Does Paying With Affirm Affect Credit?
Online shopping has gradually become the norm, and different payment options have been introduced to make it easier for consumers to pay for their purchases. Affirm is one of such payment options which allows online shoppers to spread out their payments over a period of time. However, many people are concerned about how using Affirm affects their credit score, and whether or not it could have a negative impact.
What is Affirm?
Affirm is a buy now, pay later service that allows customers to spread out the cost of their purchases over time. Affirm partners with merchants to offer financing options for their customers. Rather than paying for a purchase outright, customers can choose to pay for their purchases in monthly installments over a pre-determined period. Affirm allows shoppers to make purchases in the same way a credit card operates; however, they do not require a credit card.
How Does Affirm Work?
When you choose to make a purchase using Affirm, you will be required to provide some basic information such as name, address, and date of birth. Affirm will also request your social security number and will carry out a soft credit check, which does not affect your credit score. The soft credit check is primarily used to determine whether or not you qualify for a loan and what interest rate you will be charged. Soft credit checks are beneficial because they allow lenders to pre-qualify you for a loan without putting your credit score at risk.
If you decide to use Affirm, you will receive a loan with an interest rate that depends on your credit score, credit history, and other factors that determine your creditworthiness. On your credit report, Affirm loans are classified as installment loans. An installment loan is a type of loan that requires equal payments over a set period until the loan is fully paid. This is in contrast to revolving credit, where payments will vary based on the account balance.
When you make a purchase using Affirm, you will have to provide your checking account information or your debit card. Affirm will then withdraw the required amounts from your checking account or debit card at the agreed-upon time until the loan is fully paid.
Does Paying with Affirm Affect Credit?
The answer to whether or not paying with Affirm affects credit depends on how you approach the loan repayment. Affirm reports loan activities to credit bureaus. Each payment made is recorded and added to your credit history. If you make loan payments on time consistently, it shows that you are a reliable borrower and will boost your credit score.
However, if you default on your Affirm loan, it will be reported to credit bureaus, and your credit score will be negatively impacted. A default happens when you fail to make your loan payments on-time, and your account becomes delinquent. It is important to note that a single late payment on your Affirm loan can harm your credit score. Hence, it is essential to make sure that you can afford to make payments before taking out an Affirm loan.
If your credit score is already low, getting approved for an Affirm loan could be difficult or result in a higher interest rate, and this could put you in a worse financial position.
Benefits of Using Affirm
The biggest advantage of using Affirm for purchases is the ability to spread the cost of a product over time. This can be useful if you cannot afford to pay for an item outright. Affirm offers several benefits which include:
- No hidden fees or late fees: Affirm does not charge late fees or penalties for missed payments. However, missing payments could result in a default and negatively impact your credit score.
- Flexible repayment options: You can choose a repayment period that suits you, ranging from three to 36 months, depending on the merchant’s agreement.
- Easy to use: Affirm’s checkout process is easy and straightforward; you will receive approval or denial of your loan application within a few seconds.
- No Credit Card Required: Affirm does not require users to have a credit card to access their services, making it accessible to more people.
Paying with Affirm has no direct effect on your credit score. However, like most financial products, Affirm can impact your credit score indirectly. If you make timely payments, it could improve your credit score, but if you default, it could decrease your score. It is important to make sure that you can afford to make payments before opting for an Affirm loan. As with any financing product, it’s important to review and evaluate the terms and conditions before committing to borrowing.
You should also be mindful of your budget when using Affirm, as it’s easy to get carried away with purchases when you have the option to pay over time.
Ultimately, if you make your payments on time, Affirm could be an excellent way to finance your purchases without putting undue strain on your budget.