Jul 01, 2022
7 On Your Side: 'Buy now, pay later' loans are popular, but do they make sense?
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NEW YORK (WABC) -- "Buy now, pay later" loans, or BNPLs, have become incredibly popular, up 230% in the last two years.
These are loans are usually interest free and allow you to make a purchase and pay it off over four or five payments.
Sounds great, right?
Well, before you reach for the plastic, pump the brakes.
"Buy now, pay later loans have kind of taken over the world," Lending Tree Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz said. "They're everywhere. You can't go to an online retailer without seeing them."
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Schulz says their research at Lending Tree showed a huge spike in these type of loans during the pandemic, as shoppers were enticed with offers to split payments into small chunks with just a few clicks while checking out online carts.
"Unlike a credit card, which has interest rates that you don't know exactly how much you're going to end up paying at the end," he said. "You know exactly how much you're going to pay on a buy now, pay later loan and when that loan's going to end."
Klarna, Afterpay and PayPal paved the way in BNPLs, with Apple joining the trend offering consumers a new way to pay. Recently, investments in business-to-business BNPLs have taken off as rising costs have companies small and large seeking ways to say afloat.
For those of us looking to finance everything from designer duds to a new speaker system, it's easy to qualify.
There's no hard pull on credit to apply, and usually, you pay it off in four equal installment every two weeks.
"That's why everybody loves them, because they're interest free and they're predictable, because they're installment loans," Schulz said. "But the trouble is, they're really easy to get, and that makes it really easy to overspend."
Matt says a BNPL is great for people starting out who have no credit history, but not so great for those of us who don't pay bills on time.
The cons are that it's way too easy to get in deep debt, get caught off guard by the frequent payments, accrue late fees, and not understand return policies -- which can make refunds tricky.
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"It's a little bit of a Wild West situation going on out there," Schulz said. "So it's important to look at the fine print with any financial transaction, but especially with these."
Remember, just because someone is willing to give you these loans doesn't mean you should take them up on it.
You can get in a lot of trouble if you start stacking them on top of each other, because while there's not a hard look into you credit to receive them, you better believe that if you miss a payment, they will ding your credit score.
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I’m a fashion expert – the must-buy Amazon essentials that look expensive but are $50 cheaper than you’ll pay in store
TikTok fashion expert Maddie, who goes by the username @maddiejosephinee, recently posted a video revealing a few key items from Amazon that can affordably assist your fashion.4TikTok fashion expert Maddie presents a few different items that feel luxury but will save anyone a few bucksCredit: TikTok / @maddiejosephinee 4Lululemon workout gear can be affordable and comfortable on Amazon according to MaddieCredit: TikTok / @maddiejosephinee
At the beginning of the post, Maddie explains that this is the second part of her series on certain Amazon clothing items that really aren't that bad.
Before listing the good stuff, Maddie explains, "I order a lot of stuff on Amazon from TikTok but I return about 90 percent of it."
What she then shows her followers is the 10 percent that is still affordably stylish and great additions to anyone's closet.1. Amazon's Birkenstock-like sandals Read More On FashionINFLUENCER FAVES Top 5 items in Amazon's secret store full of TikTok-famous fashion findsSWEET STYLE I’m a fashion expert, my free tip will make you look slimmer & it takes seconds
The first item that Maddie lists as a must-buy at around $20 to $25 is a pair of tan sandals that are very similar to Birkenstocks.
"I think they're so cute and comfortable, they're like Birkenstock-level comfort to me," Maddie says.
She would continue that the sandals feel as if you're "walking on clouds" to emphasize the comfort for the price.2. Medium-sized black handbag Most read in MoneyBIG BUCKS I won the $1.6BILLION Powerball lottery jackpot - here is how I picked my numbersTRIPLE HIT Walmart, Target & Dollar General fined for OVERCHARGING - what to look out forALDI FINDS I stopped buying an overpriced food item, swapped for cheap Aldi product insteadBARGAIN HUNT I'm a deals expert - seven Dollar Tree must-buys in August starting at $1.25
Maddie then shows her followers a black handbag with a pattern that is also stylish without breaking the bank.
"This is very like, Bottega-vibes bag, and I think it's so easy to just throw on and wear," Maddie explains.
The bag is faux leather but the quality feels very real, according to the fashion expert.
It's a great option to reach for on Amazon that could save consumers almost hundreds of dollars in comparison to luxury handbags.3. Workout outfits
As her third affordable and stylish buy on the list, Maddie shows off some workout clothes that are even from big name brands like Lululemon.
The white top that Maddie sports is LuLulemon which isn't full price. and the bottoms are similar to Lululemon's "high-rise, 4-inch hottie totties," she says.
The shorts and the top could save people about $50 or more if bought from Amazon.4. Green dress
The last piece in Maddie's recommendations for her best Amazon buys includes an all-green dress.Read More on The US SunSO REAL? Kardashian fans are saying the same thing about Kim's split & Khloe welcoming babySAVVY SHOPPING I'm an economy expert - the label detail to look for to beat shrinkflation
"I love this specifically because it actually fits your boobs, I had to return the Zara one because it did not fit my boobs," Maddie explains.
Maddie notes that either way, the specific dress seems to earn a lot of compliments, likely given its quality.
Next time you're thinking there's no way out to pay for a luxury item you want, it might be beneficial to check Amazon first.4This green dress (pictured) from Amazon looks name-brandCredit: TikTok / @maddiejosephinee 4These kind of items Maddie lists in her review could save consumers serious cashCredit: Getty