Between 2018 and 2019, the preference of consumers for Affirm’s pay-over-time service to finance their purchases quadrupled. According to Affirm’s 2020 survey, 54% of US consumers expect to pay over time for their purchases by 2021.
Why pay for big-ticket purchases upfront when you can use that money for other essential expenses? Even if the interest rate was small, you could split your bill into smaller monthly payments.
So, the question is: Is Affirm the right option for you? A credit card would work just as well?
Affirm makes shopping easier by making it easy to finance your purchases.
This review will help you find out.
POS Loans vs Credit Card
As an extended repayment plan, some credit card lenders allow you to pay your debts over time. This is limited to only a few hundred dollars per month. Credit card companies’ high rates, hidden charges, and penalties are still possible.
It can’t achieve the same cash-use efficiency as POS loans.
These credit card features can quickly become disadvantages.
- Credit report to determine eligibility for a revolving credit line
- Cash withdrawals at ATM
- Variable repayment plan that allows borrowers to pay less than the maximum loan amount, if they so choose.
This is what you feel every time you withdraw money you don’t use or make unplanned purchases. These factors are major contributors in the average US credit card debt of $6.194 for 2019.
POS loans can be used for many purposes, including to finance large planned purchase. Planning is important because impulse buying on POS loans without a repayment program can lead to a debt pileup.
POS loans are not subject to additional fees or penalties, and have significantly lower annual percentage rates (APRs).
What is Affirm?
Affirm provides low-interest consumer loans at point of sale. This allows you to purchase what you want and then pay later. You can repay your loan in multiple monthly installments with Affirm.
Affirm customers who finance their purchases with Affirm get credit without any additional fees, no application fees, and no down payments.
Affirm personal loans are available with no penalties for late payments. If you fail to make your payments on time, a loan is considered delinquent.
How it works
Affirm allows you to shop up until $17,500 depending on your eligibility. You can also pay at your own pace.
It will take you a little longer to buy with Affirm than with a Visa card at the checkout. Here are the main steps:
Step 1: Add the product to your cart
Add the product that you have been looking forward to buying to your bag. This is where you will find the product page of the vendor and place an order.
Step 2: Select Affirm for your payment method
Select Affirm as the preferred payment method on the vendor’s checkout page. Affirm purchases your debt and pays the vendor. A few merchants offer 0% APRs when they pay with this loan provider. However, Affirm’s rates range from 10% to 30 percent.
This step will also prove your eligibility to receive the loan Affirm is offering. You can pay for your purchase with Affirm if you have an Affirm account.
You may need to pay a downpayment for a portion of the product price before you can get financed.
Step 3: Over time, pay off your Affirm balance
After you have purchased successfully with Affirm you will receive the first reminder to pay in approximately a month.
Affirm loans are usually short-term and do not last more than a year. Your loans can be paid off in
- Three monthly payments
- Six monthly payments or
- Twelve monthly payments
Affirm does not charge extra if you choose to pay off your loan sooner or in one lump sum.
Affirm loans cannot be revolved; each purchase would require a separate application.
It’s okay for balances to overlap. Affirm accounts can be used to obtain multiple loans at once.
Create an Affirm account
An Affirm account can be created by any citizen, permanent resident or legal resident of the US. You can’t get a loan or prequalify for one due to West Virginia and Iowa state laws.
Your phone number is required to create an Affirm account. This will be used for verifications during subsequent logins.
Affirm performs soft credit checks on loan applications. This does not affect credit scores.
Affirm also claims that credit scores and credit reports don’t impact your chances of approval. Affirm also considers other factors such as your payment history and the length of time you have had an Affirm Account.
Affirm has over 6,500 merchant partners in the US with them to provide consumer lending to their customers. Affirm’s top partners include Adidas, Walmart and Peloton E-commerce.
The Virtual card feature allows you to use your Affirm account online from anywhere.
Financing a Purchase With Affirm
Affirm accounts are a way to show you what you can expect from Affirm when financing your purchase. After that, I bought two Adidas products which I paid with Affirm.
Let me tell you what I did.
I clicked on the Adidas featured page from my Affirm.com account.
Clicking on any of the three buttons “Shop Now” will take you to the Adidas.com website. You can still access the store by doing a web search.
I made my selection, confirmed my details at Adidas.com, and then clicked “Review and pay” to proceed to the payment.
You have the option to pay three, six or twelve monthly, depending on your order and vendor.
I chose the “3 Interest Free Payments by Affirm” option for my order. This brought up the Affirm login screen.
Enter your number and confirm that it is you. After you have entered that information, you can start a simple application to be financed.
To speed up the process, you can prequalify for an Affirm Loan.
How do you pay your Affirm Balance?
It is simple to repay your Affirm loan. You can repay your Affirm loan over time for each purchase that you finance through Affirm by:
You can open a checking account at any US bank,
You can send a check by mail to their Pittsburgh address.
Who is Affirm best suited for?
Affirm offers a flexible loan application process that does not take into account your credit score. Anyone who fulfills the requirements to open an Affirm account may be eligible for a loan at a vendor’s point-of-sale.
POS loans can damage your credit score, according to a report from CNBC Make it.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Affirm may be the right option for you.
- Are you a person with a low credit score
- Are you new to credit?
- Is it possible to set up a repayment plan that is suitable? Or
- Are you unable to pay your balance but need to make large purchases?
This solution may be the right one for you.
Affirm customers enjoy more features that you would expect from an online loan service. Let’s take a look at them.
Pay on the Go
Affirm has launched a mobile application that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play store. The app allows you to manage your Affirm account and shop anywhere. You can also make payments from your smartphone using the app.
Mobile Savings Account
You can save small amounts on your Affirm app by opening a mobile savings account.
Your bank savings account can be connected to the Affirm savings account. It works in the same way. This account can be useful for small purchases, budgeting, and repaying loans online or on the Affirm App.
OTU Virtual Card
It is a lot like shopping with a debit or prepaid card.
Log into your Affirm account to get prequalified, pay with virtual card numbers, and shop at a non-affiliate store.
You can use the virtual card once-only to purchase from any online seller.
Affirm loans are easy to apply for. Simply check your Affirm account to see how much you are eligible to spend.
On-site Vendor Accessibility
Affirm allows you to access a list partner vendors that can direct you to each vendor’s website.
Browse featured stores and special deals on the homepage, or choose any product category from the “Shop” navigation.
Depending on your use of it, you might find the ability to take out multiple POS loans from Affirm at once beneficial or detrimental.
You can choose which purchase you wish to repay with Affirm when making payments. You can repay more than one loan at once without going into default.
Affirm’s Benefits are Unique
These features may also help Affirm be more popular with shoppers than other POS lenders.
Fixed Repayment Amounts
Accept monthly payments of the same amount. You won’t get into debt by only paying the minimum amount, like credit cards.
Flexible Repayment Schedule
This feature allows you the option to pay your monthly payment in three, six or twelve installments. You can also choose to pay in full or early.
No Extra Charges After Purchase
Affirm calculates your loan’s value at checkout. Even if you miss a payment, the value of your monthly installments will not change.
Secure Payment Options
You can make secure online payments by buying with Affirm also confirms that you are the one logging into your account through phone verification.
Affirm Your Weaknesses
A POS loan is a good alternative to a credit card if you are planning to purchase large quantities of goods but don’t have the cash to pay them off. However, refund rules for returned products and canceled orders can have a different impact on your payments.
These are areas to be concerned:
- Refunds for goods purchased with Affirm depend on the merchant’s refund policy and sometimes your negotiation skills.
- Affirm won’t reimburse any interest paid even if you receive full refunds on damaged goods returned.
- Late payments are not subject to a penalty, but it can affect your creditworthiness if your loan is not repaid.
- The company’s no loan limit feature may seem like an easy way to shop on credit. It becomes harder to repay the loans over time because they are short-term.
These are not the only issues that affirm’s system can handle. To find out what is applicable, I recommend you review the terms and conditions of your vendor’s return policy.
Your Affirm account only has value if you get a great deal. Affirm’s service at checkout makes it worthwhile to pay for it.
We’ve given Affirm a rating of 5 stars for each of these services features.
It’s easy to use
Affirm offers three easy steps to help you buy. Each step has a few steps.
It would take longer to complete the transaction from the merchant’s checkout page. It takes longer for Affirm, to verify your details, check eligibility for a loan, and set up an account if you are a new user.
Prequalifying for a loan is a better option than applying on any vendor site.
Our rating HTML5
Customer Service and Support
Affirm encourages you to use their help page for support. You can’t reach customer service via Live Chat without emailing email@example.com, or by calling 855-423-37779.
They claim that calls to their number are free and the help page is comprehensive. Their response time could be improved.
Our rating is 3/5
Affirm vs Alternative Personal Loans Solutions
AfterPay, and Klarna are two of Affirms most prominent personal loan competitors.
AfterPay provides interest-free consumer loans on a compounding basis with a penalty fee.
Klarna, like AfterPay allows you to pay in a shorter time period (14 to 30 days), at 0% APRs with zero fees. Prepayment fees are charged for early repayment, and late fees for late payments.
We won’t get into the details of their respective operations. Affirm is a leader in their industry by offering flexible loan terms and zero penalty APRs, as well as no late fees or penalties.
Our rating is 4.8/5
Features and functionality
Affirm must be competitive in order to keep customers interested, given the high level of competition in the financial technology industry. This has led to a constantly improving brand, improved service offerings, more user-friendly features and greater ease of use.
These features are popular because they have a four-fold user growth rate than their top competitor.
Buyers don’t want additional steps during checkout. Affirm is more functional if it qualifies buyers for a loan from the vendor’s website pre-purchase.
Affirm’s prequalification tool on their website is close to this functionality.
Our rating is 4.4/5
Affirm personal loans may be interest-free. Affirm’s partners vendors can finance split payment options from you up to 159 times. However, you can get a split payment option up to a specific amount.
This is a great way for shoppers to return to your store.
However, the average installment loan interest rate could be 10% to 30% of your purchase’s value, divided over time.
Although it could be better, a loan with a maximum APR of 30% is still considered to be a better deal that most credit cards.
Our rating 5/5
Affirm lives up to its promise of helping consumers say yes more often. As long as you are comfortable paying a small interest, that is.
The system offers outstanding loan services, with additional features that make shopping simpler, easier, and more possible.
A few of their features, such as the customer service response times, could be improved. Affirm could improve functionality by offering loans approvals on vendor websites before checkout.
Overall, Affirm offers a fast and efficient pay-over time POS lending service.
Overall rating: 4.1/5
Consumers want faster access to the things they need. Sometimes, cash is not always available. Affirm is a quick, efficient, and affordable way to purchase and pay for a term up to one-year.
Many vendors have already joined Affirm’s offering. There are many places to purchase with the platform. Affirm checkout payments are safer than using bank cards.
Affirm provides the ideal payment plan to finance large purchases such as a mattress or luxury bicycle. Affirm is the perfect payment plan for you if your credit limit is exceeded, you are new to credit, and you need to fix personal finances.
These weaknesses are common to all POS lending services and they are not their only.
With a good credit history and a high credit score you may be able to find other financing options for larger or more expensive purchases. If you have the funds, pay cash upfront.