Buy Now Pay Later for Bad Credit: Does it Exist?

Melinda Sineriz
Oct 23, 2021

Buy now pay later options allow you to make purchases now and pay for them later, often in installments over a month or two. Being able to pay in installments is appealing at times when funds might be low, or you’re managing a lot of purchases at once.

For example, school clothes and supplies all need to be bought right before school starts, holiday purchases are usually within a month or two of each other, and appliances always break at the worst possible time. These situations and more are all good times to consider using a buy now pay later plan.

The challenge with buy now pay later (BNPL) plans is that they often check your credit. If you don't have good credit, you may not be approved. Thankfully, buy now pay later bad credit options exist. Learn more about the best options if you have less than stellar credit and a big purchase you need now, rather than later.

Need extra cash now? A loan from Possible can help.

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Best Options for Buy Now Pay Later With Bad Credit

Where should you start your search for buy now pay later bad credit options?

Here are a few avenues to consider:

Installment Loans with Possible Finance

Possible Finance installment loans are an easy way to fund purchases, and just as easy as buy nothing pay later offers. Even better, our loans deposit cash into your bank account, so you can use the funds across purchases without having to fill out additional forms or limit yourself to stores that take your BNPL vendor of choice.

You can borrow up to $500* and pay it off with four equal monthly payments over eight weeks. You can reschedule payments for up to 29 days later in our app as well, giving you more breathing room and peace of mind when money gets tight.

We don’t base our decision solely on your credit score, and we report your on-time payments to TransUnion and Experian, two of the three major credit bureaus, so you can build your credit while getting the funds you need.

You can do all this through our convenient mobile app.

Afterpay

Afterpay is a buy now pay later service that allows you to pay off purchases in four installments over six weeks.

The first installment is a down payment that's paid at the time of purchase. It can be used online or in-person at stores with stores that partner with Afterpay. It doesn’t conduct an external credit check or use credit scores in deciding whether you’re approved.

Splitit

Splitit is another buy now pay later company. It allows you to split payments into up to 24 installments. (These installments must be charged on a credit card.)

Splitit doesn’t require a credit check and it doesn’t charge interest or late fees. The credit card you use for the purchase will charge interest (unless you have a 0% promotional rate) and will have late fees, so that’s an important factor to keep in mind. On the plus side, you can still earn rewards like cash back.

Buy Now Pay Later Online

You may also be familiar with layaway plans. With layaway, you would go to retailers, pick the items you want to purchase, and then take them to the layaway department. There the store would hold the physical items until the items were paid in full. 

Using buy now pay later companies to pay in installments is similar to layaway plans. Both allow you to pay gradually rather than all at once. They do have significant differences, however.  

First, with buy now pay later, you receive the item right away. You don’t have to wait until you pay in full to receive school supplies, new clothes, holiday gifts, or anything else you might buy. 

Next, layaway is typically used at retailers with physical locations. You can opt for buy now pay later online or in person, depending on the company. Online shopping is more convenient for many, but some purchases are best made in person. One of the advantages of a Possible loan is that you can use it wherever you need to, whether it’s in person or online. 

Buy now pay later services also have the potential to lead to a "debt spiral". You can easily buy more than you can afford because the installment payments seem relatively small. They can add up, though, and if you don’t pay on time, you could face late fees, which could strain your budget even more.

Carefully review the terms of any buy now pay later companies you’re considering. This includes Possible installment loans—we want you to know exactly how our loans work so you feel comfortable and empowered with your financial choices.  

Buy Now Pay Later Companies

How do buy now pay later companies stack up? Here’s a closer look.

Affirm

Affirm is a buy now pay later online service with multiple payment options. It negotiates its terms with each store, so whether you are charged interest and the interest rate depends on the individual store you're shopping at.

Installments may be spread over three, six, 12, or more months, but options vary. You can see the terms before you check out.

Affirm doesn’t charge any late fees, and it does a soft credit check to see if you qualify. It doesn’t have a minimum credit score to qualify, and the requirements to qualify also vary by store and aren’t publicly disclosed.

Afterpay

Afterpay is a buy now pay later bad credit option. It offers instant approval and spreads four installments over six weeks, and it doesn’t charge interest or fees.

It also doesn’t check your credit report, so there’s no minimum credit score requirement. Late payments are subject to a $10 fee.

Klarna

Klarna is a buy now pay later service that offers multiple payment plan options. You can pay in four payments spread out over every two weeks or in 30 days. Both of these options are interest-free.

Klarna does a soft credit check, and it doesn’t publish a minimum credit score requirement. Klarna also charges late fees, so it's important to make timely payments.

Sezzle

Sezzle allows you to pay for purchases in four interest-free payments over six weeks.

The first payment is due at the time of purchase, as a sort of down payment. It does check your credit before approval, and, like many other buy now pay later services, it doesn’t publish its minimum FICO credit score requirements.

Zip (formerly known as Quadpay)

Zip allows you to split purchases into four installments over six weeks, and it also doesn’t charge interest. (Though you do pay a $1 convenience fee for each payment.)

Zip checks your credit history, but it also doesn’t disclose the credit score you need to be approved.

Buy Now and Pay Later with Possible

If the above options don't sound appealing or you need an option for using buy now pay later with bad credit, there are alternatives out there.

Companies that offer installment loans, such as Possible, could be a great way to get the convenient installment payment part of a BNPL agreement, without many of the drawbacks, such as a credit check or being forced to shop only at the stores that offer a buy now pay later option.

If you have regular income, a checking account with at least three months of history, and are at least 18 years old, Possible Finance could loan you up to $500.* It can even help you build credit!

Download the app to submit your loan application and start shopping for what you need.

Melinda Sineriz

Melinda Sineriz is a financial writer and editor who resides in Toledo, Ohio. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She also has a Master of the Arts in Teaching from Bard College. Melinda has been writing about personal finance for over a decade, with a full-time focus over the past few years. She also worked in insurance for five years, including as a licensed life and health insurance agent. She specializes in writing about mortgages. student loans, personal loans, insurance, managing credit and debt, and credit cards. She enjoys helping people make informed financial decisions. When she's not working, she's reading, avoiding writing a novel, or spending time with her dogs and cats.

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