Best Buy Now, Pay Later Apps 2022

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: July 14, 2022 Apps Loan Reviews Loans

Since everyone loves to land a great deal, taking advantage of discounts is a strong trait of savvy shoppers. However, while it’s easy to plan for Black Friday or Boxing Day, sometimes retailers offer the best promotions when you least expect them. And if you’re low on cash when the moment arrives, missing out on a great deal is never fun.

However, with Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) apps offering you the chance to make the item yours without the wait, they’re a great way to capitalize on promotions and pay off the balance over time. As a result, you may want to opt for a BNPL service the next time you head to the checkout.

Why Should You Trust ElitePersonalFinance?

With accuracy and accountability in mind, we pride ourselves on presenting the latest information from the most trusted sources. And our goal is to help you find the best products available in the marketplace. Moreover, we hope that our study will make it easier to determine if Buy Now, Pay Later apps are suitable for you.

To complete our study, we analyzed the most popular Buy Now, Pay Later apps to determine which lenders deserve your business. We consider a service attractive if the terms are transparent with minimal fees. Moreover, the BNPL app must be easy to use, and customer service should be available to answer any questions.

Should I Choose a Buy Now, Pay Later Loan or a Loan?

On the surface, Buy Now, Pay Later financing looks attractive. However, these companies thrive off manipulating you into overspending. For example, no money, no problem. You can still have the item today. However, is spending money that you don’t have really in your best interest?

In addition, while many Buy Now, Pay Later lenders offer 0% APRs, their terms are unattractive. For example, most BNPL apps require repayment in six weeks, and the short durations can make budgeting extremely difficult. Moreover, if you miss payments, the late fees can pile up. And if this occurs, some borrowers end up taking out payday loans to repay the balance. We’ve seen it happen. It’s regrettable, and it doesn’t end well.

Finally, Buy Now, Pay Later sites only finance the actual purchase. As such, you don’t receive any excess funds to cover other expenditures that you may have. Conversely, personal loans can cover a multitude of expenses, and that’s what makes them more flexible.

The bottom line?

A personal loan is more attractive if you value better terms and want extra cash to cover other expenses. Moreover, even though they’re slightly more expensive — and lower APRs are available if you have good credit — the benefits often outweigh the costs.

Overall, it’s your decision. But be sure to make the comparison between Buy Now, Pay Later loans, and personal loans. In our marketplace, you’ll find all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

Best Buy Now, Pay Later Apps 2022

Offering the ability to stretch your payments out over varying periods, Buy Now, Pay Later apps are an attractive form of short-term financing. For example, instead of missing out on a flash sale at one of your favorite stores, BNPL lenders let you make the purchase right away and repay the balance over varying durations. And since most Buy Now, Pay Later companies don’t charge interest, it’s a win-win-win for you, the lender, and the retailer.

Institution: Loan Amount: APR: Terms: Min. Credit Score: Instant Approval: Money Down: Fees: Best For:
Affirm Up to $17,500 0% – 30% 1 – 48 months 0 No No No Clothing, Electronics, Furniture
Klarna Varies 0% – 24.99% 1 – 36 months 0 No No No Clothing, Makeup, Home Décor
Splitit Varies 0% 3 – 24 months 0 No No No Fashion, Furniture, Sports
Perpay Varies 0% 1 – 4 months 0 No No No Clothing, Electronics, Kitchen
Sezzle Varies 0% 1.5 months 0 No 25% Delayed payment fee of up to $5.00. Account reactivation fee of up to $10 Clothing, Makeup, Home Décor
Zip Varies 0% 1.5 months 0 No No Transaction fee of $1 – $4 per purchase. Late payment fee of $7 Electronics, Clothing, Toys
Afterpay Varies 0% 1.5 months 0 No Up to 25% Late payment fee of up to $8 or 25% of purchase Clothing, Cosmetics, Baby
PayPal  $30 – $1,500 0% 1.5 months 0 No No No Clothing, Electronics, Sports
American Express $100+ 0% 3 – 24 months 700 Yes No Up to 1.33% of the purchase All Items
Amazon $50+ 0% 4 – 24 months 0 Yes 4% – 25% No Qualifying Items
Microsoft $1,700 – $6,700 0% 12 – 18 months 0 No No Late payment fee of up to $38 Electronics
Uplift $100 – $25,000 0% – 36% 3 – 24 months 0 No No 2% loan origination fee Travel

How to Separate the Good From the Bad

Some products fall flat, whether it’s Buy Now, Pay Later loans, or personal loans. And the fine print can include hidden terms that make the financing much less appealing than it seems on the surface. As a result, it requires a careful inspection to ensure that financial products are all they claim to be.

And that’s where we come in. At ElitePersonalFinance, we’ve analyzed our fair share of personal, payday, credit card, auto, and Buy Now, Pay Later loans. Moreover, we found that personal loans are the best option for most borrowers. For context, loans are not one size fits all. You’re unique, and your financing should be too. However, due to their low APRs and flexible terms, personal loans can help you overcome financial challenges without costing you an arm and a leg. Moreover, applying doesn’t require a commitment, and inquiring won’t impact your credit score. If you want to learn more, our marketplace has several options to fit your needs.

Conversely, if you prefer Buy Now, Pay Later financing, plenty of reputable providers are listed below. However, if you’re unsure which option is right for you, please get in touch with us, and we’ll help you find the loan that’s right for your unique situation.

Affirm

Loan Amount: Up to $17,500
APR: 0% – 30%
Terms: 1 – 48 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: No
Best For: Clothing, Electronics, Furniture
Learn More

Affirm offers loans up to $17,500, and APRs range from 0% to 30%. But most purchases will incur APRs of 10% to 30%, depending on your creditworthiness. Also, you have the option of pre-qualifying for a loan. Here, you set up your account with Affirm and answer a few questions, and the company will provide an estimate of your spending limit. Moreover, you don’t have to use the available funds; it’s your choice.

In addition, Affirm doesn’t charge any fees, so you don’t have to worry about annual fees or expenses to open and close your account. Likewise, Affirm waives prepayment fees and won’t charge for late payments. On top of that, there are no deposit requirements or stipulations to put money down.

When you purchase an item, you can choose between two repayment options:

  1. With Affirm Pay in 4, you make four interest-free payments bi-weekly. You don’t incur interest or fees, and you can Buy Now, Pay Later with no credit check. As a result, don’t worry about hurting your credit score.
  2. With Affirm’s monthly installment loans, your APR will range from 0% to 30%, and most borrowers repay their loans over three, six, or 12 months.

On top of that, if you’re about to make a purchase and realize that the merchant doesn’t list Affirm as a payment option, you can apply for a one-time-use virtual card that allows you to buy the item and repay Affirm over time. Furthermore, Affirm partners with some of the most popular retailers. For example, you can Buy Now, Pay Later at apparel companies like Adidas and Neiman Marcus. And for BNPL electronics, Target, Walmart, and Samsung partner with Affirm. Moreover, Lowe’s is also on the list if you’re about to start your next home improvement project. As a result, when it comes to Buy Now, Pay Later, Affirm is one of the best.

However, it may impact your credit score when you opt for monthly installments. For example, your payment history and debt balance may affect your credit profile. As a result, you should consider this before making a purchase.

Pros:

  • With Affirm Pay in 4, there are no fees or interest, and the afterpay service won’t hurt your credit score.

Cons:

  • Affirm’s monthly installment method may impact your credit score.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • With more than one repayment option, Affirm is great if you want a BNPL service that has flexible terms.

The impact of COVID-19:

Affirm’s hardship program enabled users to stop purchases and defer payments. To learn more about the options available, you can call Affirm at 1-855-423-3729 or fill out the contact form through Affirm’s help center.

Klarna

Loan Amount: Varies
APR: 0% – 24.99%
Terms: 1 – 36 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: No
Best For: Clothing, Makeup, Home Decor
Learn More

As another best-in-class Buy Now, Pay Later site with no credit check, Klarna Pay in 4 lets you make four interest-free payments without incurring any fees. In addition, you don’t have to make any down payments or deposits. Moreover, the BNPL site offers a $5 reward when you make your first Buy Now, Pay Later purchase. In addition, you can also opt for monthly installment payments, where your APR ranges from 0% to 24.99%, and come with terms up to 36 months.

However, like Affirm, Klarna notes that the monthly installment method may require a hard credit check. As a result, opting for long-term financing may impact your credit score. But, as mentioned, you don’t have to worry about that if you choose Pay in 4.

Unlike Affirm, Klarna doesn’t list a spending limit. For context, the minimum purchase is $10. However, your limit will depend on your history with Klarna and your current debt outstanding. For example, Klarna notes that new users will incur tighter restrictions and may not approve all of their Buy Now, Pay Later transactions. However, this is common with most lenders, as they want to know you before underwriting all of your BNPL purchases. In contrast, once you develop a reliable history with Klarna, the BNPL site will estimate your purchasing power, and the amount will be displayed when you log into your account.

Furthermore, Klarna partners with brands like Nike, Sephora, Wayfair, and Harley-Davidson. Thus, the Buy Now, Pay Later company has something for everyone. In addition, if you’re an avid sports fan, Klarna is accepted at MLBShop.com and NHLShop.com. As a result, Klarna’s BNPL app makes it easy to support your favorite team.

Pros:

  • Klarna Pay in 4 has no fees or interest, and doesn’t impact your credit score.

Cons:

  • Klarna’s monthly installment method may impact your credit score.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • Like Affirm, Klarna is attractive if you value the ability to choose different repayment terms.

The impact of COVID-19:

For members whose jobs were lost or suffered financial hardship during the outbreak, Klarna offered payment holidays. Moreover, while the Shop Now, Pay Later app’s ‘snooze’ feature offers no-fee and no-interest 10-day payment delays, pandemic-specific options were also available. To learn more, you can call Klarna at 1-844-552-7621, or use the app/website’s chat function.

Splitit

Loan Amount: Varies
APR: 0%
Terms: 3 – 24 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: No
Best For: Fashion, Furniture, Sports
Learn More

While slightly different than Affirm and Klarna, Splitit should be on your radar. For example, the Buy Now, Pay Later site has no credit check, you don’t need to make any deposits, and you don’t have to worry about putting money down. However, the BNPL service merges with your credit card instead of offering a loan. It works like this: Splitit will place a hold on your credit card for the outstanding amount when you purchase an item. Then, as you make your payments, Splitit will reduce the hold on your credit card each month until you repay the entire balance. Also, there are no fees, and using the service won’t impact your credit score.

In addition, Splitit combines Buy Now, Pay Later peace of mind with the rewards you already earn with your credit card. For example, other BNPL companies process the transactions themselves. As a result, your payments only flow to them. Conversely, since Splitit transactions go through your credit card, you can use the afterpay service and still earn your cash-back, hotel, and airline rewards. However, Splitit partners with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and UnionPay. As a result, American Express and Capital One credit cards may not be functional. In addition, Splitit doesn’t accept debit cards.

Also, Splitit is home to lesser-known brands than Affirm or Klarna. However, if you’re particular about where you shop, Buy Now, Pay Later company partners with James Allen, GlassesUSA, Echelon Fitness, and REST to name a few. As a result, all of your fashion, jewelry, sports, and home decor needs are in one place. And if unique brands are what you’re after, Splitit is an excellent choice.

Pros:

  • Splitit BNPL has no fees or interest, and won’t impact your credit score.

Cons:

  • You need a credit card to use Splitit’s Shop Now, Pay Later app.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • If you value the familiarity of shopping with your credit card, Splitit may be right for you.

The impact of COVID-19:

While Splitit doesn’t list any COVID-19 policies, you can inquire about its hardship policies. For example, you can call the company at 1-844-775-4848 or email support@splitit.com.

Perpay

Loan Amount: Varies
APR: 0%
Terms: 1 – 4 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: No
Best For: Clothing, Electronics, Kitchen
Learn More

Perpay is a BNPL app with access to more than 1,000 brands and many attractive stores, and Perpay partners with some of the best shopping destinations. For example, if BNPL and electronics sound great to you, Apple, Samsung, Beats by Dre, and Nintendo accept Perpay. Moreover, fashion partners like Michael Kors can keep you looking dapper, while KitchenAid’s collection ensures cooking and baking are a breeze.

In addition, as a reputable BNPL provider, Perpay doesn’t report your payment history to credit bureaus, and the Buy Now, Pay Later company doesn’t require a credit check. However, if you enroll in Perpay’s credit building program, the firm will report your repayment history to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Moreover, when analyzing more than 5,000 members, Perpay found that participants saw their credit scores increase by an average of 39 points. As a result, Perpay is one of the best Buy Now, Pay Later apps if you have bad credit or want to improve your credit.

However, there are no pre-defined spending limits. Instead, Perpay assesses your potential credit risk and provides you with a spending assessment. Then, you can make qualifying purchases. Also, you don’t need to make any deposits.

And Perpay deducts your payments from your paycheck. Thus, you have to provide your direct deposit information to activate your account. In addition, your product doesn’t ship until Perpay receives its first payment. So, if your payday is five days away, you have to wait until the direct deposit clears before your item begins its journey. Also, when you build a reliable history with Perpay, the Buy Now, Pay Later company may increase your spending limit and lower your minimum payment on future orders. And of course, interest will still be free of charge.

Pros:

  • Perpay doesn’t charge any interest or fees, and using the app won’t impact your credit score.
  • Enrolling in Perpay’s credit building program can increase your credit score by an average of 39 points.

Cons:

  • Your product doesn’t ship until Perpay receives its first payment.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • If you have bad credit or no credit, making on-time payments to Perpay can move the needle in a positive direction.

The impact of COVID-19:

To help win new clients during the pandemic, Perpay unveiled a new referral bonus that pays you and the recipient $100 when the new member makes their first payment. For context, the recipient receives the $100 upfront, and you cash in once a purchase is in order. However, it’s a solid bonus offer if you’re already a proud member of the Buy Now, Pay Later firm. To inquire about forbearance policies, you can call Perpay at 1-215-834-4200, email hello@perpay.com, or use the app/website’s chat function.

Sezzle

Loan Amount: Varies
APR: 0%
Terms: 1.5 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: 25%
Fees: Delayed payment fee of up to $5.00

Account reactivation fee of up to $10

Best For: Clothing, Makeup, Home Decor
Learn More

At Sezzle, you can Buy Now, Pay Later with no hard credit check, and there are no hidden fees or interest charges. However, unlike some other BNPL companies on our list, you need to make a 25% down payment. After that, you repay the remaining balance by making three installment payments over the next six weeks. Moreover, the afterpay company doesn’t have a maximum spending limit. Instead, Sezzle’s algorithm determines your allowable balance by considering your application disclosures or credit history. In addition, the longer you’ve been with Sezzle and the more reliable your payment history, the more your spending limit will grow over time.

Also different, the Buy Now, Pay Later firm charges late and failed payment fees. However, the company is forthright with its disclosures, and the transparency is commendable. For example, Sezzle allows most shoppers to reschedule their payment once per order. For context, it’s not available on all orders. But if the transaction allows it, an icon will appear on your dashboard. However, if you exceed your reschedule limit, you can incur a fee of up to $5.00 for each delayed payment. Moreover, an account reactivation fee of up to $10 can also apply.

On top of that, if your payment fails, more charges can apply. However, the grace period ranges from 48 hours to 15 days, depending on your state of residence. As a result, you can rectify the issue before Sezzle finalizes the charge.

Finally, Sezzle is home to exciting brands that may pique your interest. For example, if you’re passionate about hunting and fishing, Bass Pro Shops is on Sezzle’s partner list. Likewise, if you’re a gentleman looking for a tailored fit, UNTUCKit is also on the list. Moreover, if you want to put your best face forward, Dominique Cosmetics has you covered.

Pros:

  • Sezzle doesn’t charge interest or hidden fees and doesn’t perform a hard credit check.

Cons:

  • You need to make a 25% down payment.
  • Sezzle charges late and failed payment fees under certain circumstances.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • Sezzle is a great option if you’re comfortable with down payments and can repay your balance on time.

The impact of COVID-19:

To help struggling Americans remain current with their purchases, Sezzle allowed users to reschedule their payments twice, without charge, for an additional four weeks of interest-free borrowing. Moreover, the firm partnered with the Ministry of Supply to provide $250,000 worth of masks and clothing to Americans affected by the outbreak. To learn more, you can call Sezzle at 1-888-540-1867, email support@sezzle.com, or use the contact form through Sezzle’s website/app.

Zip

Loan Amount: Varies
APR: 0%
Terms: 1.5 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: Transaction fee of $1 – $4 per purchase

Late payment fee of $7

Best For: Electronics, Clothing, Toys
Learn More

With no interest and repayment terms of up to six weeks, Zip is a Buy Now, Pay Later app that allows you to shop for items in-store and online. Moreover, Zip is well connected and has more than 51,000 partner merchants worldwide, including Best Buy, Amazon, Zara, and Airbnb. Furthermore, sports fans can also find all the latest gear at Fanatics and Lids. In addition, in-store shopping with Zip is super easy. For example, you select Zip’s Buy Now, Pay Later in-store tab and enter the amount you want to spend. Then, you confirm your payment terms, and the app will generate a virtual card. After that, you connect the virtual card to your digital wallet — like Apple Pay or Google Pay — and place your phone where the retailer directs you. As a result, shopping at your favorite stores is effortless.

However, unlike the other BNPL services on our list, Zip charges a $1 fee per installment payment, which works out to $4 per purchase if you repay that balance over six weeks. Likewise, the firm levies a $7 late payment fee. Also, Zip may run a credit check before approving your account. For context, the Buy Now, Pay Later company does so to confirm your identity and ensure your creditworthiness. Moreover, either Experian or illion does the check.

Overall, there is a lot to like about Zip’s BNPL platform. However, the $1 to $4 fee per purchase is higher than comparable offers in the marketplace. Thus, while Zip has a solid product, it’s not at the top of our list.

Pros:

  • Zip doesn’t charge interest, and its BNPL app works at 51,000 partner merchants worldwide.

Cons:

  • Zip charges a transaction fee of $1 to $4 per purchase.
  • Zip charges a $7 late payment fee.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • If your favorite store only offers Buy Now, Pay Later services on Zip, it may be worth incurring the fees.

The impact of COVID-19:

To help ease borrowers’ financial burden, Zip offered relief programs to those most affected by the pandemic. Moreover, the Buy Now, Pay Later firm’s hardship team helped create repayment programs for users depending on their circumstances. To learn more, you can call Zip at 1-888-274-3159, email us-support@care.zip.co, or use the contact form and chat functions through Zip’s website/app.

Afterpay

Loan Amount: Varies
APR: 0%
Terms: 1.5 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: Up to 25%
Fees: Late payment fee of up to $8 or 25% of purchase
Best For: Clothing, Cosmetics, Baby
Learn More

With no interest and six weeks to pay off your balance, Afterpay is another great Buy Now, Pay Later app with no credit check. For context, the firm doesn’t specify its spending limit. And like other BNPL companies on our list, your maximum depends on Afterpay’s algorithm. The critical metrics can include your repayment history and how long you’ve been using Afterpay. However, the firm won’t send your payment history to credit bureaus, so using the app won’t impact your credit score.

In addition, Afterpay’s selection of merchants is quite noteworthy. For example, you can shop for the latest shoes at Aldo, the trendiest sunglasses at Ray-Ban, and the newest makeup and skincare at Shiseido. What’s more, Afterpay has a wide selection of baby products and children’s wear. As a result, if you’re a new mom or want to upgrade your child’s wardrobe, Afterpay is a great place to start. Moreover, if you’re shopping in-store, you can link your Afterpay virtual card to your digital wallet — like Apple Pay or Google Pay — and facilitate the transaction.

On the flip side, Afterpay mirrors Sezzle by requiring a 25% down payment (or up to) on all orders. After that, you repay the remainder of your Buy Now, Pay Later balance in equal interest-free installments over six weeks. Also, Afterpay charges a late payment fee that ranges from up to $8 to 25% of the transaction. However, the exact amount varies depending on the laws in your state.

Pros:

  • Afterpay’s Buy Now, Pay Later service charges no interest and has no credit check.

Cons:

  • You need to make a down payment of up to 25%.
  • Afterpay charges late payment fees.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • If you can afford the 25% down payment and will repay your balance on time, Afterpay may be right for you.

The impact of COVID-19:

Aiming to help customers maintain their financial well-being throughout COVID-19, Afterpay’s hardship program offered loan solutions to qualifying users. Moreover, the Buy Now, Pay Later firm partnered with A Common Thread and Baby2Baby to support fashion businesses and children affected by the pandemic. In addition, Afterpay created a top-up program, which enabled users to donate $1 to the charitable organizations. Moreover, the firm also donated more than $200,000 to support COVID-19 relief. For additional assistance, Afterpay recommends that you submit a request through its help center.

PayPal

Loan Amount: $30 – $1,500
APR: 0% – 30%
Terms: 1.5 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: No
Best For: Clothing, Electronics, Sports
Learn More

Buy Now, Pay Later terms are short and sweet at PayPal. For example, you repay your balance over six weeks through three interest-free installments. For context, you make your first payment when you purchase the item. Then, you make one payment every two weeks until the balance is gone. Moreover, there are no late fees, and while the BNPL firm may perform a soft credit check, it won’t impact your credit score.

However, unlike other Buy Now, Pay Later companies on our list, PayPal has transaction limits that range from a $30 minimum to a $1,500 maximum. As a result, if you’re in the market for big-ticket items and long-term financing, the monthly installment methods offered by Affirm and Klarna may be more suitable.

In contrast, there is a lot to like about PayPal. For one, the company is more than just a Buy Now, Pay Later lender, and PayPal’s best-in-class security protects customers. Second, the firm partners with some fantastic brands. So, for example, if you’re all about BNPL electronics, you can Pay in 4 at Best Buy, Bose, Sonos, and Target. Likewise, if you plan to explore the great outdoors this summer, you can Buy Now, Pay Later at Camping World — where you can purchase RVs for less than $5 per day. However, PayPal Pay in 4 is unavailable in Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Wisconsin, or any U.S. Territories.

Pros:

  • PayPal Pay in 4 has no fees or interest.

Cons:

  • Some states don’t qualify.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later app best suited for?

  • If you value the security and reliability of a large BNPL firm, PayPal may fit your needs.

The impact of COVID-19:

To help ease the pandemic’s financial burden, PayPal offered small businesses loan deferrals, waived their transfer fees, and allowed them to earn double the cash-back rewards on their PayPal Business Debit Mastercards. Likewise, PayPal also distributed $2 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which impacted more than 300,000 jobs. To inquire about current policies, you can call PayPal at 1-888-221-1161 or submit a request through the company’s help center.

American Express

Loan Amount: $100+
APR: 0%
Terms: 3 – 24 months
Min. Credit Score: 700
Instant Approval: Yes
Money Down: No
Fees: Up to 1.33% of the purchase
Best For: All Items
Learn More

Plan It is a hybrid between a traditional credit card and a Buy Now, Pay Later service if you’re an American Express cardholder. For example, Plan It allows you to finance purchases of $100 or more, with terms that range from three to 24 months. Moreover, you can have up to 10 plans at once, and your monthly installment payments don’t incur interest.

However, you need an American Express credit card to participate. And since the company usually requires a credit score of 700 or more for card applications, the offer may not be attainable if you have bad credit. In addition, Americans Express charges a fixed monthly fee to facilitate the Buy Now, Pay Later transaction. Also, the company notes that the user-specific charge depends on factors like your credit card’s APR and the terms selected. However, the fee is disclosed and can reach 1.33% of the total purchase.

Conversely, the BNPL service is much cheaper than carrying a credit card balance from month to month. Moreover, Plan It applies anywhere American Express credit cards are accepted. However, purchases that incur foreign transaction fees are not applicable.

Overall, Plan It is a solid Buy Now, Pay Later option if you already bank with American Express. And if you’re already a member, you don’t have to open any new accounts or endure a credit check.

Pros:

  • American Express’ Plan It incurs no interest, and BNPL terms range from three to 24 months.

Cons:

  • American Express charges a fixed monthly fee to facilitate Buy Now, Pay Later transactions.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later site best suited for?

  • If you have an existing relationship with American Express, Plan It is an easy way to access BNPL capabilities.

The impact of COVID-19:

American Express helped struggling Americans by offering forbearance plans to those most affected by COVID-19. Moreover, with help from Deliveroo, the two companies joined forces to provide more than 500,000 free meals to healthcare workers. In addition, American Express also donated more than $6 million to help health organizations combat COVID-19. To learn more about American Express’ hardship programs, you can call the company at 1-800-528-4800 or use the app/website’s chat function.

Amazon

Loan Amount: $50+
APR: 0%
Terms: 4 – 24 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: Yes
Money Down: 4% – 25%
Fees: No
Best For: Qualifying Items
Learn More

If you already shop on Amazon, your existing credit card allows you to Buy Now, Pay Later using the retailer’s monthly installment method. It works like this: certain products on Amazon qualify for monthly financing. And if the option is present on the product page or during the checkout process, you can take advantage of the offer. Moreover, Amazon BNPL doesn’t incur any interest or fees.

Also, you don’t need a minimum credit score to participate. However, since you need a credit card to participate, you must meet the issuer’s credit score requirement. Likewise, you have to make a down payment when you purchase the item. However, the amount varies depending on your selected terms. For example, if you pay off the purchase over four months, your down payment is 25% of the purchase. However, if you select a 24-month term, your down payment is roughly 4% of the purchase. Furthermore, you can pay off the entire balance without incurring any prepayment fees.

However, you need to make a minimum purchase of $50, and not all products are available for monthly financing. But Amazon may provide more Buy Now, Pay Later eligible items as you build a reliable payment history. Moreover, the firm doesn’t conduct a credit check, so you don’t have to worry about its BNPL service impacting your credit score. However, Amazon does stipulate that Buy Now, Pay Later transactions must be for personal use and not business purposes.

Pros:

  • Amazon BNPL is interest-free and doesn’t incur any fees.

Cons:

  • Not all products are available for monthly financing.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later site best suited for?

  • If you’re an active Amazon shopper and already have a credit card, the BNPL service may be right for you.

The impact of COVID-19:

While Amazon doesn’t list any COVID-19 policies, you can inquire about loan deferrals by calling 1-888-280-4331 or using the app/website’s chat function.

Microsoft

Loan Amount: $1,700 – $6,700
APR: 0%
Terms: 12 – 18 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: Late payment fee of up to $38
Best For: Electronics
Learn More

Microsoft has an excellent offer if BNPL and electronics are on your radar. Partnering with Citizens Financial Group, Microsoft offers Buy Now, Pay Later financing on $900 or more purchases. Also, most loans range from $1,700 to $6,700 with 12 to 18-month terms. Moreover, the loans are interest-free, and checking your eligibility won’t impact your credit score. As a result, Microsoft is one of the best Buy Now, Pay Later sites for electronics.

However, Citizens Financial Group will conduct a credit check that could impact your credit score if you are approved. In addition, it costs up to $38 for late payment fees, and requesting paper statements may incur an undisclosed fee. Moreover, if your account is subject to unauthorized activity or fraud, your maximum liability is $50. However, if you contest a perceived error on your statement and it turns out that you made a mistake, you may incur a $50 fee.

Also, Microsoft and Citizens Financial Group don’t specify their minimum credit score requirement. However, with their Buy Now, Pay Later loans starting at $900 and reaching thousands, the product is likely only available to those with good or excellent credit.

Overall, Microsoft’s store provides access to desktops, laptops, tablets, video game consoles, Office products, and smartphones. As a result, if you want access to one of the best BNPL electronics providers, few do it better than Microsoft.

Pros:

  • Microsoft BNPL allows you to finance best-in-class electronics at zero interest.

Cons:

  • Microsoft charges late payment and other potential administrative fees.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later site best suited for?

  • If you’re a college student or a professional working from home, Microsoft has everything you need.

The impact of COVID-19:

Doing its part during the pandemic, more than 1,300 Microsoft employees helped run a mass-vaccination site in Seattle, Washington. Moreover, the firm committed more than $110 million to support workers, schools, and nonprofits in the state while awarding more than 150 grants to global projects fighting COVID-19. To learn more about how Microsoft can help, you can call the company at 1-800-642 7676 or submit a request through its help center.

Uplift

Loan Amount: $100 – $25,000
APR: 0% – 36%
Terms: 3 – 24 months
Min. Credit Score: 0
Instant Approval: No
Money Down: No
Fees: 2% loan origination fee
Best For: Travel
Learn More

If you want to Buy Now, Pay Later on your next vacation, Uplift can make the dream a reality. For example, the BNPL site offers loans that range from $100 to $25,000 and terms that range from three to 24 months. However, interest charges often apply, and APRs range from 0% to 36%, depending on your creditworthiness. Also, Uplift is your go-to shop for airfare, cruises, and vacation packages. And some companies offer promotions that allow you to finance your trip interest-free. Likewise, Uplift’s partner list includes Allegiant, Carnival, Expedia, Kayak, SeaWorld, and Royal Caribbean. As a result, there is something for everyone.

Moreover, Uplift conducts a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit score. Furthermore, the Buy Now, Pay Later sites’ FAQ section states that “Uplift does not perform a hard credit inquiry” for U.S. users. However, a hard credit inquiry occurs for Canadian users if you accept an offer.

Furthermore, Uplift doesn’t charge any late payment fees. However, a 2% loan origination fee increases the loan balance. Likewise, approved applications occur on a case-by-case basis, and its algorithm determines the final amount you’ll obtain.

Overall, Uplift partners with many respectable companies and offers a great way to finance your next trip. However, while the Buy Now, Pay Later site doesn’t specify a minimum credit score, travel, cruise, and vacation packages usually require large loans. As a result, it may require a good to excellent credit score to qualify.

Pros:

  • Uplift has flexible terms, and some Buy Now, Pay Later purchases are interest-free.

Cons:

  • Uplift charges a 2% loan origination fee.

Who is the Buy Now, Pay Later site best suited for?

  • If you travel a lot or spend different seasons in different regions, Uplift’s BNPL service can make financing the trips a little easier.

The impact of COVID-19:

While COVID-19 didn’t change Uplift’s policies, you can still inquire about pandemic-related assistance. To do so, you can call Uplift at 1-844-257-5400, email support@uplift.com, or use the app/website’s chat function.

What is Buy Now, Pay Later?

Buy Now, Pay Later apps have exploded on the scene. We’re sure that you’ve heard of them. And whether it’s terms like BNPL, Shop Now, Pay Later, Get Now, Pay Later, or POS Financing — they all reference the same thing: you purchase goods and services immediately and pay for them later. Moreover, due to their immense popularity, we created this comprehensive guide to help you better understand how the process works.

For example, most Buy Now, Pay Later apps let you purchase items immediately and repay the funds over six weeks. Under most circumstances, you pay a portion of the balance up front and repay the remainder across three equal installments, with one payment made every two weeks. In addition, there are no interest charges, some BNPL companies don’t charge any late payment fees, and applying won’t hurt your credit score.

What’s more, Buy Now, Pay Later companies like Affirm and Klarna also offer long-term financing options. For example, paying off the balance in six weeks may prove difficult if you buy a mattress or a washing machine. However, their monthly financing options allow you to receive the item immediately and repay the balance over periods that range from three to 26 months. However, monthly financing incurs interest, and the lender may conduct a hard credit check. As a result, this option can impact your credit score.

However, if you stick with a six-week repayment option, it won’t impact your credit score. Likewise, the method is more attractive than swiping your credit card. Thus, when used responsibly, Buy Now, Pay Later apps are a great way to shop for your favorite items.

Do Buy Now, Pay Later Apps Guarantee Approval?

Unfortunately, Buy Now, Pay Later companies don’t guarantee approval. For context, most BNPL sites use algorithms to conduct risk assessments. As a result, it’s an automated decision whether to approve or deny a purchase, and customer service representatives may not have the ability to override the decision.

Also, many lenders use automated risk models to conduct quick credit assessments. These models weigh the probability of default by assessing the information you provide or quickly scanning your credit profile. Moreover, these models are adept at spotting red flags, and these technicalities usually make the difference between an approved purchase and a denial.

However, algorithmic models take a one-size-fits-all approach to credit risk management. Thus, if you’re denied a BNPL purchase or a loan from a different vendor, it’s not always your fault. As mentioned, these firms use automated models to increase efficiency and allow for on-the-spot decision-making. However, they can miss unique characteristics that make you more creditworthy than you seem on paper. Therefore, whether it’s a Buy Now, Pay Later site or applying for a personal loan, establishing long-term relationships can go a long way in increasing your chances of approval.

Do I Need A High Credit Score to Use Buy Now, Pay Later Apps?

No. It separates Buy Now, Pay Later apps from credit cards. For context, BNPL companies don’t approve every purchase. And you need to build a relationship to access more significant spending limits. However, most BNPL sites will start you off with a small balance and let you get your feet wet. Then, as you repay your balances and establish a reliable track record of creditworthiness, the platforms often increase your credit limit and green-light more significant transactions.

As a result, Buy Now, Pay Later apps are a great option if you have a lower credit score and can’t obtain a credit card. Moreover, through Perpay’s credit building program, you can permit the firm to report your repayment history to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And how is this helpful? The Buy Now, Pay Later company found that participants saw their credit score increase by an average of 39 points. Thus, if you’ve made some financial mistakes and struggle to obtain credit, you shouldn’t have to suffer forever. And if you want to turn a negative into a positive but don’t have the opportunity, Perpay can help rebuild your reputation in the eyes of lenders. As such, Buy Now, Pay Later apps are valuable tools when used responsibly.

Pros and Cons of Buy Now, Pay Later Apps

For a quick rundown of the pros and cons of Buy Now, Pay Later apps, please consult our list below.

Pros:

  • BNPL approval is often fast and easy.
  • Most Buy Now, Pay Later loans are interest-free.
  • Some BNPL sites don’t do a credit check.
  • Applying for a loan usually won’t impact your credit score.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later companies are an option if you have bad credit.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later sites partner with the most popular stores.

Cons:

  • Using Buy Now, Pay Later sites can lead to overspending.
  • Some BNPL companies charge late payment fees and transaction fees.
  • BNPL sites can make it challenging to return items.
  • BNPL loans don’t offer the same fraud protection as credit cards.
  • If your defaulted BNPL loan transfers to a debt collector, it can hurt your credit score.

How Do Buy Now, Pay Later Lenders Make Money?

So you’re about to make a purchase. There are no interest charges, no fees, and the Buy Now, Pay Later lender is preparing your shipping notification. Then you think: what’s in it for them?

Before you assume that Buy Now, Pay Later sites are altruistic creditors, remember that these companies receive a portion of your purchase. Like credit card companies, Buy Now, Pay Later firms charge retailers 3% to 6% of the transaction. As a result, BNPL sites offer you free services and attempt to cash in from the merchants. Moreover, the more you shop, the more the Buy Now, Pay Later firm earns from the retailer. Likewise, the more popular the app, the higher the ticket fees. For example, while several Buy Now, Pay Later apps compete for supremacy, the one with the most users usually commands the highest fees. Thus, BNPL sites’ consumer services are often free, and their business services are where they generate their revenues.

How Can ElitePersonalFinance Help Me?

With so many lenders competing for your businesses, it’s difficult to determine a good product from a bad one. And with payday lenders hoping that you won’t notice the pitfalls of their products, bad actors often prey on borrowers’ nativity.

In contrast, our goal is to provide you with the best information to make the most informed choices. Yes, if you choose to obtain a loan through our marketplace, we may receive a referral fee. However, we choose our partners wisely and only work with honest and transparent lenders about their costs. Moreover, the products in our marketplace often have the lowest fees and terms that are suitable for most borrowers. In addition, there are solutions for borrowers with bad credit, and an inquiry doesn’t require a commitment. As a result, you check if you qualify, read over the terms and conditions, and decide if the loan is suitable.

Furthermore, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us, and we will walk you through the process.

Conclusion

While plenty of loan products are available in the marketplace, Buy Now, Pay Later is the latest to go mainstream. And while it’s merely a reinvention of old-school layaway plans, it’s useful under the right circumstances. Also, Buy Now, Pay Later financing is best for small or short-term purchases. Conversely, personal loans are better for big-ticket items and long-term funding.

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