Once you’re approved for a loan through Affirm, the amount of the loan is loaded onto a one-time use virtual Visa card. This card can be used either online or in-store. It expires 24 hours after it’s issued, though you can cancel the card before then, and you won’t owe any money if you don’t use the funds. You also have the option of using only a portion of the funds, in which case you’ll owe the amount you spend, plus interest, if applicable.
Affirm also allows users to get prequalified. This means you can get an estimate of how much you can spend with Affirm ahead of time. You don’t have to use the full amount, and you don’t need to pay anything back until you actually make a purchase.
When you’re ready to pay, navigate to the retailer’s checkout and request a virtual card in the Affirm app. Next, pick your preferred payment option. You can then manage your payments in the Affirm app or online. By adding the Affirm browser extension, you can see how much you can borrow as you browse items online.
Affirm can be used as a payment option at thousands of retailers, both in-store and online. Some places where you can pay with Affirm include Adidas, Neiman Marcus, Sony, Target and Walmart.
If you don’t see Affirm as a payment option at checkout, you can still use the service by downloading the Affirm app or visiting its website. Tell Affirm where you’re shopping, and you’ll be given a one-time use virtual card you can use to complete your purchase online or in stores. You then make payments over time as usual.
Affirm loans typically last three, six or 12 months, and you can pick your preferred term length when you apply, with some exceptions. For larger loans, you may be able to repay over 48 months. For smaller loans, the term length may only be one to three months, without the option to pay over a longer period. These options vary depending on the store, your purchase and your credit. If you aren’t happy with a loan’s terms, you may try again later for different options.
Interest charged on Affirm loans can range from 0% to 36% annual percentage rate, or APR, depending on your creditworthiness. The Pay in 4 option is 0% APR. The rate for other payment arrangements will depend on the purchase amount, merchant and state. A down payment may also be required. Affirm notes that users will never owe more interest than what was agreed upon at the time of purchase.
Affirm doesn’t charge any fees, including late fees, prepayment fees, annual fees or fees to open or close an account.
Affirm offers two ways to pay. First, you can choose to make four interest-free payments every two weeks, which is ideal for everyday purchases. You can set up automatic payments and there are no fees involved. There is also no impact on your credit score.
Alternatively, you can choose to make monthly installments, designed for big-ticket purchases. Again, you can arrange to have payments automated.
There are no fees or penalties for paying more than your required payment, or for paying off the balance early. However, if you don’t make your payments on time or in full, you may not be approved for Affirm loans in the future. Additionally, your payment schedule is based on the date of purchase, so you can’t change the payment due date or combine it with another payment schedule.
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Accepted: Both of these buy now, pay later services can be used at tens of thousands of retailers. Notably, however, Affirm is partnered with some major retailers, such as Target and Walmart, while Klarna is accepted at Etsy, Sephora, lululemon and Instacart.
APR: Affirm charges interest on its monthly installment loans, up to 36% APR. Klarna also charges interest for long-term installment plans, with a rate of up to 29.99% APR.
Terms: Affirm repayment terms can range from as short as one month to as long as 48 months, depending on several factors. Meanwhile, Klarna offers several repayment options, including monthly installments up to 24 months.
Fees: Affirm does not charge any fees, while Klarna charges fees for late payments on purchases over $25, according to a tiered structure.
Accepted: Affirm is partnered with some major retailers, such as Target and Walmart. Afterpay is accepted at Shein, Pandora, MAC Cosmetics, Dyson and more.
APR: Affirm charges 0% to 36% APR on its monthly installment plans. Afterpay does not charge interest on its Pay in 4 plan. However, you’ll pay 0% to 35.99% APR for its monthly payment plan.
Terms: Affirm offers repayment terms of up to 48 months, while Afterpay’s monthly installment plans range anywhere from six to 12 months.
Fees: Afterpay charges late payment fees, which start at $10 but never go higher than 25% of the original order value. Affirm does not charge any fees.
Creating an account and finding out if you prequalify for an Affirm loan doesn’t impact your credit score. However, if you decide to make a purchase through Affirm, certain actions may affect your credit.
Affirm reports some loans to Experian and may report to other credit bureaus in the future. Your entire loan history will be included if any repayment activity, such as delinquent payments, is reported.
Affirm has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since March 2020. It currently has an A+ rating. However, customers rate the business 1.15 out of 5 stars.
On TrustPilot, Affirm has a slightly higher rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars, based on more than 4,800 reviews.
Finally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 1,014 consumer complaints about Affirm in 2022. All but three of those complaints were provided a timely response, and all complaints were closed with an explanation.
Customers who have questions or need help can use Affirm’s Help Center, which provides customer assistance via chat. You can also contact Affirm at 855-423-3729.
- Who want to avoid fees and interest on short-term loans.
- Who need flexible options for financing everyday purchases.
- Who don’t qualify for a traditional credit card.