‘Buy now, pay later’ becoming popular shopping option

Published: December 9, 2021 7:46 AM EST
Updated: December 9, 2021 10:04 AM EST

For many of you, money is spread thin during the holidays, but you still want to get that perfect gift. Now, many stores give you the chance to make that happen despite a high price using a “buy now, pay later” option.

Basically, you are allowed to space out your payments rather than paying the entire price upfront after a purchase. Many big businesses offer this option now, like Best Buy, Target, Old Navy, Walmart and Amazon.

The loan is through third-party companies. Some companies claim it’s interest-free while others, like Affirm, have interest ranging from 10% to 30% depending on the retailer. As for your credit score, some companies will notify the three major credit bureaus if you pay late, and you could see your score dip.

One shopper from Fort Myers says he sees the pros and cons that come with this option.

“I definitely think that it is a useful tool for some… however, it just all depends on the interest rates, really, because I know that a lot of people are ending up getting caught in those sorts of deals,” said Stevie Smith. “If there was no interest rate, I would say it would definitely increase accessibility to a lot of different things that people need.”

Other shoppers WINK News spoke to said it would make their finances too complicated.

“If I have something else, like another account that I have to remember to pay, even if it’s small increments, I think it’s just… it makes it a lot more complicated,” said Elianne Taray, from Fort Myers. “Whereas with a credit card, you have everything there and everything is in one place, regardless of the store and whatnot.”

Before you decide to buy now, pay later, ask yourself two questions: Can you make the repayments? And can you afford the purchase without the buy now, pay later plan? Equifax found two in five users missed at least one payment. As a result, people are getting hit with extra fees.

Have you or your kids used this buy now, pay later option? If so, email [email protected] or [email protected]