Companies That Offer Buy Now Pay Later

💸BNPL for bills
July 13, 2022
Cover for Companies That Offer Buy Now Pay Later

In recent years, Buy Now Pay Later has risen into the public eye. A service that lets consumers pay for their purchases in installments, rather than up-front, it became especially sought-after during the pandemic, when online shopping was the norm. And supply has increased to meet demand— there are now multiple BNPL apps, each with its own uses, pros, and cons. While having options is great, it can become overwhelming to sift through all of them on your own, so we’ve compiled a list of 8 popular apps for payment in installments here.

  1. Afterpay

Useful for: Large purchases online and in-store (with most major retailers)

Payment Plan: - Pay in 4: Pay in four installments, one at checkout and the last three every two weeks

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for online and in-store products

  • No interest

  • No minimum credit score

  • Late fees up to $8

  • Autopay

  • Spending limits depend on your history with Afterpay

Afterpay is a great choice for its simplicity. Its repayment plan is Pay in 4-- one installment due at checkout, and the last three due every two weeks. It does not require any credit score, as your spending limit is determined by your history with Afterpay. If you pay each installment on time, it’ll likely increase. You can also place a cap on it yourself if you’d like. Afterpay does not charge any interest.

There is a late fee, though, which can be up to $8. Afterpay will only charge you one late fee per purchase, but they will add up, so be careful. Afterpay also will not send your on-time payment information to credit bureaus, so it won’t help improve your credit score.

Consumer Reviews:

  • “Afterpay is an awesome platform designed to help you purchase items by dividing your purchase to (4) equal payments. They have multiple stores they are partnered with to be able to offer you the payment options and gather more every day. They still in the US not have come as far as the Australia Afterpay platform allowing you to make virtual cards, purchase in all stores and other different merchants but it's getting there just takes time but make sure you check them out.” -Sitejabber

  • “I've not had any problems using the service. Infact, I like having it as an option. It has eased many of my previous anxieties surrounding financial stress. Thank you afterpay!” -Trustpilot

  1. PayPal

Useful for: Large online purchases with major retailers

Payment Plan:

  • Pay in 4: Pay in four installments, one at checkout and the last three every two weeks

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for online products between $30 and $1,500 USD

  • No interest

  • No minimum credit score

  • No late fees

  • Autopay

  • Purchase protection: If your purchase isn’t delivered or isn’t what it was advertised to be, you may qualify for reimbursement from PayPal

Because of the name recognition, PayPal is a popular choice. Many consumers also already have a PayPal account, so it’s a good place to start if you’re just beginning to use Buy Now, Pay Later. You’ll need to fill out an application to get approved, but there is no minimum credit score, and PayPal will only issue a soft credit check, meaning that your score won’t be impacted. Once you’re approved, you’ll need to pay Paypal back in four interest-free payments due every two weeks, starting at checkout. A huge plus of Paypal’s Pay is the purchase protection, which no other service in this list offers, which can get you a refund on products that aren’t satisfactory.

Unfortunately, this service can only be used online, not in-store. It’s also unavailable in Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and any U.S. territories. And though it won’t harm your credit score, it also may not improve it either-- it doesn’t send information about on-time payments to any credit bureaus.

Customer Reviews:

  • “Let me start off by saying I love the pay in 4 it's awesome to be able to buy something and spread the cost out. With that being said, I don't like that my card is charged immediately instead of after I've already placed my order with the vendor. Right now I have a payment on hold for over 12 days now because the vendor couldn't complete the order and issued a refund. This happened less then a hour after placing the order. Second I was using pay in 4 for bath & body works went to PayPal was charged the first payment only to get back to the vendor site and my order wasn't able to be processed because the items were "out of stock" so check my cart everything in my cart said it was aygilable so no reason for it to be stopped in the fRa place. So l go to place my order and after already being charged it sent me back to the PayPal site to do it all over again so I would be charged twice! The money should not leave my card until I have completed my order! Now I'm sitting here waiting who knows how long for my money to be put back because I didn't complete the order! And I know it's PayPal taking this long because my card holder does not hold payments it will go back to my card immediately!” --App Store

  1. Klarna

Useful for: Large purchases online and in-store (with most major retailers)

Payment Plans:

  • Pay in 4: Pay in four installments, one at checkout and the last three every two weeks

  • Pay in 30: Pay nothing for 30 days, then pay in full

  • Financing: A more traditional loan. Spread out your purchase over 36 months. (This option does have interest, and a credit check will be performed)

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for online and in-store products

  • Multiple payment plans

  • No interest on Pay in 4 and Pay in 30 plans

  • No hard credit check for Pay in 4 and Pay in 30 plans

  • Late fee up to $7

Klarna is a great option if you want a lot of flexibility. It’s one of two services on this list that offers multiple different plans. Pay in 30 is a great option if you want to try before you buy, whereas Pay in 4 requires you to pay a quarter of the purchase at checkout. But be careful if you want to use the Financing option, because it does require a credit check and has interest that can be up to 19.99%.

Klarna also offers the Klarna Card, its own credit card that allows you to pay in 4 installments even when the retailer you are using doesn’t take Klarna.

Customer Reviews:

  • “Klarna is so easy to use. I love that you are notified as soon as they know that a payment is due and gives you plenty of time for your account to have the funds that will be taken out of your bank account. Customer service is really helpful which is great if you have any questions or concerns about the app. Or any items that you purchased.”-Trustpilot

  1. Zip (formerly QuadPay)

Useful for: Online and in-store purchases, anywhere Visa is accepted

Payment Plan:

  • Pay in 4: Pay in four installments, one at checkout and the last three every two weeks

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for online and in-store products

  • No interest

  • No minimum credit score

  • Late fees $5, $7, or $10 depending on your state

  • Each payment costs $1

Zip is a great option for its availability because it’s available anywhere that Visa is accepted. Like other BNPLs, a credit score isn’t necessary to use Zip. It won’t do a hard credit check, so it won’t affect your score. There also isn’t technically interest. However, Zip does charge a convenience fee of $1 per payment, meaning your purchase will cost $4 more. And be careful of late fees, which can vary from state to state.

Customer Reviews:

  • “Didn’t think it would work but here we are. Thank you Zip for allowing me to purchase these items so easy and split up the payments.”-TrustPilot

  • “Visited a couple websites and it was really easy to use the app and order what I wanted, using Zip to pay. Especially during this holiday season. The app is user friendly and pretty simple. The only downside is you have to make your first payment immediately to order and it’s weekly payments opposed to having an option to pay biweekly or monthly.” --TrustPilot

  1.  Affirm

Useful for: Large purchases online or in-store (available with most major retailers)

Payment Plans:

  • Pay in 4: Pay in four installments, one at checkout and the last three every two weeks

  • Pay over 3 months, once per month (with interest)

  • Pay over 6 months, once per month (with interest)

  • Pay over 12 months, once per month (with interest)

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for online and in-store products

  • Multiple payment plans

  • No interest on Pay in 4 plan

  • Loan terms vary by retailer

  • Interest on monthly plans depends on the retailer

  • No late fees

Like Klarna, Affirm also offers more than one type of payment plan. The standard Pay in 4 plan has no interest, late fees, or convenience fees. However, its other repayment plans can have up to 30% interest, depending on the retailer. Peloton and Adidas, for example, offer 0% interest, so if you’re buying from them or other 0% interest retailers, Affirm may be a great option. Otherwise, you might want to think about using another service. The monthly plans can be used for very large purchases, but for smaller ones try to use Pay in 4. Affirm will not report Pay in 4 payments to credit bureaus, but it may report longer-term loans.

Customer Reviews:

  • “Based on my experience, the process for refunds is a bit frustrating and complicated especially when a vendor gives you the wrong item and doesn't have the same product in stock in store. They should definitely spend some time and focus on making that easier for sure. Also from time to time I have experienced issues with app intermittently. For part of one order, I bought a 6ft lightning to C cable for $20+ and got a 3.3ft C to usb A.. Never was able to resolve the issue. Otherwise they provide a valuable service especially to those on a budget and even credit challenged consumers” -Trustpilot

  1.  Sezzle (note: Zip, formerly Quadpay, bought Sezzle in February 2022. Both companies will operate separately until September 2022, but if you are seeing this article after that date, then know that some terms may have changed)

Useful for: Larger purchases online shopping, and in-store if you have the Sezzle Virtual Card

Payment Plan:

  • Pay in 4: Pay in four installments, one at checkout and the last three every two weeks

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for online and in-store products

  • No interest

  • No minimum credit score

  • No late fees

  • Account deactivated and payments rescheduled if you don’t pay on time

  • Can reschedule one payment per order free of charge

  • If you opt into Sezzle Up, it will send payment history to credit bureaus, which may help build credit

Sezzle is the only option on this list that allows you to build your credit. If you are worried about this negatively impacting your credit though, don’t worry-- Sezzle only does a soft credit check, and you don’t have to opt into Sezzle Up if you don’t want to. Sezzle is also unique in that it allows you to reschedule one of the four payments once per order. However, if you do it more than once per order, it will charge you $5. Sezzle has no late fees, but if you don’t pay on time, your account will be deactivated and you will need to pay a reactivation fee of $10. So, if you have a history of missing payments, Sezzle may not be the best choice for you. But, if you want to support an environmentally and socially conscious company, it’s worth noting that Sezzle is a certified B Corporation, meaning it’s certified to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Customer Reviews

  • “Love how convenient Sezzle is. On top of that their customer service is great! I’m going through hard times and they we’re willing to work with me & communicated with me faster than any other business I’ve dealt with.” -TrustPilot

  • “Previously enjoyed the app till they recently changed the way they do things and not for the better. You used to be able to reschedule payments up to 3 times on an order. And when you did you were able to move future payments for that order so you didn’t have to double up the payment one week. We’ll they took that away and changed it to one reschedule per order. Which would be fine but you no longer have the option to move future payments so you have to double up payments on a week if you reschedule. Kinda defeats the purpose of being able to reschedule.” -TrustPilot

  1. Zebit

Useful for: Large online purchases

Payment Plan:

  • 30% down payment at checkout, then pay the rest back over 6 months at 0% interest

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for online and in-store products

  • No interest

  • No minimum credit score

  • No late fees

  • Buy from Zebit itself

Zebit has a much longer repayment window (6 months) compared to the others on this list, and uniquely the 6-month plan has no interest on it. If you want to make a very large purchase, but want to avoid interest, Zebit is a good choice for you. However, Zebit’s spending limits are lower than companies like Affirm. Initially, the spending limit will only be $750-1,500, though as you use it more and prove your responsibility it may increase to $2,500. Also, unlike other BNPLs, when you use Zebit you’re buying from Zebit itself. Its website carries a diverse selection of items from stores like Sony and Apple, but you can’t use Zebit’s plan with any product you want-- it has to be one that Zebit already has.  

Similarly to other BNPLs, Zebit will not harm nor grow your credit score.

Customer Reviews:

  • “I have been with Zebit since April 2021. Great products. Great repayment plans for those with challenged credit, but all customers are welcomed. Customer service agents are great, the only thing I have a problem with is not being able to speak with a real person, all done via email.” -TrustPilot

  1. Neon

Useful for: Paying utility and other essential bills

Payment Plan:

  • Pay in installments: Pay in 2 equal installments

Features:

  • Buy Now Pay Later for essential bills

  • No interest

  • No minimum credit score

  • Credit line of up to $2000/month

  • Centralizes all of your bills on one platform for convenience

Neon is the only service on this list that allows you to pay bills in installments. It’s also a great option for those with thin-file, no, or bad credit history, because it uses its own credit-decisioning process, using more data than the typical credit score bureaus, to decide whether you qualify for its no-interest credit line. It’s also incredibly convenient, because it pays your bills from one platform, and puts them on autopay, so you have to spend much less of your time paying bills. And being able to pay bills in installments rather than all at once can help make them more manageable for those struggling financially.

Customer Reviews:

  • “I love that Neon is transparent and informative. Unlike my utility service provider websites, that are slow and confusing, Neon's UI is very simple and intuitive. No hassle or hidden terms like other websites.” -Neon

There are many Buy Now, Pay Later services out there, and it’s up to you to choose which one fits your needs the best. Each has its own advantages: PayPal and Afterpay for convenience, Klarna and Affirm for flexibility, Sezzle to build your credit score, Zip for availability, Zebit for its interest rate and time frame, or Neon to pay bills. Depending on your strengths and weaknesses as a consumer, you can use this summary to find the apps that work for you.

Sources

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