What You May Not Know About These Services

Services like “buy now pay later” now account for $100 million in annual transactions and are a popular financial resource for millions of Americans. These methods make purchasing simpler, but there are hazards involved as well.

Consumers enjoy the convenience of “buy now pay later,” but they are unaware of how it affects their wallets.

“People love the convenience, but there is still a lot of misunderstanding regarding BNPL services and their influence on people’s financial lives.”, says Amy Maliga, a financial educator with Take Charge America. It’s simple to overlook the future threats because there is such confusion. Because of this, it’s essential to look more closely at any new services or products, especially those that make it simpler for you to spend your hard-earned money.  Prior to utilizing BNPL services, Maliga advises you keep the following in mind:

Don’t be misled, these “loans” function as credit

BNPL payments are a form of credit, despite the fact that BNPL providers may advertise themselves as a more convenient way to pay for regular purchases without using credit or debt. Additionally, some services impose late fees or interest if you miss a payment. Use caution when utilizing these services as it is simple to slip into debt.

Most likely, you’ll spend more.

Retailers aggressively market BNPL since customers tend to spend more money when using these services. Two-thirds of buyers who used BNPL plans spent more than they otherwise would have, according to a LendingTree poll. Be sure to examine your finances and bank account before making that expensive purchase. Make sure you can actually afford it. Otherwise, you run the danger of racking up debt you cannot pay for.

Inconsistent impact on credit scores.

You don’t benefit from the advantages of responsible repayment because the majority of BNPL suppliers don’t report on-time payment information to the major credit agencies. Negative incidents, such as late payments or collection activities, are more likely to be recorded. Due of this, it is even more important that you make all of your BNPL payments on time and without missing any.

No consumer safeguards.

These services are not covered by the Truth in Lending Act because of BNPL’s typical four-installment payment schedules. This mean that with BNPL providers, consumers are not protected from any potential predatory or misleading lending practices. What is the difference?  Federal law requires five installments before any regulations are imposed.

Source: (intended for educational purposes only)

Feeling buried with debt? Check out National Foundation of Consumer Credit Counselors, but beware of the scams offering “debt relief” services.

From their website: “Beyond our credentials and our decades of service as a nonprofit financial counseling organization, what we offer is hope. The kind of hope that allows you to envision a bright financial future that is achievable and sustainable.

Our grounded expertise, inclusive solutions, and commitment to the common good are what turn that hope into a plan that fulfills your dreams. Years of independent, academic research have proven our efforts effective. Ultimately, we believe in better futures for all, and we are committed to seeing that through.”


What may appear to be “FREE” does not mean free.  Nor, is “low cost” really low cost.  It means that you will pay later.  It may mean your free trip to the mountains comes with obligations to attend two days of intense sales pressure to buy a timeshare that no one wants.  It may mean you get a free puppy who hates your children (or it could mean life is perfect and everyone gets along).  The lenders or retailers are in the business to make as much money as possible.  How much profit received by the owners of the business (usually shareholders) dictates whether they will keep the folks in charge of the business. Take time to investigate why someone is offering something for free, or what appears to be easy terms, and investigate what are you obligated to do or what the cost will be in the long run.

Diane L. Drain

The post The Secret Costs of Using Buy Now Pay Later Services appeared first on Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer.

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