s a pretty sure bet that you’ll see your credit card interest rates increase by that quarter percent on your next statement, as well.

That’s why now is probably the best time to consolidate all your credit cards into a personal loan.  Not only are the interest rates on personal loans typically far less than those on credit cards, but if you’re even thinking about taking out a personal loan, you need to do it now, before the next quarter point increase (analysts predict two more increases this year).

So, if you haven’t already done so, sit down and see how much you can save on your monthly payments AND pay off those credit cards right now!



Easiest Way to Beat the Winter Blues

Not an Access Card

I don’t know about you, but the winter blues have really set in at my house!  It seems like once you take down the Christmas decorations, the house looks vacant, empty, and downright dull.  It can be really depressing…

That’s why I use this time of year to do a little redecorating!  Not only is it the perfect time of year to change a few things, add a splash of color, or update a room or two in the house, it’s also the perfect time of year to actually buy literally everything for your house!  Between the January clearance sales and now the President’s Day sales, I can usually pick up a few really good deals.

What about your house?  Is it time to update your bathroom with new, plush bath rugs?  Maybe a new shower curtain?  Or maybe you’d like to change out the comforter in your bedroom?  Or get new rugs for the kitchen?  Of course, since the Christmas bills have just barely begun to hit your mailbox, money could be a little tight, right?

Well, your tight budget doesn’t have to keep you from brightening up your home after the holidays have passed, not if you have a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank!  You see, when you use your Fingerhut account to redecorate, you can shop knowing exactly what your payments will be (and trust me, they are extremely reasonable), so you won’t blow your budget when you buy that new comforter or those new bath rugs!

Fingerhut even works with those of us with less than perfect credit, not just to help you buy the things you need, but also to give you the opportunity to improve your credit over time!  What could be any better than that?  Take a look at what Fingerhut has to offer and then, go ahead and update your decor – you deserve it!

It’s Tax Time!

Well, it’s that time of year once again – that’s right, it’s tax time.  Time to review your finances from the previous year, find as many deductions as you can, and hopefully get a refund from Uncle Sam!  Tax time is also the perfect time to budget, plan, and get a fresh start on your credit with a personal loan.

Let’s face it, if you’re like most of us, you might have overspent over the holidays, and those credit card bills have started rolling in… you’re wondering just how you will ever get them paid off, or even worse, you know you’re going to fall behind if you don’t figure something else out.  Who can pay that much interest on so many balances and ever hope to get ahead?

That’s why so many people are choosing to take out personal loans these days.  Unlike credit cards, which can have interest rates as high as 25 or even 35%, personal loans typically come with a much lower interest rate, and since all of your credit card balances are consolidated under one personal loan, the payments are typically much lower, too.  And you know exactly when you have to make your payment, how much it will be, and when you’ll have the balance paid off.  (With most loans, you can even pay it off early if you choose!)

So, go ahead.  When you’re planning your taxes, why not plan your financial future for the entire year, and reduce your debt load with a personal loan? It only takes a few minutes to apply AND the money is normally deposited into your account within a few days of approval – many lenders even work with those of us with less than perfect credit.  What could be easier than that?

Just be careful once you consolidate all your bills and put those credit cards away so that you don’t end up with credit card debt AND a personal loan payment!

Should You Apply for That Credit Card?

With the holidays rapidly approaching, your mailbox is probably stuffed with catalogs, credit card, and loan offers, but should you apply for that new credit card, order from that catalog (with the promised credit line), or should you cash that short term loan check?  Granted, money is always tight around the holidays, and affording all of the extra expenses would be a lot easier with a clean line of credit, but what should you look for before you apply?

Make sure you’ll actually qualify for the offers!  One of the most important things to remember when looking at any new credit line, be it a catalog shopping site like a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, or a new credit card, or a personal loan, is whether or not you will actually qualify once you actually begin the application process.  Remember, most of those “prequalified” offers are just that – the lender has purchased a list of potential candidates based on your demographic group (your location, age group, income level, etc.), but they have most likely not pulled your individual credit report to see if you would actually qualify once you complete the application process.  So, before you even consider the offer, you should check your own credit report to make sure your credit score would likely qualify you for the offer that you are considering.

Should you fill out the application and mail it back in or should you simply go to the website and complete the application online?  While you might worry about completing an application for credit online, it’s actually safe in most cases to apply online, and instead of waiting for a response in the mail, you’ll most likely find out fairly quickly if you do complete the application online.  Reputable credit card companies, loan providers, and catalog shopping sites have ample safeguards in place to protect your personal information, so it’s usually safe to visit most sites.  (However, this is not the case for most of the offers you receive via email – links in emails are extremely vulnerable to identity theft and you should never click on a link received within an email.  ALWAYS visit that creditor’s site using your browser instead.)

Research all of your options before you apply for any of them.  Just because you received a prequalification offer in your mailbox does not necessarily mean that this the best credit card for you to accept.  Take a look at the fine print… What’s the interest rate?  Are there any additional benefits (rewards, points, introductory rates)?  What is the typical credit score needed to qualify for the offer?  How are charges handled?  What happens if you dispute a charge?  What happens if you fall behind?  What are the over limit fees?  Late fees?

Once you’ve studied all of the fine print, then it’s a good idea to compare the offer with other offers that you are likely to qualify for to see if the card really is a good fit for you.  Then and only then do you actually want to apply for the credit card, place an order with the catalog shopping company, or accept that loan offer.