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Affirm Buy Now, Pay Later: 2024 Review

Updated on Jan. 9, 2024
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At a glance

4.4
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Availability
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2
Affordability
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2

About Bankrate Score

Affirm is a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option that offers installment loans for a purchase before you check out. The app divides your total purchase into four equal payments that are paid every two weeks and doesn't charge interest for on-time payments. 

It offers the Affirm Card as well, which can be used to pay over time or in full online or in person. Affirm also offers installment loans if you need to take longer to pay off a pricier purchase. 

Moneybag
Loan amount Starts at $50
Rates
APR from 0%-36%
Clock Wait
Term lengths 1 to 48 months

Borrowers who want on-the-spot financing. 

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Choose your loan amount and answer a few questions to see personalized offers.

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Best for on-the-spot financing 

The Affirm card allows people to check out using Affirm regardless of where you are. By linking the card to your bank account, you can use the Affirm app to request payment plans for eligible purchases.

Affirm pros and cons

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Pros

  • No fees
  • Usable online and in person
  • Low minimum amount
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Only one interest-free option
  • High number of CFPB complaints
  • Defaulting can result in collections

Do you qualify?

To increase your chances of getting approved for an Affirm loan, make sure you meet the requirements outlined by the company.

  • U.S. resident, including U.S. territories.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Have a valid Social Security number. 
  • Have a phone number that can receive SMS and is registered to the U.S. or U.S territories.

Although it doesn't state the exact eligibility requirements, Affirm states that your loan application may be impacted by these factors: 

  • Account and payment history with Affirm.
  • Credit score. 
  • Credit utilization
  • Income and current debt.
  • Recent bankruptcies.

How this lender compares

Affirm vs. Sezzle

Sezzle is a BNPL option that is similar in many ways to Affirm. What sets it apart is that Sezzle has two options with 0 percent interest, whereas Affirm only offers one. Sezzle also has a lower APR maximum of 34.99 percent for its options beyond the zero-percent plans, which is slightly less than Affirm's maximum.

Affirm vs. Klarna 

Klarna and Affirm are similar in many ways. In terms of zero-percent options, Klarna comes out on top with a 30-day option in addition to its pay-in-four one. And while Affirm has purportedly started piloting a rewards program with some users, Klarna has a full-fledged program in place that rewards a point for every $1 spent.

Affirm: In the details 

What we like 

  • No fees: Affirm doesn't charge any fees for using its pay-in-four financing option. This includes late fees.
  • Usable online and in person: The Affirm Card can be used on the go to finance eligible purchases using its pay-in-four feature or an installment loan.
  • Low minimum amount: You can use Affirm for eligible purchases as low as $50.

What we don't like 

  • Only one interest-free option: Several BNPL services offer a pay-in-two or 30-day option with a 0 percent interest rate. Affirm only offers a pay-in-four option at 0 percent.
  • High number of CFPB complaints: As of January 2024, Affirm has over 3,000 complaints filed against it with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the past three years. This is significantly more than similar services.
  • Defaulting can result in collections: If you haven't made a payment for over 120 days, Affirm says that it may charge off your loan to one of its third-party collections partners.

How to contact Affirm 

You can contact Affirm by phone at 855-423-3729 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Online chat is also available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. 

How to apply for a loan with Affirm 

Applying for a loan with Affirm is done completely online, either on your mobile device or desktop. There are four steps when you're shopping with a partner online retailer.

Fees and penalties 

Affirm doesn't charge any fees, including late fees. However, Affirm may report payments over 120 days past due to collections and will charge interest on missed payments. 

Affirm frequently asked questions 

How Bankrate rates Affirm 

Overall Score 4.4
Availability 4.2 Affirm doesn't specify the maximum loan amount on its website, and only offers one zero-interest payment plan.
Affordability 4.7 The pay-in-four option by Affirm comes with zero fees.
Customer Experience 4.2 A highly rated mobile app and strong customer support options are hampered by a heavy amount of complaints filed with the CFPB.

Methodology

The Bankrate team did a complete analysis of the features and services offered by the most well-known buy now, pay later apps in the industry. Then our experts developed a scoring system to rate these apps, focusing on three main areas:

  • Availability: We look at the minimum and maximum loan amounts offered by the apps, as well as the number of interest-free plans they offer. Apps offering more than one interest-free plan and those with the most flexible loan amounts rank higher in this category.
  • Affordability: We evaluate the APR ranges apps assess on purchases once the interest-free period ends. Additional fees, exclusive perks and discounts are also rated. Apps with the lowest APRs, fewer fees and more perks obtain the highest scores in this category.
  • Customer experience: Purchasing flexibility, as well as return, exchange and refund policies are vetted in this section. Mobile app rating, number of consumer complaints with the CFPB and customer support are also taken into account. Apps with more flexibility and lower complaints rate higher in this category.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.