If you’ve seen the buy now, pay later (BNPL) prompt at checkout or below the price tag on your online purchase, you might have wondered: is it worth it?
We’re here to bring you much needed clarity on the subject, including:
And, of course: Is Afterpay, Affirm, or Klarna really worth it?
Set your heart (and your wallet) at ease with this blog post, and learn how to use the buy now, pay later option to your advantage.
👀 5min read
Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna can be worth it – only if and when used responsibly. Buy Now, Pay Later companies offer you an option to purchase an item now, and pay in different installments. Like your debit or credit card, they’re a means to an end. But like any loan, it’s better to ease on the side of caution.
The real question is: what do you need it for?
A $100 dress purchased at 4 payments of $25 still adds up to $100 bucks. And if you buy 4 of those? Still a $400 bill. We’re very much into a good ol’ shopping spree, but not when it puts your wallet or financial health at risk.
So, if you know:
…Then, yes: Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna could be an option for you! But not always. Just sometimes. And be always, always VERY clear on how much you’re truly spending.
And if you catch yourself with new unhealthy spending habits with BNPL? Stop, stop, stop!!! Don’t do that to your wallet, girl.
Spend that $10 on a Penny membership instead; and learn how to make your money work for you, so you can live debt-free and guilt-free. Click here to learn more.
We get this question often: Are Afterpay, Klarna and Affirm the same?
Short answer: No.
Different companies; but same concept. Let’s look at some similarities and differences below.
Afterpay only offers 4 installments, and doesn't do a credit check. It’s the most basic of Buy Now Pay Later. Klarna and Afirm offer additional financing options -- you can pay within 30 days or even 6 months, instead of doing 4 installment payments.
For a quick comparison:
Afterpay is the most straightforward BNPL option.
Klarna and Affirm offer additional financing options.
Now that you have a general idea of the difference between Afterpay vs Klarna vs Affirm – it’s time to get into more detail below.
For Afterpay, your 4 installments are always interest-free.
For Affirm and Klarna, you may pay interest depending on the BNPL loan you choose.
It’s important to read the fine print here, so you don’t accidentally end up with more bills than when you started. (yikes!)
Afterpay charges you a late fee. They might also “freeze” your account and block you from buying anything else – until you’ve paid your debt in full.
Klarna and Affirm have similar policies. However, they may also send your information to a debt collector or credit bureau. (Both things you really, really don’t want!)
How to say in the clear? Never miss a payment! – Penny’s money modules can show you how to manage your money like a pro, so you can pay off debt and start building wealth ASAP. Clickety-click to learn more!
Again, it depends.
What is a soft credit check? A way for lenders to pull your credit history without impacting your credit score. (A hard credit check, which is used when you get a mortgage, does impact your credit score).
However - in 2023 - the credit agencies might start to factor in any purchases you made with these buy now pay later companies, regardless of if the companies do a soft or hard credit check. Buyer beware!
Remember, BNPL companies are money lenders at heart. When you first open an account, they may need to ensure they can “trust” you to pay up. And if you miss a payment or have multiple late charges with BNPL? Yes, it might impact your credit score negatively.
With all that said, the question may remain: is Afterpay, Affirm, or Klarna worth it?
From Penny’s POV, Afterpay is neither good nor bad: it depends on how you use it.
Like other financial products, BNPL is one of many options available at your disposal when you want to make a purchase.
But if you get too cozy with it, it may skew the way you view money and become a gateway for overspending. Both things we don’t want for you, or your wallet.
Like we said at the beginning:
When you ask yourself: is Afterpay, Affirm, or Klarna really worth it? – the real question you gotta ask is:
What do you need it for?
But if you’re gonna lose track of purchases, or how many BNPL installments you have to pay, and potentially hurt your credit score?
Skip it. Your financial health (and wealth) will be better off without it.
Our goal is to empower the next generation with affordable, actionable financial advice for women. Learn more about Penny here.
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