What To Know About The Buy Now-Pay Later Purchase Option

September 8, 2020
ONLINE SHOPPING CHECKOUT

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Before credit cards were widely available, there was layaway. The system where the store held on to your items until you paid for them in full through installments. Simple, easy and no creit involved. While there was a brief resurgence in layaway during The Great Recession, it has been replaced with Buy Now-Pay Later services. Companies like Affirm, AfterPay, Klarna, QuadPay and PayPal offer to cover the full cost of the items you are purchasing at checkout in exchange for equal payments. The nice advantage of these payment program is you get you items immediately and pay for them over time without the need of a credit card and avoiding the dreaded credit card interest. Over a third of Americans have used Buy Now-Pay Later services with promises of easy divided payments and without paying a penny in interest. The problem is, most shoppers don’t understand how these services work. For one, these services most often result in customers spending more than intended; by an average of 33%. While Buy Now-Pay Later services say their payments are without interest, there is still a fee to use them. Depending on those fees, it could cost you more than the interest charges of a credit card. So before deciding on these payment options, review the payment schedule being offered and look for the fees charged and how long you have to pay off your purchase. Although some companies may offer 0% APR for a specific timeframe, you may pay a lot more once the promotional period ends as accrued interest from the date of purchased may be tacked on. For example, Affirm charges an APR of 10% to 30%, based on your credit score—and Klarna charges 19.99% for standard purchases with a minimum of $2.00 per month. As with a credit card, Buy Now-Pay Later services can be helpful when you are sticking to a budget.  Just make sure you are making smart decisions with your dollar. 

SOURCE: Two Cents

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