Buy now, pay later payment plans: Be vigilant

(NC) Many companies, especially in retail, are offering buy now, pay later plans when shopping for products and services. With this type of plan, you are financing your purchase with credit. But before you agree to this type of purchase, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of these plans.

Here are questions you may want to ask yourself before you sign a buy now, pay later plan:

  • Do I really need this item?
  • Do I have the discipline to pay off the balance by the due date?
  • Can I afford the higher interest charges and applicable fees if I miss a payment or can’t pay off the balance by the due date?

Also, consider the pros and cons of buy now, pay later plans:


  • You can purchase something you need and spread the payment over a period of time to fit your budget.
  • You can take advantage of a low or no interest rate if you make your payments on time and pay your balance before the due date.


  • It can be an expensive way to borrow money if you miss a payment.
  • Fees may apply, meaning you might pay more than the retail price of your purchase.
  • Taking on debt may lead to over-borrowing if it’s more than you can afford or doesn’t fit your budget.
  • You might put your credit at risk.
  • You might misjudge the actual/total cost of the purchase.
  • It could encourage you to spend beyond your means or make impulsive buys.

If you have a complaint related to your buy now, pay later plan, contact the plan provider. Depending on your contract, you may also need to contact the retailer.

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